Hudson County Community College Exhibition Celebrates LGBT Experience via Broadway Costume Design

Posted: 1/25/2018
Jennifer Christopher, 201-360-4061, jchristopher@hccc.edu or Roger Jones, 201-200-1080, rj@jonesandassociatescommunications.com

January 25, 2018, Jersey City, NJ – Hudson County Community College Department of Cultural Affairs invites the community to view the exhibit, “Out on Broadway: A Visual Legacy”.  The exhibition, which has been curated by renowned designer James E. Crochet, celebrates the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender experience in theater and features, characters and costumes from some of Broadways most memorable shows. 

The exhibition may be viewed from Thursday, January 25 through Friday, March 2 at the College’s Benjamin J. Dineen, III and Dennis C. Hull Gallery in the HCCC Library at 71 Sip Avenue in Jersey City – just a block away from the Journal Square PATH Transportation Center.  It is open to the general public and there is no charge for admission.

Among the items on display are costumes, sketches, and accessories from award-winning costume designers such as Gregg Barnes, Jess Goldstein, William Ivey Long, Bob Mackie, David Murin, Arianne Phillips, and David Zinn to iconic LGBT characters in shows like Cabaret, The Boy from Oz, Follies, Grey Gardens, Hairspray, Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Kinky Boots, La Cage aux Follies, Mame, The Producers, Rent, and Side Show .  Attendees will be able to explore creations that have made Broadway performances memorable experiences, and will be able to marvel at the famed Chrysler Building gown alongside a view of the Chrysler Building from the Gallery’s rooftop terrace.

Groundbreaking productions such as La Cage aux Folles, which won six Tony Awards including Best Musical in 1983, ushered in a new era on Broadway. No longer were gay and transgender characters relegated to bit parts where they were presented as caricatures of commonly held stereotypes.  The love between two men, the art of female impersonation, and the glitz and glamour of Broadway costume design synthesized in a financially and artistically successful venture. Groundbreaking issues such as marriage equality, bathroom bill controversies, and the recent historic election of transgendered politicians, have everyone seeing more and more LGBT issues highlighted in shows, along with more acceptance of the LGBT community and their long-standing contribution to the art form.

Curator James E. Crochet has designed more than 50 productions – 13 operas including Le Nozze di Figaro, Roméo et Juliette, The Merry Widow, and The Tales of Hoffman; and over 20 musicals, among them Les Miserables, The Full Monty, La Cage aux Folles, and West Side Story. Among the stage and screen stars he has designed for are Jefferson Mays, Hunter Foster, Andrea McArdle, Nancy Dussault, Renée Taylor, Sally Struthers, and Rue McClanahan.  A Hudson County resident and the owner of Leading Lady Costumes, his previous exhibitions include: All That Glitters: Embroidering Character in Costume for Art House Productions, and Extreme Silhouette and Costuming the Great White Way for Stagefest at the landmark Loews Theater in Jersey City. Mr. Crochet received his degree in Theatrical Design with an emphasis in Costume Design and Technology from the University of Northern Colorado. For more information about his work, visit www.leadingladycostumes.net .

The Benjamin J. Dineen, III and Dennis C. Hull Gallery is open Monday – Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Tuesday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.  The Gallery is closed Sundays and holidays.

More information may be obtained online at www.hccc.edu/cultural-affairs , by contacting HCCC Cultural Affairs Director Michelle Vitale at mvitale@hccc.edu , or by phoning 201-360-4176.