Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

Simply Sylvester: A New Generation Discovers the Inspiring Disco Queen's Story

Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

Simply Sylvester: A New Generation Discovers the Inspiring Disco Queen's Story

Article excerpt

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

Disco is dead. Long live Sylvester! The trailblazing queer pioneer--who rocketed up the charts in the 70s and '80s with hits like "Do Ya Wanna Funk"--is now receiving an exuberant musical retelling of his life, Mighty Real: A Fabulous Sylvester Musical, off-Broadway this fall.

It's all thanks to Anthony Wayne, a Broadway actor in his early 30s who only recently discovered the music. "I saw a TV show about his life story in 2010," says Wayne, who is taking a leave of absence from his ensemble role in Broadway's Pippin to perform as Sylvester. "I was inspired by his drive to be who he was regardless of what he went through."

Although he's singing the hits--such as "You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real)" and "Dance (Disco Heat)"--it's not simply an entertaining impersonation. Wayne crafted the musical, Sylvester's life's story, which he wrote and co-directed with his partner, Kendrell Bowman, to be an inspirational tale of discovery. …

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