Trevor Project’s TrevorLIVE LA
Kathy Griffin Hosts, Jane Lynch Honored and GLEE Cast Sings a “Smile”
Entering to the sounds of “Love is a Many Splendored Thing,” Kathy Griffin proved the perfect host for TrevorLIVE L.A., the Dec. 8 benefit for the Trevor Project at the Hollywood Palladium. The Trevor Project provides crisis intervention services for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning youth and on this one night, raised $1 million for the cause.
To an appreciative crowd, Griffin dished on Miley Cyrus, Selena Gomez, the cast-offs from “The Bachelorette” and herself, for looking, she said, like a black swan, (although swan or not, she actually looked quite chic in her black layered-lace cocktail frock.)
An astonishing number of stars came to perform, present or simply mingle among the 1,200 guests honoring “20/20 Visionary” Toyota, “Youth Innovator” Adam White and “Trevor Hero” Jane Lynch of “GLEE.”
Readers can find many details in my online story for the Los Angeles Times here, along with photos in the LAT online gallery here. The show was so jam-packed with great moments, however, and there were so many fun quotes from the GLEE cast, that I’ve also written many more details of the below.
The parade of stars onstage, in addition to all the singers, included Ricki Lake, Mandy Moore, NBA star Jason Collins, “Glee” creator Ryan Murphy, Sarah Michelle Gellar of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer;” James Wolk of “The Crazy Ones;” Andrew Rannells of “Book of Mormon;” Allison Janney of “Masters of Sex;”; Josh Duhamel of “ “Las Vegas;” Hannah Simone of “New Girl;” Jennifer Coolidge of “Two Broke Girls; Brant Daugherty of “The Starving Game” and Naya Rivera of “GLEE.”
Griffin introduced Rivera as “a lady that Big Sean gave a big ring to,” directing her to “Show the ring,” and “Work it, honey.”
More faces in the crowd were Fergie, Big Sean, Nina Dobrev, Kat Graham, Samantha Ronson, Candice Accola, Lisa Kudrow, Michael Patrick King, Laura Vandervoort, Lawrence Zarian, Gregory Zarian, Peta Murgatroyd, Shira Lazar, Keltie Knight and Sterling Jones.
The Singers & Their Songs…
The Gala offered quite the line-up of talent, as follows:
Cheyenne Jackson, “Somebody to Love”
Beth Behrs of “Two Broke Girls,” “No One is Alone”
Amber Riley of “GLEE” sang “Ain’t No Way”
Adam Lambert, “Whattaya Want From Me”
Megan Hilty of “Smash,” “They Just Keep Moving the Line”
The GLEE finale
Griffin introduced the celebrities, who in turn introduced the performers.
Griffin presented Abdul as a famous celebrity chef. “I’m actually kind of shocked this presenter is here…” said Griffin. “She has had a show on the food network, known for her southern cooking of course.”
There to introduce Adam Lambert, Abdul said, “I am privileged and honored to be here and I can’t be more proud to introduce our next performer.”
She continued, “I first got to know him when he walked in to audition for ‘American Idol,’ and you know I, like everyone else, was captivated by his stunning and unique voice. I came to adore him, not only for his amazing talent and unique ability, but also for his fearlessness and his refusal to be anything less that what he is – and that is unique, bold, daring, stunning.”
As an aside, earlier in the evening, I had the great pleasure of talking with Abdul about her history of spotting talent, and in particular with another Adam, the TrevorLIVE show’s producer, “So You Think You Can Dance” judge Adam Shankman. Abdul said she helped launch Shankman’s career by hiring him years ago as a dancer for an Academy Awards show she choreographed. So congratulations again Paula, on your ability to spot talent early (and also for your recent Bat Mitzvah in Israel, from which you kindly showed me your IPhone photos.)
The GLEE Gang…
Aside from Riley and Rivera, there were twelve more GLEE stars on the program: Chris Colfer, Dot-Marie Jones, Harry Shum, Jr., Alex Newell, Melissa Benoist, Darren Criss, Becca Tobin, Jenna Ushkowitz, Blake Jenner, Jacob Artist, Kevin McHale and Mark Sailing.
Taking turns at the microphone, they ticked off insults leveled at them by Lynch’s character, Sue Sylvester.
“The iconic Sue Sylvester is possibly the most demeaning, verbally abusive and awful human being to ever appear on our television sets,” said Colfer, aka Kurt Hummel, before launching into his list of remembered slights, his favorite being “twinkle tush.”
“I get a little warm and fuzzy every time I remember you calling me Michael Chiklis with a wig, or even cuter, post-op Michael Chiklis, or John Goodman,” said Jones, aka Shannon Beiste, before adding “Bludoe” to her recollected list.
Shum, Jr., remembered when he and Ushkowitz, i.e., Mike Chang and Tina Cohen-Chang, an unrelated couple, were playing “Chopsticks” on the piano and Lynch suggested the song might be “the national anthem of whatever country the two came from.”
Newell, who plays Unique, said Lynch called him Urethra Franklin.
Benoist, aka Marly Rose, said she was disappointed and hurt that Lynch told her she hadn’t thought of mean nicknames as yet. “Well, Jane, we have a season and a half to go,” she said. “I believe in you.”
“I can safely say I wear everything that you say to me and to Blaine like a proud badge of honor,” said Criss, aka Blaine Anderson, remembering Lynch calling him a gay Clark Kent in season one of “Smallville” and once saying she’d mistaken him for a butch Israeli girl.
Having heard no insults to her alter-ego Kitty Wilde, Tobin rattled off Lynch’s nicknames for her “inspiration,” Santana, some of those including “sand bags, meat sweater, jugs the clown and boobs Magoo.”
“Jane, you once said to me, ‘The rise of China terrifies me and my Cheerios squad is looking a little pale, so it couldn’t hurt to throw a little dash of yellow number 4 into the championship mix.”
Artist and Jenner, aka Jake Puckerman and Ryder Lynn, said they’d never been in a scene with Lynch, so they simply said “Congratulations” and “Peace Out.”
McHale, who plays Artie Abrams, told Lynch that it actually turns him on when she calls his “nerd-centric, crippled character” “wheels” and “muppet Stephen Hawking.”
Sailing said he had a hard time finding quotes. “I’m not going to lie,” he said. “I love you, Jane.”
After the GLEE cast finished chronicling Lynch’s most memorable comments, Ushkowitz told her, “No matter what you say or do on ‘Glee,’ there’s one thing that you never cease to make us or the world do and it’s this… “
The group then sang, “Smile.”
And a Few Words from Jane Lynch…
“This is so overwhelming,” said Lynch, accepting her award after an introduction by longtime pal Jennifer Coolidge.
“I‘d love at this moment to be falsely modest and say that I am no hero,” Lynch said. “I’d love to be able to say what I do is not extraordinary, but I can’t – I deserve this frigging award. I don’t answer the phone at Trevor and talk to kids when they’re in crisis. I don’t do that. I had nothing to do with putting on this gala tonight or this wonderful show, and I don’t even think I give this organization money,” she said, giving as her claim, her role on GLEE, a groundbreaking show, she said, which celebrates people for who they are.
In the end, Lynch said, “I’m actually quite humbled by this all and that’s not an easy thing for me to say. I’m so honored and it’s always a great joy to do anything to be a part of Trevor. I salute you and your incredible life-saving work.”
An Author’s Note…
The whole cast of GLEE makes me smile, too.
Over the years, I’ve met nearly the whole group, including several not present at TrevorLIVE, including Matthew Morrison, Jayma Mays, Dianna Agron, Iqbal Theba, Brad Ellis, Lea Michele and I’m sad to say, Cory Monteith, too.
It’s always heartwarming to see the cast members’ generosity in supporting good causes, whether medical, educational, the arts or Trevor’s crisis counseling. Not only do they use their celebrity to shed light on their causes, but often, they also perform and always, they are gracious to their fans.
So let me add a big “Bravo” for Jane Lynch and to all the cast members, too.
Top photo: Kathy Griffin hosted the Trevor Project’s TrevorLIVE LA with fun irreverence (photo, SocietyNewsLA.com)
Second photo: Jane Lynch received the “Trevor Hero” Award at the Trevor Project’s TrevorLIVE LA (photo, SocietyNewsLA.com)
Third photo: A contingent of cast members from “GLEE” came to chronicle their most memorable Sue Sylvester insults and sing at Trevor Project’s TrevorLIVE LA (photo, SocietyNewsLA.com)
Fourth photo: Jenna Ushkowitz, left, and Darren Criss, right, were among those singing “Smile,” as from left, Blake Jenner, Melissa Benoist, Alex Newell and Dot Marie Jones look on at the Trevor Project’s TrevorLIVE LA (photo, SocietyNewsLA.com)
Fifth photo: Naya Rivera and Brant Daugherty made special appearances at the Trevor Project’s TrevorLIVE LA (photo, SocietyNewsLA.com)
Sixth photo: Fergie Duhamel of “The Black Eyed Peas” watched from the audience as her hubby helped make introductions on stage at the Trevor Project’s TrevorLIVE LA (photo, SocietyNewsLA.com)
Seventh photo: Sia sang “Titanium” at the Trevor Project’s TrevorLIVE LA (photo, SocietyNewsLA.com)
Eighth photo: Jennifer Coolidge delivered the tribute to Lynch at the Trevor Project’s TrevorLIVE LA (photo, SocietyNewsLA.com)
ALSO IN SOCIETY NEWS LOS ANGELES:
Trevor Project’s TrevorLIVE LA
Published Dec. 15, 2013 – Ellen Olivier, Society News LA