Entertainer and performance artist Andre J. will present the premiere of his new eclectic piece “Excuse Me, Hello,” at the Brooklyn Academy of Music’s “Everybooty” Pride Week party.
“Excuse Me, Hello” is an interactive experience conceived by Andre J. and co-created with and under the direction of choreographer, Polanco Jones, Jr. for the 2019 WorldPride/NYC celebration. The show pays homage to gay and transgender rights activists and pioneers such as Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera.
“One of the most beautiful parts of artistry is being able to stand firm in the truth, whatever that means to the individual,” said Raelle Myrick-Hodges, Creative Director of 651 Arts. “I love artists like Andre who are exciting and unafraid to share their truth in their work. If you are around Andre for 10 seconds their joy, their truth is contagious.”
Andre J., the first black male model to grace the cover of “Vogue Paris,” is a powerhouse in the creative fields of fashion, design, art, film and entertainment.
“I am just so incredibly honored to bring ‘Excuse Me, Hello’ to life as part of WorldPride NYC and on the milestone 50th anniversary of Stonewall,” said Andre J. “All of my work is always rooted in being your most authentic self and with ‘Excuse Me, Hello,’ that is especially true because it pays homage to people who really spearheaded the efforts of the concept of living in your truth, the pioneers of the movement like Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera.
“We would not be here celebrating today without their efforts,” he added. “I feel like it is up to me and artists like me to hold and carry the torch of their legacy, especially in this time when transgender people are being killed just for being their authentic selves, just for existing.”
A special family-friendly version of “Excuse Me, Hello,” entitled “Excuse Me, Hello: Stay Fly Butterfly,” will be presented in a free event in collaboration with the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership at 300 Ashland Plaza on June 28th from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.
The show highlights themes of acceptance, transformation and curated specifically with POC and Queer families in mind.
The free event will also include interactive art projects led by featured visual artist Leo Jiminez and his son, yoga classes given by Alicia M. Morris, a conversation with the show’s creators and presenter as well as music by Antonio Brown, who is known by his stage name, DJ TonyMonkey.
“As New Yorkers come together to celebrate Pride and remember the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising, we are staging two-night theatrical installation of ‘Excuse Me, Hello’ to celebrate the movement here in Downtown Brooklyn,” said Regina Myer, president of the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership. “Andre J.’s performance is all about acceptance and love—messages that capture what Pride is all about. We are excited to bring these bold and beautiful shows to our neighborhood for all to enjoy.”
“Excuse Me, Hello,” will be presented at BAM Fischer, 321 Ashland Place Plaza in Downtown Brooklyn on Saturday, June 29 at 9 p.m.
“There is still work to do and I am committed to doing it,” Andre J. said. “This performance for me is about celebrating and honoring that journey to the highest level. We are going to show up and show out!”