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Broadway Stars Unite To Celebrate LGBTQ Families Through Song


Broadway Stars Unite To Celebrate LGBTQ Families Through Song

Christopher and Clay Rice-Thomson hope to build a family of their own one day. But for now, they’ve channeled their paternal instincts into a heartfelt musical project.

The New York-based actors and real-life husbands are featured on “The Rainbow Lullaby,” a new 25-track collection that’s been billed as the world’s first lullaby album created specifically for LGBTQ families. Together, the couple imitate dogs, cats, pigs and horses on “Go to Sleep (The Animal Song),” a standout track.

“During the recording session, I pictured singing this song to our future kids and it tugged right at my heartstrings,” Chris, who starred in “The Book of Mormon” on Broadway and is touring the U.S. with “Hamilton,” told HuffPost in an interview. “The fact that our kids will listen to this lullaby album someday made that experience and this whole album feel even more special and personal for us both.”

Listen to “Go to Sleep (The Animal Song)” below.

The song, written by Fred Sauter, also gave the pair a chance to show off their comedic chops. “We are both really expressive people and we love to goof off and make people laugh,” said Clay, who appeared in “Newsies” and “Matilda the Musical” on Broadway. “When prompted to create some animal sounds, we had so much fun.”

The Rice-Thomsons are among a host of stars featured on “The Rainbow Lullaby,” unveiled Thursday. Lauren Patten, who nabbed a Tony last month for her performance in “Jagged Little Pill,” is featured on “Home of Three,” while “Come From Away” star Jenn Colella is part of a quartet on “Family Means.” Written by seven-time Oscar nominee Marc Shaiman, Susie Mosher’s “Your Own Sweet Family” is a standout.

Jenn Colella (left) in Broadway's "Come From Away" in 2017.
Jenn Colella (left) in Broadway’s “Come From Away” in 2017.

Theo Wargo via Getty Images

Released Thursday on Broadway Records, “The Rainbow Lullaby” was created by actor and artist Ryan Bauer-Walsh. The album is a tribute to his mother, Nancy, who died of cancer last year, with proceeds benefiting the Ali Forney Center, the country’s largest advocacy organization for homeless LGBTQ youth.

“My mother was always always giving back, working at food shelves, churches, and schools,” said Bauer-Walsh, who is also based in New York. “Now it is my turn to pass that love on, and give back something to the community that has given me so much.”

Ultimately, Bauer-Walsh is hopeful that “The Rainbow Lullaby” will “give a face to the modern queer family” and “voice to a community long seeking the warmth of a lullaby.”

“The idea that I can share the love my mother gave me with the world in the sweet dreams of children’s lullabies won’t bring her back, but it will help her live forever,” he added, “and for that, I will always be a grateful person.”

Listen to “The Rainbow Lullaby” in full here.

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