Dyllón Burnside: Up Close and Personal

Music, Cabaret and standards
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Dyllón Burnside in Pose
Photograph: Courtesy JoJo Whilden/FX Dyllón Burnside in Pose

If you've been watching Pose, Ryan Murphy's groundbreaking FX series about Harlem drag balls in the late 1980s, you have probably already fallen for Dyllón Burnside. The actor plays Ricky, the charming, gently flat-topped, dazzlingly wide-smiling street kid who woos Damon, the shy teenage dancer played by Ryan Jamaal Swain. (Ricky seems inspired by Paris Is Burning's similarly crushable Freddie Pendavis, one of that documentary's few surviving subjects and a consultant on Pose.)

What you may not know is that Burnside is a singer as well as an actor, and appeared on Broadway as the baby-faced Anthony in the short-lived 2014 Tupac Shakur musical Holler If Ya Hear Me. On July 23, you'll have chance to get to know him even better at the Cutting Room, where he will perform Up Close and Personal, a charity concert to celebrate the season finale of Pose (which has been renewed for a second season). Swain will make a guest appearance, as will Mj Rodriguez, who plays Blanca—mother of the nascent House of Evangelista—on the show and who demonstrated her own substantial musical-theater chops when she played Angel in the 2011 Off Broadway revival of Rent.

All proceeds will benefit to GLSEN, an organization that works to ensure safe and encouraging school environments for LGBTQ kids.

By: Adam Feldman

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