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Monday January 24th

PlayMakers gets 'Twisted' for a good cause

<p>Schuyler mastain performs "Burn" from Hamilton at Local 506 on Monday to help raise awareness for HIV/AIDS with Broadway Twisted.</p>
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Schuyler mastain performs "Burn" from Hamilton at Local 506 on Monday to help raise awareness for HIV/AIDS with Broadway Twisted.

Don't get it twisted.

Monday night, Local 506 hosted the fifth annual Broadway Twisted — a show that's dedicated to the North Carolina AIDS Action Network and Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.

All proceeds from the event are being split between these organizations, both of which are a part of the ongoing fight against HIV and AIDS.

PlayMakers Repertory Company has hosted Broadway Twisted since UNC graduate Nathaniel Claridad came up with the idea for the show. This year, Schuyler Mastain, a third-year graduate acting student with PlayMakers, was the show's producer.

Mastain, who sang "Burn" from "Hamilton," said the show differs from most of the acts Local 506 puts on throughout the year.

“It’s a gender-bending cabaret performance of Broadway show tune musical numbers,” he said.

Other songs in the show included "Spanish Rose" from "Bye Bye Birdie," "All That Jazz" from "Chicago" and "Summer Nights" from "Grease."

The unique set-up, along with the fundraising for HIV/AIDS awareness and support, brought a lot of students and the Chapel Hill community to the event.

“This is a fundraiser that benefits real people’s lives," Mastain said. "People do show up. They do arrive."

Indeed, the house was packed by the time the lights dimmed signaling the start of the show.

A large sign lit and styled in traditional show tune fashion hung over the stage where a five-piece band and each of the 12 performers shared their talents for the night.

Many of the pieces had comedic elements about them, while a few struck a more serious note.

However, the reversed gender theme and speeches during intermissions centered around HIV/AIDS, and called not only for raising awareness, but also for expressing the importance of supporting those whose lives have been impacted by HIV/AIDS.

Sophomore Collin Williams said he appreciated people using their talents for a great cause.

"I’m so glad we as a community at Chapel Hill — and just in the performing arts world in general — take the time to go and support this because it has affected us so much in the past," he said.

Matt Martin, grassroots advocacy coordinator for the N.C. AIDS Action Network, was in attendance to speak for the cause and to get those who attended involved in supporting the fight. He said that while some may try to downplay the importance of the fight against AIDS, the fight is still far from over.

“In North Carolina, we have about 37,000 people living with HIV and about 1.2 million in the United States," Martin said. 

"It’s still a very real thing.”

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