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Rainbow on the Green

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The downtown party event returns with exquisite talent.

by Barrett White

Derrick Barry as Britney Spears. Photo by SanPedroStudio.com

Houston’s fourth annual LGBT concert event “Rainbow on the Green” returns to Discovery Green for a citywide celebration with an electrifying dance party to begin Pride Week on Friday, June 20.

“This is our fourth year continuing to grow,” Discovery Green president Barry Mandel says. “[It’s a] great way to kick off Pride Week in Houston.”

This preeminent downtown Pride celebration features Chad Pitt of Mix 96.5 as the emcee, and performances by Derrick Barry, known for his Britney Spears impersonations and appearances on America’s Got Talent; Michelle Chamuel, The Voice contestant and season-four runner-up; and the singer-songwriter, billboard-topper, and American Idol season-six runner-up, Blake Lewis.

Derrick Barry got his start when he was in the audience at The Tonight Show and Jay Leno picked him out of the crowd while Britney Spears was on the show promoting her album In the Zone. It was only the second time Barry had dressed as Britney, and he cites that night as one of the most exciting moments of his career. Since then, Barry has been impersonating Britney Spears internationally, following Spears’s tour. He is currently developing his career as an actor, comedian, singer, dancer, and female impersonator. “He was hugely popular last time he appeared for Rainbow on the Green, and based [on] demand, we’re bringing him back,” Mandel says. “He’s just great fun to watch.”

Michelle Chamuel. Photo by Michelle Davidson-Schapiro.
Michelle Chamuel. Photo by Michelle Davidson-Schapiro.

Michelle Chamuel will also command the Rainbow on the Green stage on June 20. Known for her music steeped in melodic cores and strong emotion, the self-proclaimed introvert and former frontwoman for the Michigan electronic-rock band Ella Riot is currently the lady of the hour who placed second on season four of NBC’s The Voice. Her infectious pop-anthem “Go Down Singing” was released last year, to major acclaim.

Blake Lewis, American Idol runner-up and philanthropist, is known not only for his skills as a singer and songwriter, but also as a talented beat-boxer. Throughout American Idol’s sixth season, he wowed judges with his renditions of songs by everyone from The Supremes to The Cure, John Lennon, and even Bon Jovi. His vocal prowess is obvious, and has taken him past Idol with an increasingly lucrative career that has included guest appearances on The Today Show, Live!, and The View. Lewis has also released an album titled A.D.D. (Audio Day Dream) to critical acclaim. Just for fun, aside from his career as a performer, Lewis—who is clearly eye candy—was fifth on the list of the 10 sexiest Idol contestants, and also listed in People Magazine’s list of “Hottest Bachelors of 2007.”

Blake Lewis
Blake Lewis

Beneath the nighttime expanse of twinkling skyscrapers and cool summer breezes, Rainbow on the Green showcases

LGBT and ally talent for a like-minded audience, culminating in a citywide dance party like no other. In only its fourth year of existence, Rainbow has brought to the stage performers such as Thelma Houston, Crystal Waters, and Chris Cox for unforgettable nights in downtown’s Convention District. “You don’t get a more beautiful, fun outdoor event celebrating Pride than Rainbow on the Green,” Mandel says.

What: Rainbow on the Green
When: Friday, June 20, 7 p.m.
Where: Discovery Green, 1500 McKinney
Details: Free admission. Blankets, lawn chairs, and picnics are welcome and encouraged. Party fouls: no glass containers or alcohol—beer and wine are available for purchase at the event.

Share your “Rainbow” experience with the hashtags #DGRainbow and #discoverygreen. Rainbow on the Green is made possible by Land Rover Houston Central and Legacy Community Health Services.

For more information, log on to discoverygreen.com/rainbow.

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Barrett White

Barrett White is a regular contributor to OutSmart Magazine.
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