A new musical is in the works about the life of actor and transgender activist Alexandra Billings. Titled “S/He and Me,” the musical will receive an industry workshop presentation in March of 2024 as a precursor to an expected Broadway bow. The musical is being produced by Tom D’Angora and Michael D’Angora, along with co-producers Schmengie, Inc.
Joanne Gordon will direct the spring workshop of the musical, which features a book by Billings and an original score by Andre Catrini. Billings will star as herself.
Having performed many roles on stage and screen, Billings, who has been acting since 1968, made her Broadway debut originating the role of Waxy Bush in Richard Bean’s 2018 comedy “The Nap.” In 2020, Billings joined the long-running Broadway musical “Wicked,” becoming the first openly transgender performer to play the role of Madame Morrible. On-screen, Billings appeared as Davina Rejennae in the Amazon series “Transparent.” Billings is the author of her memoir, “This Time for Me” (penned with Gordon), which was released in April of 2022.
Billings has lived with AIDS since 1995; her LGBTQ+ and HIV/AIDS activism culminated in her moderation of a panel on transgender rights in America at the White House during the Obama administration. She is the recipient of many awards, including a Visibility Award from the Human Rights Campaign. She holds a master’s in fine arts in acting and is a tenured professor at the University of Southern California. Billings is married to her high school sweetheart, Chrisanne Blankenship, whom she met in 1976.
“S/He and Me” is described by producers as “a powerful exploration of identity, love and resilience.” Spanning five decades, from lows of drug abuse, prostitution and homelessness, to highs in marriage and being in the spotlight, “S/He and Me” weaves together a coming-of-age story of lies, friends being swept away by the plague, Billings’ determination to establish a career that would break boundaries and of the recognition of her own power.
“I know that when I was twelve years old, had there been a show like this, it would have saved me three separate suicide attempts,” Billings said in a statement. “‘S/He and Me’ is a reminder of our responsibility to humanity — trans or not. Our story resonates with a truth that needs to be told. This time for us!”
Further casting and a date for the spring workshop, as well as details about a full production, will be announced.