Lloyd Young Premieres Artwork in 'Food For Thought' Exhibit

May 25, 2010

John Lloyd Young
Photo: BWW-Staff

Tony Award-winning actor John Lloyd Young (Jersey Boys, GLEE) joined Grammy-winning and Tony and Emmy-nominated songwriter Allee Willis (The Color Purple, Friends) on Sunday, May 23 to host FOOD FOR THOUGHT, the world premiere exhibition of Young's artwork. Young specializes in Pop Kitsch art, and FOOD FOR THOUGHT spotlights pieces that play off iconic comfort food and drinks, including mac ‘n' cheese, Good & Plenty®, Grape Crush®, and Hungry-Man® frozen dinners. The event was a fundraiser for AIDS Project Los Angeles (APLA). VIP guests included Lesley Ann Warren (Desperate Housewives, Will & Grace), Ricki Lake and Charles Phoenix. FOOD FOR THOUGHT took place at Willis Wonderland, Willis' private studio and home to the world's largest collection of Kitsch.

Young told The LA Times of his recent show, "I never expected to have a show. It keeps me sane as an actor to have something to work on in between shows and auditions," Young said. "Most of (the food) is iconic. The packages never changed. I loved finding ways to play with them. I essentially got to play with my food."

Young describes how he got his inspiration -- "Every time I went to the grocery store, I saw potential. It turned into an art show."

Willis was also happy with the success of Sunday's show; "I wanted my friends to see the work. A lot of artists say the kitsch museum should give me a show. But he (Young) was really deserving. I rarely feel inspired to do something; it's his first show and I'm happy to do that, it was perfect."

Young is best known for his Broadway turn as Frankie Valli in Jersey Boys, for which he won the Tony the same year Willis was nominated. He is also lead singer on the musical's Grammy-winning, platinum soundtrack album.

Among Allee Willis' songwriting credits are "I'll Be There for You" (the hit theme from Friends), "September" and "Boogie Wonderland" (Earth, Wind and Fire) and "Neutron Dance" (The Pointer Sisters). She also wrote the music and lyrics for the Oprah Winfrey-produced Broadway production of The Color Purple, for which she was Tony- and Grammy-nominated.

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