North Carolina Newspapers is powered by Chronam.
Co-executive producers Chapman Roberts, Norm Lewis
and David Greer.
Andre De Shields
Black Stars of the
Great White Way
UNCSA's Stevens Center
Mon, Aug. 3 9 p.m.
Tickets are $262 -
as part of the Opening Night
The cost per ticket is
$100 for just the "Black Stars I
of the Great White Way"
performance on Opening Night.
Tues, Aug. 4 8 p.m.
Tickets for this
performance are $48
Those fortunate enough to get tickets to "Black
Stars of the Great White Way" will witness
A who's who list of notables will sing, dance or
otherwise charm their way into hearts during a
production that salutes the African-Americans
who have shined brightest on Broadway over the past
Last summer, the show debuted to great fanfare
at the famed Carnegie Hall as a tribute to some of
the black men who have conquered both Carnegie
and Broadway. Norm Lewis, Andre De Shields,
Melba Moore, Alyson Williams, Keith David, Obba
Babatunde, Clifton Davis, Hattie Winston, Jackee
Harry, Dule Hill, Ben Vereen and more than three
dozen other performers celebrated the legacies of
Eubie Blake, Fats Waller, Louis Armstrong, Cab Calloway,
D)uis Jordan, Duke Ellington and Paul Robeson and
bestowed praise upon the night's honorees - Geoffrey
Holder, Louis Johnson, Stephen Byrd, Harold Wheeler,
Noble Sissle, Berry Gordy, Luther Henderson, Donald
McKayle, Robert Guillaume and NBTF Founder Larry
A special staging of the musical retrospective has been
designed for the National Black Theatre Festival. It will
salute some of the many luminaries who have been a part
of the NBTF over the past 25 years. Many of the stars from
the Carnegie Hall debut will take the stage in Winston-Salem,
including Lewis, Winston, Williams, De Shields, Moore,
Wheeler, Babatunde and Harry (a Winston-Salem native).
Also slated to appear are Ebony Jo-Ann, Dawnn Lewis,
Peggy Blu, Jermaine Coles, Jeffrey Anderson-Gunter,
Maurice Hines, Larry Marshall, Longineu Parsons,
Kirk Taylor, Jacob Wheeler and Chapman Roberts,
whose Chapman Roberts Concepts, Inc. is presenting this
musical event. David Alan Bunn is the musical director and
arranger. Roberts, Parsons and Harold Wheeler will also
provide arrangements and orchestrations.
In addition to musical tributes to the Jazz icons
who were celebrated last year, selections from
"Jelly's Last Jam," "Les Miserables," "Bubbling Brown
Sugar "Eubie," "Smokey Joe's Cafe," "Sister Act,"
"Ain't Misbehavia" "Play On!" and other shows will
Roberts, a Broadway legend best known for his musical
directing and arranging, is also the director and co
executive producer, along with Norm Lewis, who made
history recently as Broadways first black "Phantom
of the Opera," and playwright/actor/producer David
Greer. Lewis approached Roberts with the idea of a
tribute in 2011, after Roberts brought together more
than 500 past and present black Broadway performers
- including Samuel L. Jackson and Angela Bassett -
to pose for famed photographer Carmen De Jesus in
"This project came about from so many different ways,
but mainly because 1 had a lot of young men come
up to me and praising me and saying that I was the
reason that they were singing and I gave them so much
encouragement," Lewis told Playbill last year. "1 didn't
realize that 1 had touched people like that. I'm grateful
that that's a part of my legacy. But 1 also looked up to Ben
Vereen and Andre De Shields and Larry Marshall, and 1
said, 'Wow, we need to celebrate them!"
"Black Stars of the Great White Way" has been selected
as the festival's opening night performance, an honor
reserved for the week's most acclaimed production.
It will first be staged after the Opening Night Gala on
Monday, Aug. 3 and then just once more: on the night of
Tuesday, Aug. 4. Its star-power and brief run will surely
make it the hottest ticket in town. |