It’s always fun to participate in the throwback pictures on social media. You have to know where you came from to make sure you know where you’re going. Until someone climbs into the wayback machine and digs up your eighth grade dance pictures, that is! Now, some of us have been awesome since forever and Lillias White is definitely one of those someones. In case you didn’t know, long before Lillias White lent her powerful vocals to Disney’s animated classic ‘Hercules’, she had already made her mark on Broadway many times over. The Tony award winning actress understudied the role of ‘Effie’ in the original 1981 production of Dreamgirls. In the 1987 revival she landed the part of ‘Effie’. Now you know we love you so without further adieu, check out this footage of the fabulous Lillias White from opening night in Chicago, Illinois in 1984!
opening night Chicago Ill April 7, 1984
Talent from way back! It’s always a pleasure to take a look at our Broadway Black stars BEFORE we knew they were going to be legends. But, before we say goodbye here is just one more throw back of White singing in The Life as ‘Sonja’, a role which landed her Broadway’s coveted Prestigious Quadruple Crown; a People’s Choice Award, the Outer Critics Award for Best Actress in a Musical, a Drama Desk Award and a Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Musical!
The Life – The Oldest Profession Lillias White (Live on Broadway)
We hope you enjoyed our throwback of Lillias White. She is surely Broadway Black Royalty!
Iconic Entertainer Gregory Hines Honored With a Black Heritage Series Stamp
The U.S. Postal Service honored iconic entertainer Gregory Hines with a Black Heritage Series stamp in a ceremony on January 28th. As the 42nd entry in the series, the stamp featuring a 1988 photo of a smiling Hines is now available at Post Offices and usps.com.
At the ceremony Tony Award winner Savion Glover talked about the role Hines played in elevating tap into an art form and the value of his work. Joining him in the celebration were Maurice Hines, actor, dancer, choreographer, and Hines’ brother; Daria Hines, actress, costume designer, and Hines’ daughter; dancers Chloe and Maud Arnold; Tony Waag, the American Tap Dance Foundation’s artistic director, and tap dancer Jason Samuels Smith.
“I don’t exist without this man,” said Glover, “These young people that you see, they aren’t born without this. We are not here today without this.”
The Chief Postal Inspector, Gary Barksdale, who led the ceremony, said “Gregory Hines was an extraordinary artist in every sense of the word. This Forever stamp pays tribute to his life and career as an actor, singer and most importantly, as a performer whose unique style of tap dancing injected new artistry and excitement into a traditional American form.”
Gregory Hines’ Broadway credits include Eubie!, Sophisticated Ladies, & Comin’ Uptown, all of which garnered him Tony Award nominations. He became a Tony Award winner for his starring role in “Jelly’s Last Jam” in 1992. In 2003 he passed away at 57 years old from cancer.
Casts of Disney’s The Lion King, Frozen, & Aladdin Broadway Celebrate Black History Month
It’s a beautiful time to be Black on Broadway. For Black History Month, the casts of The Lion King, Aladdin, and Frozen on Broadway came together in a celebratory photo shoot with photographer Darnell Bennett involving 35+ company cast members.
Take a look at the behind-the-scenes video above and the accompanying photos below.
Cast members included The Lion King‘s Tryphena Wade, Lawrence Keith Alexander, Brian C. Binion, Lidiwe Dlamini, Donna Michelle Vaughn, LaMar Baylor, Kyle Lamar Mitchell, Bradley Gibson, Jamal Lee Harris, Elisha Bowmans, Ray Mercer, L. Steven Taylor, Bongi Duma, Kimberly Marable, Syndee Winters, Cameron Amandus, Pearl Khwezi, Jaysin McCollum, Angelica Edwards, India Bolds, Bonita Hamilton, Tshidi Manye, & Bravita Threatt.
Also, Noah Ricketts, Aisha Jackson, Donald Jones Jr. of Frozen, and Aladdin‘s Tyler Roberts, Paige Williams, Deonte L Warren, Tiffany Evariste, Major Attaway, Amber Owens, Jamie Kasey Patterson, April Holloway, Kathryn Allison, Ariel Reid, Juwan Crawley, Trent Saunders, Dennis Stowe, and Stanley Martin.
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