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It’s that time again!  The 2013 National Black Theatre Festival kicked off in Winston-Salem, NC with a star-studded black-tie gala.  This biennial festival is billed as “An International Celebration and Reunion of Spirit” and will include six days of dynamic performances from over 35 professional Black theatre companies.

Broadway Black stars have shown up and show out this year!

Tony Award winner Tonya Pinkins (Caroline, or Change, Jelly’s Last Jam) is the 2013 celebrity co-chair, along with actor Dorien Wilson (The Parkers).  Pinkins will also perform her new solo show Tonya Pinkins: Unplugged.

Tony nominees S. Epatha Merkerson (Come Back, Little Sheba, The Piano Lesson) and Paul Tazewell (A Streetcar Named Desire, The Color Purple) are among the 2013 NBTF honorees

The legendary Tony Award winning Lillias White (Dreamgirls, Fela!) will perform BIG MAYBELLE: Soul of the Blues, written and directed by Paul Levine.

Two-time Tony Award nominee André De Shields (The Wiz, Ain’t Misbehavin’) will star in Woodie King Jr.’s New Federal Theatre production of Knock Me a Kiss.

Chester Gregory (Sister Act, Hairspray) is back with his new play The Eve of Jackie: A Tribute to Jackie Wilson.

Actor and Playwright Regina Taylor’s (I‘ll Fly Away, The Unit) gospel musical Crowns will be staged by the North Carolina Black Repertory Company

Rain Pryor will perform her off-Broadway hit Fried Chicken & Latkas.

The Negro Ensemble Company presents Women in the Pit starring the 2013 NBTF Sidney Poitier Lifelong Achievement Award Recipient Hal Williams (227, Sanford & Son).

Tony Award nominated Norm Lewis (Porgy & Bess, Les Misérables) and Hattie Winston (The Tap Dance Kid, Hair) are also in attendance along with many other film and television stars.

For more information about the National Black Theatre Festival visit: www.NBTF.org

We’re actually here at the festival this year and we’ll be bringing to reviews and sightings here! Check our instagram as well!

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