Dr. Barbara Ann Teer’s National Black Theatre [NBT] announces the cast of the first workshop production for this year’s cohort of I Am Soul Playwriting Residency by playwright Lee Edward Colston II. Colston’s workshop production of The First Deep Breath will be February 13 – 17, 2019 and will be directed by Malika Oyetimein.
As part of NBT’s Soul Series L.A.B. [Liberating Artistic Bravery], The First Deep Breath will conclude an 18-month residency for Lee Edward Colston II as the institution celebrating NBT’s 50th season which is themed “Liberation: A Journey Beyond Walls.”
The full cast for this workshop production will be: Paris Campbell (Albert), Paris Crayton III (Leslie), SJ Hannah (Abdul Malik), Vanessa A. Jones (Ruth), Drew Shade (Tyree), Cole Taylor (AJ), Chelsea Lee Williams (Dee Dee), C. Kelly Wright (Pearl). NBT is also excited to have on the creative team: Izmir Ickbal (Set/Lights), Elia Chuaqui (Sound), Beylnda Hardin (PSM).
About The First Deep Breath: Pastor Albert Jones plans a special church service to honor his late daughter Diane on the sixth anniversary of her death. But when his eldest son, Abdul-Malik, returns home from prison, the First family of Mother Bethel Baptist Church is forced to confront a hornet’s nest of long-buried secrets. With each member of the Jones clan desperately fighting to stay afloat, sometimes a family that stays together drowns together.
Launched in 2012, I AM SOUL – Playwright Residency Program is the only program in the country that is dedicated to Black playwrights, whose work demonstrates exceptional artistic merit and excellence in the theatrical field, with a commitment to production. Coined as a dream MFA program this eighteen (18) month residency also seeks to unleash the soul of a playwright on the page so that they can develop, hone and explore new ways of artistic expression in a safe, supported and transformative environment. With I AM SOUL, NBT seeks to deepen the artistic relationship between Black theatrical institutions and Black playwrights in order to re-establish Black theatrical institutions as the foremost supporters and producers of new works created by Black playwrights.
Past residents: Mfoniso Udofia, Aurin Squire, Angelica Chéri, Derek Lee McPhatter, Nambi E. Kelley, Dennis A. Allen II
Current residents: Eric Micha Holmes, Lee Edward Colston II, Tracey Conyer Lee & Darrel Holnes.
Tickets for The First Deep Breath are now on sale. www.nationalblacktheatre.org
Shoshana Bean Will Return To Broadway In Waitress
Now, this may seem off-kilter but trust me, it’s not. The producers of Broadway musical Waitress have announced today that Shoshana Bean will take over the role of Jenna on March 18 and will be in the show through May 12, 2019.
Shoshana Bean is a treasure. Her vocal ability and overall presence is a gift that keeps on giving. She was last seen in concert with Cynthia Erivo at The Apollo Theatre and also slaying all the tracks with Mykal Kilgore on the new Songs for a New World remake album. Her latest album Spectrum landed her at #1 on the Billboard Jazz Charts & she made her Broadway debut in the original cast of Hairspray and starred as the first replacement for Elphaba in Wicked. Most recently in the theatre, she appeared as Fanny Brice in Funny Girl and as Cee-Cee Bloom in the new musical adaptation of Beaches.
Shoshana Bean said, “I am thrilled to be coming back to the New York stage in such a special role and show! To get to tell this beautiful woman’s story and sing this extraordinary score is an honor.”
Waitress tells the story of Jenna, a waitress and expert pie-maker who dreams of a way out of her small town and rocky marriage. Pouring her heart into her pies, she crafts desserts that mirror her topsy-turvy life such as “ The Key (Lime) to Happiness Pie” and “Betrayed By My Eggs Pie.” When a baking contest in a nearby county — and a satisfying run-in with someone new — show Jenna a chance at a fresh start, she must find the courage to seize it. Change is on the menu, as long as Jenna can write her own perfectly personal recipe for happiness.
Shoshana will take over the role of Jenna from Stephanie Torns and joins Charity Angél Dawson as Becky & Lenne Klingaman as Dawn. Find out more at waitressthemusical
Adrienne Warren Will Star In Tina The Tina Turner Musical On Broadway
As previously reported, Tina the musical about the iconic entertainer Tina Turner will be headed to Broadway this fall. Announced today, Adrienne Warren who currently stars in the production on The West End through April 13, 2019, will reprise her role for the upcoming Broadway production.
Also released today, the first single from the upcoming Tina – The Tina Turner Musical cast album, featuring Adrienne Warren performing the iconic song “River Deep – Mountain High”. Warren is featured on an accompanying music video of the single also released today. Watch the video below.
“Working on this show has been a life-changing experience for me. Tina’s unshakable courage, grace, and determination have been our constant inspiration, and I am honored to have had the opportunity to be part of this telling of her story. It has been an amazing year in London, working with the incredible Phyllida Lloyd, Katori Hall, and the creative team, in a city that has welcomed me with open arms. Returning home to Broadway, in this role and in this show, is a dream come true”. – Adrienne Warren
“I’m so proud of everything that Adrienne has achieved over the last year in the West End. She has given it everything she’s got, she has poured her soul into it, and she deserves every success. I am thrilled she will be reprising her role in New York, and I cannot wait to see her on that Broadway stage on Opening Night.” – Tina Turner
Dates, venue, and additional casting for Broadway will be announced at a later date
The musical features the original discography of Turner with a book written by Katori Hall (The Mountaintop) with Frank Ketelaar and Kees Prins and directed by Phyllida Lloyd
The creative team also includes choreography by Anthony van Laast, with set and costume designs by Mark Thompson, musical supervision, additional music and arrangements by Nicholas Skilbeck, lighting by Bruno Poet, sound by Nevin Steinberg, projection design by Jeff Sugg and orchestrations by Ethan Popp.