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Celebrity Takeover

Head of Passes Starring Phylicia Rashad Extends + Win Two Tickets

Drew Shade

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The Broadway Black approved production of Head of Passes by Tarell Alvin McCraney has officially been extended and rightfully so. It will now play until April 24th at the Public Theater. Tony Award winner Phylicia Rashad leads the cast as Shelah, a woman who “must fight to survive the rising flood of life’s great challenges” as her family and friends come to celebrate her birthday.

Completing the cast and telling this moving story is Alana Arenas (The Bluest Eye) as “Cookie”, Francois Battiste (Bronx Bombers) as “Aubrey”, Kyle Beltran (The Fortress of Solitude) as “Crier”, J. Bernard Calloway (All the Way) as Spencer, Robert Joy as “Dr. Anderson”, John Earl Jelks (Holler If Ya Hear Me) as “Creaker Johnson”, and Arnetia Walker (Dreamgirls) as “Mae”.

It’s also time for a giveaway and this is a really special one for us! The return of “Mutha”, aka Phylicia Rashad, to an Off-Broadway stage is nothing to be taken lightly. She is currently serving the people all kinds of master class skills in the production of Head of Passes at The Public Theater. You can’t NOT see this show so, we want to give you the opportunity to do so.

If you don’t know why we’re so adamant about making sure you see it, read about our experience in our #WeWereThere article HEREAfter you’ve finished that and you’re clearly sold on the experience, follow the rules below to qualify to win a pair of tickets to the April 22nd performance. There will be more than one winner and each winner will receive a pair of tickets to that show ONLY. If you can’t make it on that date you can still purchase tickets HERE.

How to WIN!:

1. Must be following @BroadwayBlack & @PublicTheaterNY on twitter

2. Like our Broadway Black Facebook page HERE!

3. Comment below & tell us: What has been your greatest challenge in life & why?!

Must enter before Wed April 20th at 5pm! Winners will be announced on that same day at 7pm!

 

Check out Head of Passes production photos by Joan Marcus below!

Giveaway made possible by our friends at PPLMVR! Thank you!

 

Founder/Editor-In-Chief of BroadwayBlack.com | Actor | Artist | 1/3 of @OffBookPodcast | Theatre connoisseur | All Audra Everything | Caroline over Change | I'm Not Charl Brown | Norm Lewis is my play cousin | Producing an all-black production of Mame starring Jenifer Lewis in my head

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22 Comments

22 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Sarah Packard

    April 4, 2016 at 5:42 PM

    My biggest challenge, and it’s an ongoing one unfortunately, has been battling chronic depression…it has affected my life in so many ways, making some of the simplest everyday tasks sometimes feel impossible, and draining my self-confidence and self-esteem. But, I’m determined to be a survivor!!

  2. Avatar

    S. Patrick Nugent

    April 4, 2016 at 5:59 PM

    My biggest challenge in life has been poor self-image. You know, never feeling good enough? Finding something special inside can be hard when those around you make you feel like you’re less than because of how you look, how you don’t blend in, and how you haven’t reached all your goals. But I’ve fought negative thoughts and hurtful words to see the light inside myself and I know there is so much for me in the world that I can seize if I believe in myself. Amen.

  3. Avatar

    Alicia Carroll

    April 4, 2016 at 6:00 PM

    Being more ambitious than you think your anxiety can handle. Wanting to succeed in all that you do but realizing the pressure of challenging yourself, forces you to compromise self care. Which impedes your ability to succeed, so you try harder, etc.

  4. Avatar

    Sandra Senajor

    April 4, 2016 at 7:24 PM

    My biggest challenge is growing up and being bullied because I was African and being over over obese. There where times I thought I wouldn’t be able to to make it the next day because it was just to much to handle. As time went on I’ve manged to loose 120 lbs during the past 8 months and starting to love myself .. There are days when I cry because I feel the way I did growing up every time I look in the mirror…. Self love and respect is my main source in life I want to accomplish … Not the materialistic things people kill for

  5. Avatar

    Alison Williams

    April 4, 2016 at 7:51 PM

    My biggest challenge has been my speech impediment. I’ve been stuttering since I was 3 years old and it is something that I deal with everyday. Simple tasks such as introducing myself to new people cause extreme anxiety for me. In the past, stuttering caused me to be extremely shy and quiet, but through a theater group for kids and teens who stutter (The Stuttering Association for the Young formerly known as Our Time Theatre Company), I was able to gain a great deal of confidence both on and off stage. Though stuttering is still something I struggle with, I am constantly pushing myself to go outside of my comfort zone and let my voice be heard.

  6. Avatar

    Yemie

    April 4, 2016 at 7:54 PM

    My greatest challenge is to know myself. I can do all the things and accomplish anything, as long as I know who i really am. I want to live for me. Wake up in the morning and recognize the person in the mirror to be true, honest, and willing to learn, as well as change. I want to love, and not feel ashamed. I want to be loved and feel comfortable. I want to smile, and have it be for no one else but me. I want to cry and have it be for everyone else. I want to laugh and let my heart open further than my chest.

  7. Avatar

    Natalie Chapman

    April 4, 2016 at 8:00 PM

    My biggest challenge has been and still is saying no! You don’t have to do everything or feel guilty for putting yourself first! I constantly put others before myself and their happiness and its time I think about ME!

  8. Avatar

    Lori M. Legette

    April 4, 2016 at 9:44 PM

    My biggest challenge has been living without my father since his passing on March 20, 2015. I feel like I’m going through the motions since he took his last breathe. Life has just been passing me by and I’m not sure how to come from out of this cloud, I’ve lost my house, some friends and a few family members and although I know my dad wouldn’t be happy with this, I can’t seem to shake this blah feeling.

  9. Avatar

    James Mercer

    April 4, 2016 at 10:34 PM

    My biggest challenge is living with a mental illness. I was officially diagnosed almost a year ago, but I’ve been dealing with the symptoms since I was 17. It’s at its worst in springtime. My moods can fly off the handle and sometimes I find myself doing things that I cannot stop myself from doing. There are days when I feel like I could literally fly, and then there are days where I’m absolutely miserable. Both can make doing simple tasks difficult. I’ve even had moments where I hallucinate. My illness has robbed me of a lot: my peace of mind, security, relationships, sleep, and motivation, but I still have hope. I thought it would rob me of my joy for theatre, but it hasn’t. Being an actor helps me face this illness head on by allowing me to take the things that are happening to me and spin them into positive energy. Along with treatment, I’m learning how to fight this battle and hold onto this wonderful gift of theatre. I don’t win every battle, but as challenging as it may be, I have hope that I won’t lose the war.

  10. Avatar

    MarieLucieFrancois

    April 4, 2016 at 10:56 PM

    It’s all about perception. After reading others challenges, I realize that I am blessed. What I considered a challenge is minor. Best wishes to all in the contest!

  11. Avatar

    Tameishiap

    April 5, 2016 at 12:42 AM

    I’d say my biggest challenge has and still remains trying to help my sister become the best version of herself. Although I accept her as she is, I see so much potential for her to be greater despite what she has been through. My greatest challenge is trying to help her see it, all the while, being present for my nieces during their developmental years and of support for my mom who’s raising 3 young ladies over again. I continue to pray for all of their strength and my own. My God always provide.

  12. Avatar

    Sekou Laidlow

    April 6, 2016 at 9:36 AM

    My biggest challenge is prioritizing my time around what I aspire to accomplish in a way that yields the most purpose.

  13. Avatar

    Garland Thompson Jr.

    April 6, 2016 at 1:51 PM

    Dealing with the death of my father, and electing to continue his non profit theatre company, and its 43 year legacy. The gut punch of losing him has, at times, been near paralyzing, and the lack of a clear succession plan has been, simultaneously at times, exciting and terrifying. We are moving forward, and that’s exciting! Sometimes though, it’s been like being stuck in the mud, and you’re just trying to dig the car out so you can keep going forward.

  14. Avatar

    B. Mary

    April 7, 2016 at 1:20 PM

    Post grad. stress is real. Very real! Well, if you let it get to you or if you went straight to working your dream job. I went from being so sure of knowing what I want out of my career to not really being sure. Maybe because I had something different in mind. I didn’t expect to be where I am now career wise after graduating college. The field I’m in is not an easy one, so when things don’t work out I’m either testing the waters or doubting. Much of it has to do with the fact that I let my current circumstances define who I am. Rejection, does not define me. I have to constantly remind myself that it is simply just God’s redirection to something better. My greatest challenge has been letting go and trusting the process. By doing so I have found comfort in the uncomfortable journey of getting out of my comfort zone. I’ve even started blogging about it. For an introverted theater girl, that’s pretty uncomfortable. But letting go is much more rewarding. I look forward to seeing Head of Passes, it’s great to see plays like this. Have faith- BELIEVE, you’re closer than you think!

    P.S
    I’m a proud Re-tweeter of BroadwayBlack 🙂 lol

  15. Avatar

    Jess

    April 14, 2016 at 1:01 PM

    My biggest challenge to date has been the uprooting of my entire life in Texas and relocating to NYC in pursuit of a dream. There have been many bouts of loneliness, frustration, and defeat, but I am undoubtedly a much better person as a result. This experience has taught me resilience, adaptability, and the art of remaining cool when life turns up the heat. I wouldn’t trade my rime here for anything and I am absolutely excited to see to what happens next 🙂

  16. Avatar

    Corey

    April 14, 2016 at 1:36 PM

    My biggest challenge in life has been my fight with lupus. I have had been through chemotherapy, suffered a heart attack, and currently battling kidney complications. Through my struggles, every day I wake up knowing I have a reason and a purpose to fulfil and that keeps me going. It is a daily struggle, but with each breath, I know that I have purpose.

  17. Avatar

    Charisse Myers

    April 15, 2016 at 12:38 PM

    My greatest challenge in life has been learning how to be myself in spaces that were not “made for me”. Let me explain: Ever since I was 10 years old I have been playing field hockey. It’s a sport that I immediately fell in love with even though I knew nothing of it previously. However, because of a variety of reasons, field hockey is almost entirely white. Putting myself into this space at such a young age meant that I had to learn how to deal with micro-aggressions, and sometimes blatant racism, early on. I often struggled with a sense of identity because I was typically the only black girl for miles, and although I had wonderful parents at home to constantly encourage me, they couldn’t completely block out the sense of loneliness I felt. I would hear people say things like, “well you know, black girls don’t play this sport”, or “Charisse, I don’t think this is for you”. How could doing something you love be “not for you”? Also, since I was typically the only black girl, or person of color in general, that my teammates were around, I constantly felt the unfair burden of having to represent blackness. As a senior in college, I still feel that burden. But, at some point in time, something clicked. I don’t know if it was because of seeing black women like Misty Copeland, Audra McDonald, Shonda Rhimes, Viola Davis, Danai Gurira, and more excel in their perspective, white-dominated fields, or if it was from engaging in the community and solidarity that can be found on Twitter; I’m not sure what caused it. But the outcome was this: I realized that no matter what it is that I decide to take part in, I don’t need anyone’s approval but Gods’ to step into it fully. I can just be. I can be unapologetically myself as a black woman and take pride in that. Now I can say that I’ll be graduating from college Cum Laude, am a three time Academic All-American, and was recognized as first team all-New Jersey Athletic Conference in field hockey in my last season. I can’t wait to see where my future goes from here, because I know that it will be perfectly made for me.

    ps: Sorry for making this crazy long lol. Thank you for all that you do! (twitter: @Charissemarciaa)

  18. Avatar

    Cat

    April 18, 2016 at 10:37 PM

    My biggest challenge is re-conceptualizing how I’ve come to define fear and learning to live beyond it. As blacks, we face countless endeavors that attempt to seduce us into the security of mediocrity. I’ve personally been fearful of not being liked, being perceived in a certain way or just just not being good enough. This has made me fearful of being myself for much of my life and thereby seduced me into reducing who I am am to fit into the expectations that surround me.Thus, my biggest challenge is finding the courage to be all shades of me, unapologetically.

    Fear helps you settle at the bottom, courage allows you to rise to the top. In order to truly be great or achieve greatness you cannot be afraid, and I’m done being fearful <3 Cheers.

  19. Avatar

    Sandra Senajor

    April 19, 2016 at 12:24 AM

    My biggest challenge is growing up and being bullied because I was African and being over over obese. There where times I thought I wouldn’t be able to to make it the next day because it was just to much to handle. As time went on I’ve manged to loose 120 lbs during the past 8 months and starting to love myself .. There are days when I cry because I feel the way I did growing up every time I look in the mirror…. Self love and respect is my main source in life I want to accomplish … Not the materialistic things people kill for

  20. Avatar

    Sandra Senajor

    April 19, 2016 at 11:14 PM

    My biggest challenge is growing up and being bullied because I was African and being over over obese. There where times I thought I wouldn’t be able to to make it the next day because it was just to much to handle. As time went on I’ve manged to loose 120 lbs during the past 8 months and starting to love myself .. There are days when I cry because I feel the way I did growing up every time I look in the mirror…. Self love and respect is my main source in life I want to accomplish … Not the materialistic things people kill for

  21. Pingback: 66th Annual Outer Critics Circle Nominations Are Here!

  22. Avatar

    Melanie Mogul

    April 20, 2016 at 5:00 PM

    The greatest challenge in my life has been my attempt to break into the entertainment industry as a screenwriter and playwright. It wasn’t until I was a freshman in college that I discovered I had a measure of writing talent, when my English professor asked my permission to submit an essay I’d written to a campus-wide writing contest. I ended up winning the contest — a great confidence booster for me — and soon after graduating, began a career as a writer-editor of nonfiction. As much as I enjoyed the work, however, I knew I wanted something more..and after a brief stint working in casting on the set of a movie that filmed in my North Carolina town, I found myself “bit” by the entertainment bug, and realized that what I wanted was to write fiction…in Hollywood. Since that time, I’ve managed to read nearly every book on writing and producing for the industry available at my public library, I’ve taught myself screenwriting, and I continue to work hard to perfect my craft. Though I still have yet to reach my goal of actually selling a screenplay in Hollywood, gifted performers like actress Phylicia Rashad, one of my personal favorites, inspire me to keep honing my craft and putting compelling words on paper, in hopes of one day seeing them acted out on the stage and screen. I look forward to seeing “Head of Passes” before it closes this week, and pray that Ms. Rashad will one day read something I’ve written and decide she wants to bring the role to life. Breaking into the industry as a writer, then, has definitely been my greatest life-challenge to date…but it’s been one incredibly fulfilling, character-building journey, all the same.

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Celebrity Takeover

Tituss Burgess Has New Music, A New Movie, & No Time For Mess + The Preacher’s Wife Musical Update

Broadway Black

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Tituss Burgess' Saint Tituss EP cover
Tituss Burgess' Saint Tituss EP cover

On Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen, Tituss Burgess gave us an update on his musical adaptation of the 1996 movie, The Preacher’s Wife – starring Denzel Washington and Whitney Houston. On the late-night talk show, a viewer called in to ask if there had been any updates regarding the show and Burgess shared that:

“ We are very close to signing with a hot-shot producer in New York, which means that the show is closer to appearing in London or here. But there’s also a recent development which could delay it for the better. You’ll find out about it later”

So not only do we know that the musical is still on its way to bless us, but there is an announcement about the show on the way! If you ask me, this is incredibly exciting. Tituss Burgess’ career has gone from stage to screen, and his abilities as an actor and singer are undeniable. Knowing that we are closer to seeing his skills as a musical theatre composer is mad exciting. Watch a clip from the interview above.

While we wait for The Preacher’s Wife Musical, listen to Burgess’ newly released EP Saint Tituss. Burgess sings his face off as he skillfully talks about issues that are personal and political — all while wrapping things up with a joyous celebration of resilience as positivity. He also has two songs that feature Daniel J. Watts including the single 45

St. Tituss is available on Spotify, apple music, and other streaming platforms.

He also has a new movie on the way. “Dolemite Is My Name” starring Eddie Murphy along with Burgess, Mike Epps, Chris Rock, & more will premiere at the Toronto Film Festival. A national release date has not been set as of yet but is sure to be on its way.

 

While discussing the new movie during the same interview, Cohen asked Burgess about his relationship with Murphy. The way Cohen presented the question insinuates there might have been a problem between the two because of a ‘problematic past with the gays’ on Murphy’s part. The response given by Burgess is swift and loaded with “you tried it, but you won’t get me”:

“He wasn’t problematic for Tituss. We had a wonderful time. We talked about Dreamgirls and he should have won the Oscasr, I believe. He was great. Any troubles he may have had with gay people I guess are gone because he loved me.”

It is the following facial expression and the interaction that comes afterward that makes live television great. You can see Burgess say something to someone off-camera which leads Cohen to ask what he’s saying. Burgess replies with a soon-to-be iconic response to everything: “Keep going, girl. Do your show.”

and this is why we live.

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Cast List

Amber Riley & MJ Rodriguez Will Star in Little Shop of Horrors

Drew Shade

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Amber Riley and Mj Rodriguez

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Olivier Award winner for her portrayal of Effie White in London’s West End production of DreamgirlsAmber Riley (Dreamgirls UK) and Pose star Mj Rodriguez will star in a reimagined production of Little Shop of Horrors at Pasadena Playhouse in California.

Riley will take on the iconic voice of Audrey II while Rodriguez will star as Audrey alongside George Salazar (Be More Chill) as Seymour.

The show will run from Sept. 17-Oct. 20 with an official opening set for Sept. 25.

Little Shop of Horrors is considered a classic. It’s a horror-comedy rock musical with music by Alan Menken and lyrics and a book by Howard Ashman. The story follows a hapless florist shop worker who raises a plant that feeds on human blood and flesh. It debuted Off-Broadway in 1982 and the movie version of 1986 introduced the world to young talents of Gina and Pam Tisha Campell and Tichina Arnold.

Directed by Mike Donahue, the design team includes scenic design by Dane Laffrey; costume design by Danae McQueen; lighting design by Josh Epstein; sound design by Veronika Vorel; and choreography and puppet design by Sean Cawelti.

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Twitter: @BroadwayBlack

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