I will start this off by saying, CAN SOMEONE WRITE JENIFER LEWIS HER OWN BROADWAY SHOW?
We are lucky to be in a Broadway season that is filled with diverse stories, and a time where social media reigns. Without the two of these things, we might have blocked our blessing by missing Jenifer Lewis sing and slay #InTheseStreets with the cast of Shuffle Along.
Yes, you heard me correctly, Jennifer Lewis and the cast of Shuffle Along SLAYING the hilarious impromptu #InTheseStreets. A song that was originally sung with Brandy and Roz Ryan.
The visit doesn’t just end with Ms. Lewis sharing stories of how the song originated or showing off her dancing skills. Lewis also spent time backstage to offer words of wisdom.
After singing their praises she asked if the cast was happy, which they all replied enthusiastically yes. “Do me a favor,” she says. “This is nice and all, but take care of each other.” Simple, yet important advice I think can be applied to anything really.
While Broadway is known for its great spectacle underneath it all is a family. A community that needs every single person to be doing their job to the best of their ability. It’s not a one-person show, it’s a collaborative effort to ensure they are putting on the best possible show out there.
Jenifer Lewis got her start on Broadway fresh out of college in the production of Eubie! It means even more to her, we’re sure, to see a show that, in part, pays tribute to the rise of Eubie Blake. She also saw Book of Mormon this same day. Lewis was last seen as Motormouth Maybelle in Hairspray on the Broadway stage.
Check out the videos courtesy of Shuffle Along powerhouse Amber Iman below.
Sidenote: Auntie Jenifer STILL GOT IT.
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.