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Kareem Lucas’ The Maturation of an Inconvenient Negro (or ‘iNegro’) Kicks Off Cherry Lane Theatre’s Mentor Project

Drew Shade



Cherry Lane Theatre Kicks-Off Mentor Project With THE MATURATION OF AN INCONVENIENT NEGRO (OR INEGRO)

Cherry Lane Theatre is proud to kick-off its Obie Award-winning Mentor Project with this year’s first production, The Maturation of an Inconvenient Negro (or iNegro) written by and starring Kareem M. Lucas, mentored by Craig ‘muMs’ Grant. The Maturation of an Inconvenient Negro is directed by David Mendizábal and began performances on Wednesday, February 20 and runs through March 2 at the Cherry Lane Theatre (38 Commerce Street, NYC). Tickets are $25 ($60 for a three-show membership) and can be purchased by visiting or by calling 866-811-4111.

This solo show of heightened poetry and raw self-reflection takes the audience on the subversive journey of a young Black man coming into himself, as he struggles to break free of what he holds onto most tightly. In iNegro – No one is safe. Nothing is sacred.

This marks the first show of three Mentor Project productions. Upcoming productions include three girls never learnt the way home, written by Matthew Paul Olmos and mentored by Taylor Mac (March 13 – 23, 2019) and The Climb written by C.A. Johnson and mentored by Martyna Majok (April 3 – 13, 2019). Casting and creative team TBA.

Craig ‘muMs’ Grant (left) & Kareem Lucas for Cherry Lane Theatre’s 2019 Mentor Project

The creative team includes set design by Wilson Chin, costumes by Dede Ayite, lighting design by Cha See, sound design and composer Mauricio Escamilla, and Kristy Bodall is the Production Stage Manager.

The Mentor Project, winner of an Obie Award for its dedication to helping early-career playwrights develop new work, each year partners an emerging author with a seasoned professional for a year of script work, rewrites, casting, rehearsals and a full production at Cherry Lane. Mentor Project is also the recipient of the James Kirkwood Award for American Playwrights.

This marks the 21st year if the Mentor Project which has helped develop works by playwrights such as Jocelyn Bioh, Katori HallRajiv Joseph, and Antoinette Nwandu.

Founder/Editor-In-Chief of | 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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Happy Jackie Washington Day! Get Into All That Is Jenifer Lewis!

Broadway Black



Jenifer Lewis as Dolly Levi in Hello, Dolly! Photo by Curt Doughty

Jenifer Lewis as Dolly Levi in Hello, Dolly! Photo by Curt Doughty

Don’t act like you don’t know what day it is. Today is July 15th. A day that is undoubtedly in one of the top spots for the most celebrated made-up holidays in the world. It’s Jackie Washington Day. An icon made famous by the incomparable Black mother of Hollywood, Jenifer Lewis. If you’ve never watched the film Jackie’s Back to witness the outstanding performance Lewis gives as Jackie Washington you need to go to drop everything and watch it ASAP!

Presented as a mockumentary, Jackie’s Back chronicles the life and career of Jackie Washington (Jenifer Lewis), a 1960s/1970s R&B diva. After several years of toiling in obscurity, Washington decides to organize her own comeback concert with filmmaker Edward Whatsett St. John (Tim Curry) filming the event.

Jackie’s Back is a cult classic and is simply timeless although the filmed was released 20 years ago, June 14, 1999. Directed by the legendary Robert Townsend,  the film also starred David Hyde Pierce, Tim Curry, & Whoopi Goldberg with special appearances by Diahann Carroll, Liza Minnelli, Rosie O’Donnell, Chris Rock, Bette Midler, Charles Barkley, Don Cornelius, and many more!

However, Jenifer Lewis is so much more than that one iconic role and she proves it over and over.

She graced the Broadway stage on more than one occasion. If you read her book “The Mother of Black Hollywood” you’ll learn all about her theatre background. She was last seen as Motormouth Maybelle in the Broadway musical Hairspray in 2008.

However, Lewis made her Broadway debut as a replacement in the original company of Eubie! in 1978. She later went on to be a part of the original company of Comin’ Uptown (1979) & Rock ‘N Roll! The First 5,000 Years (1982).

She also keeps us cackling on ABC’s Black-ish:

We’ll never forget her in “What’s Love Got to do with It” or “In Living Color!”:

But let us not forget the amazing words of wisdom she’s laid upon us:

It can’t be lost on you how much of a treasure Jenifer Lewis is. Give her her things on this day and every other day. She deserves.

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Meet The Press: Loy A. Webb’s The Light Now Running Off-Broadway

Drew Shade



McKinley Belcher III, Mandi Masden, Logan Vaughn, & Loy A. Webb Photo by Drew Shade

MCC Theater presents the first show in their new home on 52nd street. It’s the New York Premiere of The Light by Loy A. Webb and directed by Logan Vaughn.

Broadway Black had the chance to meet with the entire company. The cast of The Light features Drama Desk Award winner McKinley Belcher III and Mandi Masden.

Not every marriage proposal goes as planned. Loy A. Webb’s The Light introduces us to Rashad and Genesis on what should be one of the happiest days of their lives, but their joy quickly unravels when ground-shifting accusations from the past resurface in this gripping two-character drama. Can their relationship survive the growing divide between them over who- and what – to believe? Directed by Logan Vaughn, The Light is a reckoning that unfolds in real-time and peels away the layers of truth, doubt, pain, and ultimately the power of love.

The Light currently in previews officially opens February 10, 2019, and runs thru March 17, 2019

The creative team includes scenic design by Kimie Nishikawa, costume design by Emilio Sosa, lighting design by Ben Stanton, sound design by Elisheba Ittoop.

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