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Awards Nominees & Winners

Montego Glover Talks Les Misérables, How She Keeps Going & More

April Reign



Montego Glover is a consummate Broadway professional. She recently appeared on Broadway in It Shoulda Been You, which played its final performance on August 9. She earned a Tony nomination in 2010 for Memphis and made her Broadway debut in The Color Purple. Currently, Glover plays the role of Fantine in Les Misérables. Broadway Black had an opportunity to speak with her about her career, the tragic passing of Kyle Jean Baptiste, and what she sees on her horizon.

Broadway Black (BB): You’ve had such a great career as a musical theater performer. But you’re also a concert artist and a dramatic actress on television. Is there one medium that you prefer? How are they different for you?montego glover

Montego Glover (MG): There isn’t a medium that I prefer. I want to be an actress and as long as I get to do that, I’m happy. The media are different in that there are basic skill sets that apply in television that don’t apply on stage. For example, in television we roll, play to the end and do it again. In the theatre, downbeat is at 8pm and we keep going until intermission. There is much more of a continuum. We also have a live audience, which is terrific and engaging and exciting with upwards of 100 people experiencing the story in that moment. In television we have crystalline moments in TV but there is less of a continuum.

 BB: You’ve been nominated for a Tony and several other awards and you’ve won a Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Award. Do nominations and winning awards change either your perspective or your career opportunities?

MG: Awards are lovely. In the end, as an artist, it is really nice and wonderful to be recognized for the work that you do, because I don’t know many artists who aren’t working hard. Being nominated and winning is tremendous because you’re being recognized at the highest level for the work. But just because you haven’t won or been nominated doesn’t mean that you aren’t working hard or are not deserving. Awards give a feeling of accomplishment for the actor’s career. But your work is always growing and your skills are sharpening. So moving forward, you have other galaxies to explore. The award makes it easier in terms of your level of confidence. And it has nothing to do with outside people. That’s how I process it. As your career grows, you acquire more heavy hitting awards. That’s the highest level. So I am able to go forward and discover other opportunities, no matter how someone else categorizes me.

BB: You were raised in Chattanooga, TN and you’re an alum of Chattanooga School for the Arts and Sciences. You also received a BFA from Florida State. Does your background play a part in your choice to be a performer? 

MG: Growing up in the south, everyone is musical. Everyone can sing. It’s not an odd or unusual thing. It lives in our culture. There is beautiful music founded in the struggle of African Americans and their lives. Through the Baptist church, for example, there is gospel music. So it is very much a part of breathing. It’s woven in. And I always loved that.

BB: You’ve appeared in It Shoulda Been You and Les Miserables this year – two dramatically different roles. How would you describe the transition from one to the other and how do you manage it?

MG: The transition was FAST. It was kind of an unbelievable, amazing “How great is show business?!” transition. I was slated to close It Shoulda Been You August 7 (Friday), two days earlier than the rest of the company, because I had a concert that same weekend with the Summer Symphony in Sun Valley. For that I spent 48 hours in front of 5000 people with a 100-piece orchestra. So I closed the show on Friday, performed in Sun Valley, got in late on Monday and started Les Miz rehearsals on Tuesday.

Energy is never off. I find myself vibrating at a higher frequency because that’s a productive space. There is a terrible white space that doesn’t get the right things done. So find the right pitch for you. I happen to move through space at a higher pitch and that works for me. The way it works for me is planning. I have to plan it. Part of that is scheduling, being in close contact with my team. I have a group of people: a manager, two sets of agents, a publicist and a business manager. I have learned how to make things work to allow these people to make things work. Delegation helps me to have energy and artistic space to devote to things I want to work on. The people I work with have to have the right sensibility and the right vibrational level.

Another important facet of that is good old-fashioned take care of yourself. When I gave the commencement address at alma mater I told the graduates to fill your body and mind with good and nutritious food. Take care of yourself. I shop at the Farmers Market. I cook at home. I look for items that are responsibly grown and caught. I have no alcohol during the week. The demands on my body are such. That is for my body. For my mind, I have read The Power of Now or The Seat of the Soul by Zukav or a book about Mandela. I also read Les Miserables for research purposes. Read things of value. What goes into my mind is not noise and clutter, but something of use. I love poetry – whether it’s Nikki Giovanni or Dr. Seuss. But it’s important to me that what goes into my mind is always something I can use and not other people’s stuff.

The last thing I’ll say is recognizing the importance of saying No . I get asked to do a lot things. People approach me to do their projects. It’s wonderful that people respond to my work and I love that, but there’s only one of me and I can’t be everywhere and there are times that I have to say No.

BB: How did you prepare for Fantine after playing Annie Shepard? Even before you appeared in the role, people were gushing with anticipation over what you would bring to that stage as Fantine. What does it mean to you take on such a famed role?

MG: It’s kind of a bucket list item. Les Mis is a seminal work, a masterpiece. It’s been a part of so many lives and careers have been enriched and made by this piece. This role is a jewel because of Victor Hugo and because of Schomburg. It’s thrilling every night to step into the world of the play in her shoes. I find something new every night. To prepare is to be willing to dig into my emotional well to find what she needs to be properly told every night. Her fall is spectacular so if you’re not in good enough shape, it can harm you. She takes a beating on a street so being to hold that up and not come off stage truly broken is my responsibility. I must be in proper physical shape and also emotionally willing and open to her and whatever she requires. This is being responsible to her story telling. She is a woman in our lexicon and painting the picture of her is very important. I like to come with new information from the novel or a new strain of music I’ve heard from the score and come like a blank canvas thru the stage door. Willing and prepared.

 BB: Melba Moore was there on your opening night. Did she have any words of encouragement or advice for you?

MG: She said, “Enjoy it, honey.” And I said “thank you.” And she gave me the knowing look. She knew where I was and what I was doing.

BB: Fantine is such a complex character. Is it cathartic when you take on a character that complex and expel and expend all of this emotion?

 MG: You have these thoughts and performances and eight times a week you get to try them. She speaks to me and shows me another bit of herself every single time. It requires a level of emotional and physical energy. At the end of the performance , I feel spent. Recharging comes from what I’ve discovered about her between performances. Having some time to sit and think it through. Addressing those changes come with experience. Things come from rehearsal and they need time to germinate, settle and grow. You have to process what you can do quickly but also wait patiently for it to flower.

BB: Of course everyone was devastated by the recent tragic death of Kyle Jean Baptiste right before your run began. How did his passing affect your performance and that of your fellow actors?

MG: It was devastating to everyone in the company. Actors, unlike any other people or profession in the world, work closely and organically together. Our work requires that we be kinetically connected in that way. A loss of any member in the company is hard because it feels like something has been taken away from you. The company was heroic and empathetic. We reached out and held on. Having the work that brought everyone together helped, in the face of his passing. Continuing to work was the best possible thing because it required everyone to be together and do the work that brought us all together. Inside the Imperial Theatre, everyone was holding each other up and making sure we were all working through it together. The larger community came to our aid, sent wishes and condolences, and reached out to be helpful so we knew they were standing right along with us as we were experiencing the loss. He was present at my Put In and I saw him go on and it was the last time I saw him. What I was looking forward to was a week to work together.

BB: How would you explain to someone who has no experience with performance and music what is so exciting about the process for you?

MG: I’m always looking for a person who has a life, an arc, a range of colors or emotions they need to express. I’m looking for wonderful music, a fun and exciting or heartfelt tune, lilting melodies, and a good story to tell.

BB: What do you think will be the next great challenge for you in your career? If you were setting your next set of goals, what would they be? 

MG: I’d like to play all of Shakespeare’s women. I would love to play all of Sondheim’s women. It would be thrilling to dig into the musicality and the richness of his work. I’m also interested in originating works so finding new projects and stories we haven’t told yet or marvelous icons who have fantastic stories. There are also great projects in studios and independent films.

BB: What words of advice or encouragement would you give to young Black actresses?

MG: Again, fill your mind and body with good and nutritious food. I’m so excited for young Black men and women right now in the world of art. It’s a fantastic time to be us doing what we’re doing. The stories that have been written point directly to our gift. I enjoy the idea that there’s a place where they belong in that story or play.

 There are also the practical parts of being an actress – mind your money. It’s important as a professional; your art must meet your commerce. I’ve discovered that if you pay attention to it and be mindful about it, it can serve you well. The training is over; the artist must fund their lives and their art. Minding your money is important.

Keep your word. When you say you’re going to do something, you have to do it. Make your decisions carefully and mindfully. You have to say no, and you have to mean it. Make a decision and stand by it. Tell the truth, in your life and in your art. It builds integrity and it is priceless and worth its weight in gold.

Remember that you are unique. There is no one like you. But you are also replaceable. Be empowered by that. I’ve tried and tested these ideals over my career. They continue to be true and right and continue to evolve over time. You are full of your own marvleousness in your 20s and it morphs into another place. When you know you are unique and replaceable, it will give you the confidence for other projects that you should be reaching for. As you grow and learn, that same tool can serve you in a totally different way. And keep in mind that lesson. There are those who are willing to stand exactly where you are.

If you enjoyed this article, you’ll also enjoy her interview on Sirius XM’s Behind the Curtain with Keith Price. Great stuff!

Attorney. Managing Editor of Broadway Black. Editor-at-Large of Nu Tribe Magazine. Ambassador for @Samahope. Creator of #OscarsSoWhite. Commissioned contributor to, and HLN TV. At the intersection of race, politics & pop culture.

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Awards Nominees & Winners

Collecting Our Things: Black Excellence Dominates the 2017 Oscars

Malia West



If you weren’t lucky enough to get snuck in through the side door at the 89th Academy Awards Ceremony, I’ll give you the Broadway Black rundown. With Moonlight taking the big Oscar of the night, it seems The Academy heard us loud and clear when we demanded they give us our things, and I’m glad.

Watch highlight videos below! #TourBusGary, Viola, Mahershala, & Moonlights acceptances speeches, and more!

Although I do have some complaints I’d like to file regarding Ms. Taraji P. Henson and Mr. Denzel Washington, but that’s for another time.

The night began with Mahershala Ali winning Best Supporting Actor for his role as Juan in Moonlight. Mahershala celebrated many firsts on Oscar night: his first nomination and his first win. While many laud Ali for being the first Muslim actor to win an Oscar, his acceptance speech focused on his mentors, education, and his new baby girl.

“I want to thank my teachers, my professors. I had so many wonderful teachers, and one of the things they told me was…it’s not about you, it’s about these characters. You’re in service to these stories and these characters.”

 (Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times)

Image: Marcus Yam/Los Angeles Times

Moonlight celebrated Mahershala’s win and later took home Best Picture (after a perplexing mix-up with La La Land – see blow) and Best Adapted Screenplay. The creators and cast of Moonlight echoed Mahershala’s message of representation. In their acceptance speech for Best Adapted Screenplay, Tarell Alvin McCraney and Barry Jenkins pledged to defend those who don’t fit the mold:

“All you people out there, who feel like there’s no mirror for you or your life is not reflected. We have your back and for the next four years, we will not leave you alone. We will not forget you.”

Image: Kevin Winter/Getty

Jenkins’ words echoed the community and perseverance that Moonlight celebrates. His victory for his second feature film alone is a testament to the spirit of perseverance. His first feature film, the highly acclaimed Medicine for Melancholy, premiered in 2008. Jenkins speaks openly of the discouragement he felt in this eight-year gap, where, at times, he thought his career was at an end. But just like Jenkins couldn’t dodge that Best Picture Oscar, he couldn’t dodge his calling, and I couldn’t be more pleased.

Another highlight in that same speech came from McCraney, who is the playwright of In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue of which the film is based. He said:

“This goes out to all those black and brown boys and girls and non-gender-conforming who don’t see themselves, we’re trying to show you you and us. Thank you, thank you. This is for you.”

Further celebrating a night of untold stories, NASA’s Katherine Johnson joined the Hidden Figures cast on stage. With the grace of a thousand Dianas, Viola Davis accepted the award for Best Supporting Actress for her portrayal of Rose in Fences. Her performance, which earned her a Tony for Best Actress in 2010, resonated with women and defined resilience to men.

We know Viola from Broadway and How to Get Away With Murder, but tonight she made history as the first Black actor to take home an Emmy, Tony, and Oscar for acting. Her role in Fences gives glory to the ordinary, and her speech showed her pride in that fact.

Now, about that Best Picture Oscar. Still can’t believe this actually happened. There are no words to describe what the conflicting feelings of confusion & joy bottled and shaken up, on the brink of explosion, actually feels like but here it is in video form:

As I cheered along, I thought of the power of ordinariness in Black communities. The legacy of Blackness exudes strength and resilience, but we should remember that excellence isn’t isolated to any tax bracket.

Audiences found power in Viola Davis’ Rose because August Wilson did not see powerful and ordinary as mutually exclusive. It is vital, especially today, that the Fences and Hidden Figures and Moonlights empower us.

These films tell the story of those perceived as ordinary, simply because the people looking had a singular point of view. So, yes, tonight was for Viola and her staple in history, for Mahershala and Moonlight collecting their things, and even for Denzel and Ruth Negga, no matter what The Academy says.

But even more, tonight was for the ordinary people who are, in fact, excellent and Broadway Black.

View the full list of winners at Oscar.

& the funniest moment of the night that we just can’t seem to get over. Watch #TourBusGary become a meme right in front of your eyes:

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Awards Nominees & Winners

Danielle Brooks visits Jimmy Kimmel Live

Kristen Martin



When you see an image of Danielle Brooks on your feed, steaming her own skirt, in a flirty,  transparent blouse, pointed-toe, bubblegum colored pumps, with a caption that reads, “I’ll be steamin’ hot on Jimmy Kimmel Live,” it’s a good day! Danielle’s appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live aired on the night of June 30, on ABC. She demonstrated the scene when she embraced “Mama O” (Oprah), and shared stories about filming the Netflix series, Orange is the New Black, while performing nightly as “Sofia” in the Tony Award-winning show, The Color Purple.

It’s Danielle‘s superwoman cape, of course, that allows her to transport from Broadway to LA to Litchfield and back! One minute she’s on the East Coast roaring, “You told Harpo to beat me,” and the next she’s on the West Coast telling Jimmy Kimmel about a terrifying train ride with hysterical OITNB fans.
Orange is the New Black, where she plays “Tasha ‘Taystee’ Jefferson,” evinces season four’s monumental launch into raising awareness about several social justice issues, including the highly extremely relevant movement of Black Lives Matter.
Danielle has dedicated her life to performing in projects with meaning and purpose, and here at Broadway Black, we couldn’t be more proud. In fact, when she detailed (on JKL) the story of her proud parents capturing a selfie with Oprah on Tony night– thanks to Danielle’s talent and commitment–I wondered how many (non-Blacks) would even know about certain issues in the Black community without Broadway Black stars  like her.
She is everywhere making a difference.
I turn on Netflix, boom, she’s there, giving a stellar performance as a fed up inmate fighting for justice. I ride the NY  train and see her in a sassy soldier uniform, on the cover of someone’s Ebony magazine. Or plastered on an ad in her burnt orange jumper.
In the same manner, I hit the TV switch, and Danielle is on my screen, in a late show interview. Or securing the streets in an animation film. I shop in the mall and see her as the face of an exclusive Lane Bryant collection.
I catch the morning ABC news… and she’s there.
Wait! Do I sound like I’m fangirling?
Well, it’s kind of hard not to when Danielle’s respective performances and platforms represent everything that you stand for. She is an advocate for the thick girls, and opens conversations about being confident in your skin/body. She is onstage showcasing strong womanhood and Black unity, and on screen uncovering absurdities in corrupt systems, revealing racial injustice.
I’ve said before that she has the power inside to evoke change in this country. Consequently, on JKL, the largest topic was Oprah and Danielle’s relationship because they are like-minded. I would stay tuned for more groundbreaking news with Danielle Brooks as the headline if I were you.
Check out a final clip of Danielle Brooks on Jimmy Kimmel Live below.

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Award Show Performance

Hamilton, The Color Purple & More Light Up the 2016 Tony Awards

Tristan Halstead



On Broadway’s biggest, and now most historic night, ten of the 14 Tony-nominated musicals of the 2015-2016 season brought light and life to the CBS telecast held at the Beacon Theatre.

Watch the triumphant performances below:


This year’s Tony-winning host James Corden opened the show with help from Tony-winner Leslie Odom, Jr., and the cast of Hamilton, proving he’s a chameleon when it comes to iconic roles such as Grizabella, The Phantom of the Opera, Mama Rose, and Effie White.

School of Rock

This summer, school is back in session as nominee Alex Brightman led the kids of School of Rock, based on the film, in their performance of “You’re in the Band,” a number written for the show by Andrew Lloyd Webber.


The biggest Hamilton fans in the country, President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama, prefaced the performance with a video message. In light of the tragedy that occurred in Orlando, FL, Tony-winners Lin-Manuel Miranda, Daveed Diggs, and Tony-nominee Christopher Jackson (who sang “History Has Its Eyes On You”), and cast decided to forgo their musket props during their performance of “Yorktown (The World Turned Upside Down).” Turns out the award-winning choreography is just fine without them.


Sweet as pie! The cast of Waitress began their act with the opening number, “Opening Up,” followed by recording artist Sara Bareilles, who wrote the score, performing a gorgeous rendition of “She Used to Be Mine” on the piano. Jessie Mueller returned to the stage and left us edge-less.

Spring Awakening

Despite the Kickstarter controversy surrounding Ken Davenport’s Broadway revival of Deaf West’s Spring Awakening, the cast returned to remind us what was so special about this electrifying production, as both hearing and deaf actors performed “Mama Who Bore Me” and “The Bitch of Living.”

On Your Feet!

Grammy-winner Gloria Estefan performed a medley of her hits alongside Ana Villafane, Josh Segarra, and the cast of On Your Feet!, the musical based on the lives of her and her husband, Emilio.

The Color Purple

We don’t have any words for this either. But Danielle Brooks, Heather Headley, and the cast of The Color Purple revival snatchT us bald with “Mysterious Ways” — merely moments before the woman of the hour, TONY-WINNER MOTHER F***ING CYNTHIA ERIVO, bodied us all with her show-stopping solo “I’m Here.” Naturally, everyone gave her a standing ovation, which is required any time this goddess opens her mouth.

Bright Star

The charming new musical Bright Star opened their performance with an appearance by composer Steve Martin on the banjo. With a first appearance on the Tonys, Carmen Cusack pretty much sang us her life story, performing “If You Knew My Story.”

Shuffle Along

Led by Brian Stokes Mitchell, Billy Porter, and Audra McDonald, the cast of Shuffle Along performed their opening number, “Broadway Blues,” featuring an expecting McDonald dancing her ass off. The woman can do no wrong.

Chicago, 20th Anniversary

To help celebrate the 20th Anniversary of Chicago, now the longest-running American musical on Broadway, Bebe Neuwirth, Velma Kelly in the original revival cast, took the stage to perform the hit opening number, “All That Jazz,” which helped score her a Tony for the role. To date, Neuwirth is the only actress to perform as every female principle in the show.

In Memoriam

Broadway legend Chita Rivera helped pay tribute to her friend and colleague, the late Roger Rees, and others we’ve lost in the past year, including Broadway’s first Black and youngest Jean Valjean, Kyle Jean-Baptiste.

She Loves Me

This eye-popping revival of She Loves Me performed a medley of songs with Gavin Creel and Jane Krakowski recreating that iconic split/drag-across-the-stage piece of choreography, followed by Zachary Levi singing the title song, and ending with Laura Benanti’s power vocals in “Ice Cream.”

Fiddler On the Roof

Bartlett Sher’s streak of lush revivals continues as the cast of his latest work, the Fiddler on the Roof performed “Sunrise, Sunset,” led by six-time Tony nominee Danny Burstein, followed by the “Bottle Dance.”

Closing — What Else? Hamilton

Because they weren’t going anywhere, fresh after winning their 11th Tony for Best Musical, without doing an encore, the lovely ladies of Hamilton — Renée Elise Goldsberry, Phillipa Soo, and Jasmine Cephas Jones — put their glorious harmonies to “work, work” with their number “The Schuyler Sisters.”

What a night. What a year.

Videos courtesy of CBS.

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A Must See

The Car Where It Happens: Carpool Karaoke with Audra McDonald & Other Season Favorites

Jerrica White



Karaoke has got to be one of the most fun past times and, well, karaoke in the car ups the enjoyability a couple notches. It’s no wonder Carpool Karaoke has become a signature part of Tony winner, James Corden’s, The Late Late Show.

With the biggest night of theatre around the corner, the Broadway edition of Carpool Karaoke is right on time! As previously reported, James Corden is slated to host The American Theatre Wing’s 70th Annual Tony Awards, which will air on the CBS on Sunday, June 12, 2016, live from the Beacon Theatre in New York City.

Corden invited us into the car where it happens with a couple favorites from this Broadway season including  Lin-Manuel Miranda (Hamilton), Audra McDonald (Shuffle Along), Jane Krakowski (She Loves Me, “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt), and Jesse Tyler Ferguson (Fully Committed, “Modern Family”).

At this point, Carpool Karaoke riders have to know that Corden is liable to show UP and show OUT on your song. And that he did.

The ride starts with Miranda and Corden rapping “Alexander Hamilton” and “Guns and Ships,” where Corden notably WENT AWF on Lafayette’s part. #WeSeeYou

After picking up a glowing McDonald, Krawkoski, and Ferguson, the gang tackles perhaps the most famous Broadway song of all time, “Seasons of Love” from Rent; which led into “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You” from Jersey Boys.

Leave it to Audra to snatch your edges from belting in the backseat of a car.

The episode ends with Les Miserables’ epic act one closer, “One Day More.” Audra is sanging for the Gods. Jesse is caught up in the holy ghost that is harmonizing with Audra. Jane is living her best life in the “Eponine” track. James is serving his best “Enjolras.”Lin is head-banging.

Corden asked Krowkski and Ferguson, both stars of current running television shows if they prefer the theatre or money. *ba-dum-tsh* Both replied there’s nothing like the live theatre, but that got me thinking. Maybe they should all continue to do both. Perhaps the next episode will be the gang carpooling to the set of a new romance comedy. I mean, what a dream team!?

We’ll keep our fingers crossed.

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Awards Nominees & Winners

WATCH: The Drama Desk Awards! – Full List of Winners

Andrew Shade



The Drama Desk Awards happened via livestream for the world to see and we kept you in the know as the show went on. Below yo4u’ll find all the updates on winners. You can also view the livestream of the entire show down below.

Some notable winners included Shuffle Along  and The Color Purple who both racked up several awards throughout the night. Hamilton was not nominated this year due to being ineligible since being nominated for its Off-Broadway run at The Public Theater last year. That cleared the way for some other great shows to take home the Drama Desk.

It truly was a wonderful night with some great highlights including a Memoriam tribute that included Broadway Black favorite Kyle Jean-Baptiste and a speech by playwright Danai Gurrira who won the Sam Norkin for bringing great insight, range, and depth, & being a fresh new voice to American theater.

* = Winners

Outstanding Play
The Christians, Playwrights Horizons
*The Humans, Roundabout Theatre Company
John, Signature Theatre
King Charles III
The Royale, Lincoln Center Theater

Outstanding Musical
First Daughter Suite, Public Theater
Daddy Long Legs
School of Rock
*Shuffle Along

Outstanding Revival of a Play Cloud Nine, Atlantic Theater Company Death of a Salesman, New Yiddish Rep Henry IV, Donmar Warehouse at St. Ann’s Warehouse Long Day’s Journey Into Night, Roundabout Theatre Company *A View From the Bridge Women Without Men, Mint Theater Company Outstanding Revival of a Musical The Color Purple The Golden Bride, National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene Fiddler on the Roof *She Loves Me, Roundabout Theatre Company Spring Awakening Outstanding Actor in a Play Andrew Garman, The Christians, Playwrights Horizons Avi Hoffman, Death of a Salesman *Frank Langella, The Father, Manhattan Theatre Club Tim Pigott-Smith, King Charles III Mark Strong, A View From the Bridge Outstanding Actress in a Play Georgia Engel, John, Signature Theatre Mamie Gummer, Ugly Lies the Bone, Roundabout Underground Marin Ireland, Ironbound, Rattlestick Playwrights Theater/Women’s Project Theater *Jessica Lange, Long Day’s Journey Into Night Nicola Walker, A View From the Bridge Outstanding Actor in a Musical *Danny Burstein, Fiddler on the Roof Robert Creighton, Cagney, York Theatre Company Michael C. Hall, Lazarus, New York Theatre Workshop Zachary Levi, She Loves Me Benjamin Walker, American Psycho Outstanding Actress in a Musical Laura Benanti, She Loves Me Carmen Cusack, Bright Star *Cynthia Erivo, The Color Purple Jessie Mueller, Waitress Annette O’Toole, Southern Comfort, Public Theater

Outstanding Featured Actor in a Play
Bill Camp, The Crucible
David Furr, Noises Off, Roundabout Theatre Company
Matt McGrath, The Legend of Georgia McBride, MCC Theater
Richard Thomas, Incident at Vichy, Signature Theatre
*Michael Shannon, Long Day’s Journey Into Night

Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play
Brooke Bloom, Cloud Nine
Megan Hilty, Noises Off
Kellie Overbey, Women Without Men
*Saycon Sengbloh, Eclipsed, Public Theater
Jeanine Serralles, Gloria, Vineyard Theatre

Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical Nicholas Barasch, She Loves Me *Christopher Fitzgerald, Waitress Baylee Littrell, Disaster! Paul Alexander Nolan, Bright Star A.J. Shively, Bright Star Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical Danielle Brooks, The Color Purple Alison Fraser, First Daughter Suite Rachel Bay Jones, Dear Evan Hansen, Second Stage *Jane Krakowski, She Loves Me Mary Testa, First Daughter Suite Outstanding Director of a Play Rachel Chavkin, The Royale Sam Gold, John Rupert Goold, King Charles III Joe Mantello, The Humans Jenn Thompson, Women Without Men *Ivo van Hove, A View From the Bridge Outstanding Director of a Musical (tie) Michael Arden, Spring Awakening *John Doyle, The Color Purple Rupert Goold, American Psycho *Bartlett Sher, Fiddler on the Roof Bryna Wasserman, Motl Didner, The Golden Bride Outstanding Choreography Joshua Bergasse, Cagney Spencer Liff, Spring Awakening Lynne Page, American Psycho Randy Skinner, Dames at Sea *Savion Glover, Shuffle Along

Outstanding Book of a Musical
*John Caird, Daddy Long Legs
Michael John LaChiusa, First Daughter Suite
Jessie Nelson, Waitress

Outstanding Music
Sara Bareilles, Waitress
Michael John LaChiusa, First Daughter Suite
Andrew Lloyd Webber, School of Rock
The Lobbyists, SeaWife, Naked Angels
*Steve Martin and Edie Brickell, Bright Star

Outstanding Lyrics
Sara Bareilles, Waitress
*Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, Dear Evan Hansen
Glenn Slater, School of Rock
Michael John LaChiusa, First Daughter Suite

Outstanding Orchestrations
August Eriksmoen, Bright Star
*Larry Hochman, She Loves Me, Roundabout Theatre Company
Joseph Joubert and Catherine Jayes, The Color Purple
Andrew Lloyd Webber, School of Rock
Michael Starobin and Bruce Coughlin, First Daughter Suite

Outstanding Music in a Play
Billie Joe Armstrong, These Paper Bullets!, Atlantic Theatre Company
Estelle Bajou, Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally, One Year Lease Theater Company
Shaun Davey, Pericles, Theatre for a New Audience
*Philip Glass, The Crucible
Tom Kitt, Cymbeline, Public Theater

Outstanding Set Design for a Play
Riccardo Hernandez, Red Speedo, New York Theatre Workshop
Mimi Lien, John
G.W. Mercier, Head of Passes, Public Theater
*Christopher Oram, Hughie
Derek McLane, Fully Committed

Outstanding Set Design for a Musical
Es Devlin, American Psycho
Emily Orling, Matt Saunders, Eric Farber, Futurity, Soho Rep/Ars Nova
*David Rockwell, She Loves Me

Outstanding Costume Design for a Play
Jessica Ford, These Paper Bullets!
Martha Hally, Women Without Men
Constance Hoffman, Pericles
William Ivey Long, Shows for Days, Lincoln Center Theater
*Anita Yavich, The Legend of Georgia McBride

Outstanding Costume Design for a Musical
Jane Greenwood, Bright Star
Katrina Lindsay, American Psycho
Jeff Mahshie, She Loves Me
Alejo Vietti, Allegiance
*Ann Roth, Shuffle Along

Outstanding Lighting Design for a Play
Neil Austin, Hughie
Mark Barton, John
Bradley King, Empanada Loca, Labyrinth Theater Company
Tyler Micoleau, Antlia Pneumatica, Playwrights Horizons
*Justin Townsend, The Humans

Outstanding Lighting Design for a Musical
Jane Cox, The Color Purple
Jake DeGroot, SeaWife
Ben Stanton, Spring Awakening
*Justin Townsend, American Psycho
Jules Fisher and Peggy Eisenhauer, Shuffle Along

Outstanding Projection Design
Nicholas Hussong, These Paper Bullets!
Darrel Maloney, Tappin’ Thru Life
Peter Nigrini, Dear Evan Hansen
*Finn Ross, American Psycho
Tal Yarden, Lazarus

Outstanding Sound Design in a Play
Fitz Patton, An Act of God
*Fitz Patton, The Humans
Mikhail Fiksel and Miles Polaski,, Fulfillment, The Flea Theatre
Bray Poor, John
Ryan Rumery, Empanada Loca

Outstanding Sound Design in a Musical
Mick Potter, School of Rock
Brian Ronan, Lazarus
Nevin Steinberg, Bright Star
*Dan Moses Schreier, American Psycho
Scott Lehrer, Shuffle Along

Outstanding Wig and Hair
David Brian Brown, She Loves Me
Jason Hayes, The Legend of Georgia McBride
Robert-Charles Vallance, Women Without Men
Charles G. LaPointe, The School for Scandal, Red Bull Theater
*Mia M. Neal, Shuffle Along

Outstanding Solo Performance
Simon Callow, Tuesdays at Tesco’s, 59E59
Kathleen Chalfant, Rose, Nora’s Playhouse
James Lecesne, The Absolute Brightness of Leonard Pelkey
Daphne Rubin-Vega, Empanada Loca
*Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Fully Committed

Unique Theatrical Experience
ADA/AVA, Manual Cinema/3LD/The Tank
Antigona – Soledad Barrio/Noche Flamenca
*That Physics Show
The Very Hungry Caterpillar Show

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Awards Nominees & Winners

Nyong’o, Brooks, & More Shine at the 2016 Theatre World Awards

Tristan Halstead



In an already thrilling awards season, Black performers made up a third of the honorees at the 2016 Theatre World Awards presented on May 23rd at the Circle in the Square. In its 72nd year, this year’s ceremony recognized British-transfer Cynthia Erivo and “Orange is the New Black’s” Danielle Brooks for their performances in The Color Purple, Oscar-winner Lupita Nyong’o for Eclipsed, and Khris Davis for The Royale.

Incepted by John Willis in 1944, the annual Theatre World Awards honors six actors and six actresses making their Broadway or Off-Broadway debut in a leading or supporting role, even if the actor has previously appeared in an ensemble or swing role, and is decided by a committee comprised of David Cote (Time Out New York, NY1), Joe Dziemianowicz (New York Daily News), Peter Filichia (Newark Star-Ledger), Harry Haun (Playbill), Matthew Murray (Talkin’ Broadway), Frank Scheck (The Hollywood Reporter), and Linda Winer (Newsday).

Three years older than the prestigious Tony Award, and the oldest award for debut performances On- or Off-Broadway ever, it seeks to encourage wide-eyed newcomers to the industry to continue pursuing their dreams of gracing the stage.

Here is the full list of winners!

Danielle Brooks (The Color Purple), Carmen Cusak (Bright Star), Khris Davis (The Royale),Daniel Durant (Spring Awakening), Cynthia Erivo ( The Color Purple), John Krasinski (Dry Powder), Sarah Charles Lewis ( Tuck Everlasting), Austin P. McKenzie ( Spring Awakening), Lupita Nyong’o (Eclipsed), Mark Strong (A View From the Bridge), Ana Villafañe ( On Your Feet), Ben Winshaw (The Crucible)

Past recipients of the award have included two of this year’s Tony nominees Daveed Diggs (Hamilton, 2014-2015) and Sophie Okonedo (A Raisin in the Sun, 2013-2014), as well as Phillip Boykin (Porgy & Bess, 2011-2012), Audra McDonald (Carousel, 1993-1994), Ben Vereen (Jesus Christ Superstar, 1971-1972), and Harry Belafonte (John Murray Anderson’s Almanac, 1953-1954).


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About Broadway Black: is dedicated to highlighting the achievements and successes of African-American theatre artists on and off the Broadway stage. For so long, our voices have been skimmed over inside and outside of The Great White Way. However, we know we have experiences to share that are essential. serves as a collective of things we all care for. It is a platform for all things Black theatre. Created for the child in all of us who looked up to the stage searching for the faces that looked like ours. Celebrating the dedication of those who hand over their life to give all they have to the stage, shining light on those that continue our journey, & paying tribute to those who blazed the way for our story to be told, seen, and heard on The Great Way.

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