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Celebrity Takeover

Forest Whitaker’s Whitaker Peace & Development Initiative #Performers4Peace Benefit Concert

Jerrica White

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I had the opportunity to be in the room where it happens and see a sneak peak into the Performers4Peace Benefit Concert rehearsal.

Let me fill you in.

Carly Hughes and Marcus Paul James sang the Michiko studios down. Hamilton’s, Alysha Deslorieux, stopped by and left with my edges.

And that was only two performances.

Hosted by Academy Award winner & recent star of Hughie on Broadway, Forest Whitaker, this will be a night to remember. Tony Award winner James Monroe Iglehart will emcee the concert with Sirius XM’s Julie James The evening will be directed by Olivier Award nominee Stafford Arima (Allegiance, The Secret Garden in Concert, Ragtime [West End], Carrie, Altar Boyz), and have performances by many Broadway Black favorites including:

Tony Award winner James Monroe Iglehart (Aladdin, Memphis, Spelling Bee)
Patrice Covington (The Color Purple)
Matt Gould and Griffin Matthews (co-author’s of Invisible Thread recently at Second Stage)
Mykal Kilgore (“The Wiz Live,” Motown, Book of Mormon)
Bryan Terrell Clark (“Person of Interest,” Motown)
Alysha Deslorieux (Hamilton, Beautiful, Sister Act)
Marcus Paul James (Rent, In the Heights, Motown)
Carly Hughes (Chicago, Pippin, Book of Mormon)
Drama Desk Award winner Derrick Baskin (“Difficult People,” Memphis, Spelling Bee)
Tony Award nominee Daniel Breaker (“Mozart in the Jungle,” Book of Mormon, Passing Strange)
Master Bucket Drummer ChoclattJared (featured percussion for Bring in Da Noise Bring in Da Funk, Lauryn Hill, Aretha Franklin, Beyoncé, & more)

Come in your cocktail attire, ready to hear songs of peace made popular by the likes of Stevie Wonder, Sam Cooke, Whitney Houston, Bob Marley, Barbra Streisand & more in this one-night-only concert!

I can say without a doubt that 42West is the place to be on Monday, May 9, 2016.

Perhaps the best part of it all, is that this is for a good cause that was founded by such a humble and selfless member of our Broadway Black community, Forest Whitaker (Hughie,The Last King of Scotland, The Butler, Bird). The proceeds from Performers4Peace benefit concert will support Whitaker Peace & Development Initiative’s work to build peace in war-torn countries.

Okay!? You get it. This is a one-night performance that you MUST see!

The show starts at 8pm at 42West (514 West 42nd Street www.42west.com). Broadway Black will be doing our part to support peace and community building. Will you?

For tickets click HERE.

Performers4Peace is produced by Untitled Theatricals (An American in Paris, Hughie, Dames at Sea) in association with Langfelder Presents. The concert will be music directed by Juilliard alumnaAnnastasia Victory (Little Dancer, Leap of Faith, 3 Mo’ Divas), and the band will be comprised of musicians from various Broadway shows (The Lion King, Les Miserables, An American in Paris and The Color Purple, among others). The concert is orchestrated by Academy Award nominee & 6-time Emmy Award winner Chris Boardman; Grammy, Emmy & Drama Desk Award nominee Joseph Joubert; Andrew Beall & Annastasia Victory.

More about Whitaker Peace & Development Initiative:

Founded in 2012 by Academy Award, Golden Globe Award & BAFTA winner and UNESCO Special Envoy for Peace & Reconciliation, Forest Whitaker, WPDI’s mission is to help societies impacted by destructive conflicts transform into safer and more prosperous communities. They work to empower and inspire youth, women and global citizens to promote peace across the planet. WPDI currently has projects in South Sudan, Uganda, Mexico and The United States. For more information, please visit: www.wpdi.org

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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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