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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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Box Office

Dave Chappelle Live On Broadway Grosses Over 1.4 Million Despite Blackout

Drew Shade

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Dave Chappelle/Netflix. Photo by Mathieu Bitton
Dave Chappelle/Netflix. Photo by Lester Cohen

Dave Chappelle/Netflix. Photo by Lester Cohen

Comedian Dave Chappelle made his Broadway debut July 9th with Dave Chappelle Live on Broadway at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre.

Originally scheduled to close July 13th the residency was extended an additional week through July 20. Made possible by the In Residence on Broadway series which is a collaboration between Live Nation, The Araca Group, and Entertainment Benefits Group.

Saturday nights are the money makers on Broadway especially during the middle of July, in what we New Yorkers like to call tourist season. However, that all came crashing down when a power outage shut down most of the 41 Broadway houses this past Saturday. The blackout didn’t stop the show for most of those Broadway casts. They took to singing in the New York City streets, but the overall Broadway ticket sales took a 10% hit for the week.

Chappelle somehow came out unbothered by the blackout in his first week on Broadway at the Lunt-Fontanne. In just four nights on Broadway, the comedian raked in over 1.4 million, making him the 6th highest selling ticket of the week with an average ticket price of $243. He followed behind Hamilton at $2.67m  The Lion King at $2.39m, To Kill a Mockingbird at $1.7m, Wicked at $1.5m, and Moulin Rouge at 1.49m.

So, your Saturday night show is canceled, what do you do? Dave Chappelle does to impromptu sets at Gramercy Theatre and The Comedy Cellar.

 

 

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So there was a blackout on Broadway…. all roads lead to the #ComedyCellar.

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Celebrity Takeover

Cuba Gooding Jr. Returns to the Role of Billy Flynn in Chicago

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Cuba Gooding Jr. in a promotional photo as Billy Flynn.

Show me the money! Cuba Gooding Jr. (A Trip to Bountiful) returns to Broadway’s ‘Chicago.’

Cuba Gooding Jr. in a promotional photo as Billy Flynn.

Oscar Winner and Broadway alumni, Cuba Gooding Jr., has returned to Broadway. Cuba has returned to ‘Chicago’ through February 10th. After a previous Broadway and West End run in the show, Cuba is back playing Billy Flynn. Now taking on the role for the third time, Cuba is back and better than Ever.

“This is the first time I’ve sang professionally, period. This is my first musical” Cuba said, “The hardest thing I’ve ever done physically is singing and dancing, eight shows a week, six days a week.”

The Oscar winner returned to the Ambassador Theatre on January 7th to do a month-long run in the show. He’d previously spent six weeks in the role in October of 2018 and before that he’d opened the show’s west end revival. Cuba is the latest in the line of stars to join the Broadway company of Chicago. Cuba is joining the likes of Todrick Hall, Tony Yazbeck, Usher Raymond, and Wayne Brady as one of the few stars to play Billy Flynn on Broadway. Cuba is ready to bring the “razzle dazzle” to the Ambassador Theatre, eight shows a week, and we’re prepared to see him hit his mark and take the stage.

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