Tony Award winner Renee Elise Goldsberry, who recently announced her departure from Hamilton this fall to film and star in new Netflix series Altered Carbon, is staying #booked. The actress was just cast in the title role to star opposite Oprah Winfrey in HBO Films The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.
Goldsberry will play Henrietta Lacks, an African-American woman whose cells were used to create the first immortal human cell line. Told through the eyes of her daughter, Deborah Lacks (played by Winfrey), the film chronicles her search to learn about the mother she never knew and to understand how the unauthorized harvesting of Lacks’ cancerous cells in 1951 led to unprecedented medical breakthroughs, changing countless lives and the face of medicine forever.
Based on Rebecca Skloot’s 2011 best-seller, veteran and favorite Broadway Black director-producer George C. Wolfe (Shuffle Along, Angels In America) wrote the adaptation and will direct.
Oprah Winfrey and Carla Gardini executive produce through Harpo Films and Skloot is co-executive producer.
Henrietta Lacks’ sons David Lacks, Jr. and Zakariyya Rahman; her granddaughter Jeri Lacks; and her grandchildren Alfred Carter Jr. and LaTonya Carter are consultants on the project as well.
I remember reading this book the summer between my freshman and sophomore year and being brought to tears because this woman’s life changed medicine forever and at the same time her family was struggling to afford health insurance. Grappling with the idea of what happens to your body, what people can do when you die was haunting me for years. It’s about time this story gets the screen adaption it deserves and we couldn’t be happier that Renee, Oprah, and George get to tell the story.
No premiere date has been announced yet, but keep following Broadway Black for the latest updates.
Savion Glover & Shuffle Along Cast Show Out On Maya & Marty!
Tony Award-winning choreographer Savion Glover and the Broadway cast of Shuffle Along made an appearance on the premiere of NBC’s brand new variety show “Maya & Marty” starring “Saturday Night Live’s” Maya Rudolph and Tony winner Martin Short, in their first live televised performance.
With suitcases in hand and accompanied by no music, the ensemble cast of thirteen closed the premiere with the “Pennsylvania Graveyard Shuffle,” midway through joined by Glover, the musical’s choreographer.
The six-episode series, taped from Studio 6A in NBC’s headquarters at 30 Rockefeller Plaza in front of a studio audience, features a set of comedy sketches, celebrity guests, musical numbers, and a spectacular onstage band led by Charlie Rosen.
Among the other guests of the May 31st premiere were “SNL’s” Kenan Thompson, Tom Hanks, Larry David, with a performance by Miley Cyrus.
Based on the original 1921 musical revue, this new ten-time Tony-nominated production, billed as Shuffle Along, or, the Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed, is directed by George C. Wolfe.
This adaptation stars Tony winners Audra McDonald, Brian Stokes Mitchell, and Billy Porter, and focuses on the original composers’, Eubie Blake (played by Brandon Victor Dixon) and Noble Sissle (Joshua Henry), challenges in creating the production as well as their trials and tribulations in later years.
This year, Shuffle Along received the New York Drama Critics’ Circle Award for Best Musical.
McDonald will take a maternity leave of absence at the end of July, and Rhiannon Giddens, in her first appearance on Broadway, will be her replacement in the role of Lottie Gee. Glover will also join the cast during Giddens’ run.
Glover recently appeared on NBC’s “Late Night: Seth Meyers.”
“Maya & Marty” is a spin-off of Rudolph’s original variety show pilot, “The Maya Rudolph Show” which aired in 2014, but wasn’t picked up for a series.
“Maya & Marty” airs Tuesdays at 10 PM ET on NBC.
For tickets to Shuffle Along.
Live Tweet With Us for Lady Day Starring Audra McDonald
HBO is getting ready to remind us why Audra McDonald is a six-time Tony Award-winning, history-making actress. If you weren’t able to make it to NYC (or can’t make it to London this summer) for her captivating performance as Billie Holiday in Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill, HBO is doing the whole world a favor by premiering it Saturday night. Filmed before a live audience at Cafe Brasil in New Orleans, the special features McDonald in her legendary, tour de force performance as the jazz icon.
Broadway Black will of course be on hand live tweeting that night, using the hashtag #LadyDayBB throughout the entire night. We ask you to join us for a can’t miss performance.
Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill premieres on HBO at 9 PM Saturday March 12, 2016.
HBO also released a full trailer and interview featurette for Lady Day with Audra McDonald talking about transforming into the legendary Billie Holiday. Check out the videos below and be sure to live tweet with us!
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