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Readings & Workshops

The North Star by Donja R. Love — Juilliard Reading

Drew Shade

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The Juilliard School Drama Division and its Lila Acheson Wallace American Playwrights Program present the second of two 2018 Houghton Festival Readings.

Donja R. Love Photo by Drew Shade

The North Star written by Donja R. Love and directed by Malika Oyetimein was presented at The Pershing Square Signature Center Ford Foundation Studio Theatre December 8th, 2018 at 7:00 pm and December 9th, 2018 at 2:30 pm

Donja R. Love is an Afro-Queer playwright, poet, and filmmaker from Philadelphia. He’s the recipient of the 2018 Laurents/Hatcher Foundation Award, the 2017 Princess Grace Playwriting Award. He’s the Lark’s 2016 Van Lier New Voices Playwrighting Fellow, The Playwrights Realm’s 2016/2017 Writing Fellow, and the 2011 Philadelphia Adult Grand Slam Poetry Champion. His work has been developed at Manhattan Theatre Club, Rising Circle Theatre, The Lark, and The Playwrights Realm. He’s had production at Manhattan Theatre Club (Sugar in Our Wounds) and Atlantic Theater Company (Fireflies). He’s the co0host of Off Book, a podcast on Black theatre; and he’s the co-founder of The Each-Other Project, an organization that helps build community and provide visibility, through art and advocacy, for LGBTQ People of Color. Select stage plays include The Love* Plays and soft.

CAST

Dohneata…………………………..Maechi Aharanwa

André…………………………………Anthony Bowden

Emmanuel…………………..Lee Edward Colston II

Rashaad…………………………………….Toney Goins

Hassan…………………….Brandon Mendez Homer

North…………………………………..Lorenzo Jackson

Kiki………………………………………..Jayme Lawson

Stage Directions…………….. Hannan Rose Caton

Founder/Editor-In-Chief of BroadwayBlack.com | 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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Leads & Legends

Tina: The Musical, New Tina Turner Bio-Musical in the Works

Jazmine Harper-Davis

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Back in 2015 we posted a What If: What’s Love Go To Do With It The Musical and in early 2016 there was  rumor that a Tina Turner musical was supposedly in the works, and would premiere in London late 2016 or early 2017.

Well, it seems as though the rumor mill was true this time around. The legendary “Queen of Rock ‘N’ Roll” Tina Turner, is the newest subject of a bio-musical being developed in London by Dutch music producer and businessman Joop van den Ende’s company Stage Entertainment. The show’s working title is currently Tina: The Musical.

Turner joined the creative and producing teams in London for a workshop presentation of the piece in mid-December, with Tony nominee Adrienne Warren playing Turner in the workshop.

😵😵😵😵😵😵😵😵😵😵😵. Thank you for this @RafaelCasal !!

A photo posted by Adrienne Warren (@adriennelwarren) on

Santa loves her too!❤️

A photo posted by Adrienne Warren (@adriennelwarren) on

Playwright Katori Hall, best known for her Martin Luther King drama The Mountaintop, is working alongside Dutch writers Frank Ketelaar and Kees Prins on the project, with Mamma Mia‘s Phyllida Lloyd set to direct. As of right now, no timeline for the progress of the show or official casting announcements have been announced.

“We have been working on the musical for over a year now and today I am delighted to be able to share our news as we begin the next chapter of our journey,” Turner said in a statement. “It has been wonderful to collaborate with Katori and Phyllida and to have my story nurtured by such an amazing creative team is thrilling. London has always had a very special place in my heart and it’s wonderful to be back.”

I for one hope that Adrienne Warren stays attached to this project, I mean she has the arms and after seeing Shuffle Along as many times as I did, she can easily capture the sound and essence of the Queen of Rock N’ Roll herself.

Broadway Black will keep you updated with further details as the project develops.

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Concert Night

iLLA! A Hip Hop Musical Returns to New York Musical Festival

Broadway Black

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After a sold-out run in Atlanta and Toledo, the award-winning iLLA! A Hip Hop Musical continues its reign and returns as part of the 2016 New York Musical Festival this week for concert performances at The Pearl Theatre. Directed by J. Kyle Manzay, the show features a book, with music and lyrics by Ronvé O’Daniel, and additional music by Jevares C. Myrick. David Coffman produces.

With the recent success of Hamilton, Coffman believes audiences are ready for this kind of story.

iLLA!, which is slang meaning, “to be greater,” tells the story of Prince, a classically trained dancer who dreams of becoming a hip-hop star. After suffering a humiliating defeat at a leading open mic competition, Prince struggles to redeem himself in the eyes of his friends and family.

He falls in love with a girl named Stacy but their family prejudices threaten to tear them apart. Can Prince overcome his fears and troubled home life to achieve his dreams? It’s a journey of Swagger, Survival and the Search for Self.

Watch the extended trailer below:

Titus Makin Jr. leads the cast as Prince. Many may remember him as one of the original Warblers in the hit-musical television show “Glee.” He’s joined by Andrew Bancroft, of Freestyle Love Supreme, and Danielle Lee Greaves (A Streetcar Named Desire, Rent).

Performances take place on Friday, July 29th at 5pm; Sunday, July 31st at 9pm; and Tuesday, August 2nd at 9pm.

Last year, iLLA! received its first reading at the New York Musical Festival Developmental Reading Series, where it won the 2015 Award for Excellence. It performed in subsequent workshops at the Toledo School for the Arts in Ohio, and the Cobb County Center for Excellence in Performing Arts in Atlanta, Georgia.

Per its mission statement, the NYMF “nurtures the creation, production, and public presentation of stylistically, thematically, and culturally diverse new musicals to ensure the future vitality of musical theater.” In its thirteenth year, more than 90 shows have seen productions on and Off-Broadway, in regional theaters all over the country, and in more than 24 countries worldwide.

The 2016 NYFM runs from July 11th to August 7th.

For tickets and more information, visit NYMF.

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