History was made tonight, and we at Broadway Black are thrilled. As the creator of the #OscarsSoWhite hashtag, I debated for quite a while about whether I would watch the 2015 Emmy Awards. The lack of inclusion of people of color, both as nominees and as presenters, has long troubled me. But because this is the most diverse set of nominees that the Emmy Awards have had in years, I decided to tune in. I was not disappointed. At the end of the night, three Black actresses and one Black actor had won awards, in addition to a slew of Creative Emmy Awards for “Bessie,” the HBO movie starring Queen Latifah. Here are the highlights:
Queen Latifah and the Flavor Unit Entertainment crew won four Creative Arts Emmys for the HBO Films movie, Bessie, a project she starred in and produced. As we previously announced, Latifah will be playing The Wiz on The Wiz Live! airing on December 3 on NBC. The four Creative Arts Emmy wins for Bessie were: Outstanding Television Movie; Outstanding Cinematography For A Limited Series Or Movie; Outstanding Music Composition For A Limited Series, Movie Or A Special (Original Dramatic Score); and Outstanding Sound Mixing For A Limited Series Or A Movie.
Reg E. Cathey won the Emmy for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series for his portrayal of Freddy Hayes in Netflix’s House of Cards. Cathey, who made his Broadway debut in The Green Bird, also played the role of Ellis Boyd “Red” Redding in the Wyndham Theatre’s stage presentation of The Shawshank Redemption in London.
Three Black women were nominated for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited Series of Movie. They were: Mo’Nique as Ma Rainey in “Bessie,” Angela Bassett as Desiree Dupree in “American Horror Story: Freak Show,” and Regina King, who played Aliyah Shadeed in American Crime. The award went to actress and director King, her first Emmy. In her speech, she thanked her sister, mother and grandmother “who have taught me the power and the blessing of being a woman.” Here is her entire speech:
The Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series went to Uzo Aduba for her portrayal of Suzanne “Crazy Eyes” Warren in Netflix’s “Orange is the New Black.” With this win, her second consecutive, Aduba made history as the first woman and just the second person to win an Emmy in both the Comedy and Drama categories for the same character (Ed Asner was the first with “Lou Grant”). Aduba is a classically trained vocalist and first garnered recognition for her acting in 2003, when her performance in “Translations of Xhosa” at the Olney Theatre Center for the Arts earned her a Helen Hayes Award nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Play. In 2007, she made her Broadway debut, portraying Toby in Coram Boy. From 2011 through 2012, she sang “By My Side” as part of the original revival cast of Godspell at the Circle in the Square Theatre. As we’ve previously reported, Aduba will portray Glinda the Good Witch in NBC’s “The Wiz Live!” on December 3rd. In her speech, she thanked show creator Jenji Kohan “for putting belief back in my heart” and her team: “I love you mostly because you let me be me.”
But the highlight of the night was Viola Davis winning Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series for her portrayal of Annalise Keating in the Shonda Rhimes’ hit “How To Get Away With Murder.” Both Davis and Taraji P. Henson (Cookie Lyon on “Empire”) were nominated in this category and it was Henson standing in the aisle to give Davis a heartfelt embrace as she approached the stage. After graduating from Juilliard, Davis began her career on the stage, and in 1999, she won an Obie Award for her performance as Ruby McCollum in Everybody’s Ruby. She is a three-time Tony Award nominee and has won twice, for her role as Tonya in the 2001 production of King Hedley II, and for her role as Rose Maxson in the 2010 revival of Fences. As we previously reported, Davis will star in the film version of Fences, which will be directed by Denzel Washington. But it was her Emmys speech, which evoked both Harriet Tubman as an ancestor and Meagan Good as the next generation, which brought tears to the eyes of many. Davis spoke of opportunities for women of color, using her platform in this historic moment as the first Black woman to ever win an Emmy in this category. No words can do justice to her speech but her own, so watch here:
Awards shows, Hollywood, and the media have a long way to go before they are truly inclusive and representative of the people who patronize them. Our country is a tapestry woven from the threads of many communities, many of which still remain marginalized. But with these historic wins tonight, we move just a little bit closer to recognizing the richness of our diversity.
Audra McDonald and Will Swenson To Host The 2017 Drama League Awards
Broadway couple Audra McDonald and Will Swenson will host the 83rd Annual Drama League Awards. What a perfect selection, it’s almost like we came up with it!
All jokes aside, we’re in the middle of awards season and anticipation runs high as we celebrate the work of our community all the way up until Tonys night on June 11.
In the weeks up to the Tonys, it can be hard to differentiate one award from the other. The Drama League Awards are unique in that they hinge on the Distinguished Performance Award. In a category of over 50 performers, this award goes to one artist a year, and can only be won once in an artist’s lifetime.
The Drama League previously announced its 2017 Special Recognition Honorees: the legendary Bette Midler will receive the Distinguished Achievement in Musical Theater Award; Bill Berloni will receive the Unique Contribution to the Theater Award for his work in animal training for Broadway, and Michael Greif will receive the Founders Award for Excellence in Directing.
The 83rd Annual Drama League Awards Ceremony and Luncheon includes a nominees cocktail reception, luncheon, and awards presentation and will be held at the Marriott Marquis Times Square in the Broadway Ballroom (1535 Broadway) on Friday, May 19, 2017, beginning at 11:30 am. Tony winners Patina Miller and Bebe Neuwirth announced nominations for the 83rd Annual Drama League Awards on April 19th at New York’s famed Sardi’s.
For a complete list of 2017 nominees click HERE.
It’s That Time! The 71st Annual Tony Awards Nominations
At last! Tony Awards season has arrived, and Broadway Black is thrilled to congratulate several leads and new legends for their nominations!
Tony Award-winning actress Jane Krakowski and past Tony Award nominee Christopher Jackson announced nominations in 24 competitive categories for the American Theatre Wing’s 71st Annual Antoinette Perry “Tony” Awards® at the Tony Award Nominations ceremony, sponsored by IBM, held at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center on Tuesday morning.
The eccentric new musical Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812 leads with a total of 12 nominations including Best Musical. August Wilson’s Jitney received six nominations, including Best Revival of a Play, and Sweat received three, including Best Play.
Broadway newcomer Denée Benton of Great Comet received a nomination for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical, competing alongside legends Patti LuPone and Bette Midler, and Miss Saigon’s Eva Noblezada. Corey Hawkins scored his first Tony nomination for Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Play for Six Degrees of Separation.
Featured actors John Douglas Thompson and Condola Rashad both received nominations for their performances in their respective plays, Jitney and A Doll’s House, Part 2. Sweat’s Michelle Wilson will also compete in the Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Play category.
For his work in Jitney, Tony winner and August Wilson-connoisseur Ruben Santiago-Hudson received a nomination for Best Direction of a Play, along with costume designer Toni-Leslie James, who also takes a nomination for her work in Jitney. Having won two Pulitzers for Drama in her career, Lynn Nottage receives her first Tony nomination for writing the topical new play Sweat.
Prolific stage and film actor James Earl Jones will receive the Special Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre, having had a career spanning more than 60 years.
For a full list of nominations, visit TONY.
Congratulations to all of the 2017 nominees!
83rd Annual Drama League Award Nominees Announced
Congratulations are in order for some of our Broadway Black favorites! Denée Benton, Condola Rashad, and Corey Hawkins are among those honored with nominations from the oldest theatrical honor in America.
In the midst of Awards season, it can be hard to differentiate one award from the other. The Drama League Awards are unique in that they hinge on the Distinguished Performance Award. In a category of over 50 performers, this award goes to one artist a year, and can only be won once in an artist’s lifetime.
Nominations for the 83rd Annual Drama League Awards were announced April 19th by Patina Miller and Bebe Neuwirth at New York’s famed Sardi’s. The ceremony will be held May 19 at 11:30 am, and hosted by Audra McDonald and Will Swenson at the Marriott Marquis in New York City. Special honorees include Bill Berlin, Michael Greif, and Bette Midler, who will be honored with the Distinguished Achievement in Musical Theatre Award. Because of this, Middler was considered ineligible for the Distinguished Performance Award category for her work in Hello, Dolly!
A full list of nominees can be found below:
Outstanding Production of a Broadway or Off-Broadway Play-
A Doll’s House, Part 2
If I Forget
The Play That Goes Wrong
Tell Hector I Miss Him
Outstanding Revival of a Broadway or Off-Broadway Play-
A Doll’s House/The Father
The Beauty Queen of Leenane
The Little Foxes
Master Harold… and the boys
Six Degrees of Separation
Troilus and Cressida
Outstanding Production of a Broadway or Off-Broadway Musical-
Outstanding Revival of a Broadway or Off-Broadway Musical-
Nominees for The Distinguished Performance Award-
Denée Benton, Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812
Reed Birney, Man From Nebraska
Cate Blanchett, The Present
Ato Blankson-Wood, The Total Bent
Christian Borle, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory; Falsettos
Leon Addison Brown, Master Harold and the Boys
Kate Burton, Present Laughter
Daniel Craig, Othello
Johanna Day, Sweat
Marcia DeBonis, Small Mouth Sounds
Danny DeVito, The Price
Jennifer Ehle, Oslo
Carson Elrod, The Liar
Michael Emerson, Wakey Wakey
Sally Field, The Glass Menagerie
Sutton Foster, Sweet Charity
Gideon Glick, Significant Other
Josh Groban, Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812
Harriet Harris, The Roads To Home
Corey Hawkins, Six Degrees of Separation
Allison Janney, Six Degrees of Separation
Rachel Bay Jones, Dear Evan Hansen
Sarah Jones, Sell/Buy/Date
Andy Karl, Groundhog Day
Kevin Kline, Present Laughter
John Leguizamo, Latin History for Morons
Kecia Lewis, Marie and Rosetta
Judith Light, All The Ways To Say I Love You
Laura Linney, The Little Foxes
Jefferson Mays, Oslo
Simon McBurney, The Encounter
Laurie Metcalf, A Doll’s House, Part 2
Joe Morton, Turn Me Loose
Cynthia Nixon, The Little Foxes
Eva Noblezada, Miss Saigon
Caroline O’Connor, Anastasia
Laura Osnes, Bandstand
Aisling O’Sullivan, The Beauty Queen of Leenane
David Hyde Pierce, A Life; Hello, Dolly!
Ben Platt, Dear Evan Hansen
Daniel Radcliffe, Privacy
Amy Ryan, Love, Love, Love
Nora Schell, Spamilton
Jeremy Secomb, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
Anna Deveare Smith, Notes From The Field
John Douglas Thompson, Jitney; A Doll’s House/The Father
Kate Walsh, If I Forget
Michelle Wilson, Sweat
Could The Color Purple Be On Its Way to an Emmy Award?
Just one month after scoring a Grammy Award for “Best Musical Theater Album,” The Color Purple, which starred Tony and Grammy Award winner Cynthia Erivo, may get an Emmy as well. Announced on March 22nd, one of their live television performances received a Daytime Emmy Award nomination for “Outstanding On-Camera Musical Performance in a Daytime Program.”
Last year, as part of the NBC Citi Concert Series on Today Show’s Best of Broadway Week, the cast of The Color Purple made a guest appearance to sing the title number of the musical, led by Erivo. In a performance that left us breathless and astonished, this would appropriately be the same morning the cast learned they received four Tony nominations, including “Best Revival of a Musical.”
Based on the novel by Alice Walker, The Color Purple first appeared on Broadway in 2005, earning 11 Tony nominations. The recent scaled down version, directed by John Doyle, opened in December of 2015, and ran for 450 performances before closing on January 8th, 2017.
A North American tour launches in the fall later this year. Check The Color Purple for more information.
Now we can’t help but wish for a musical film adaptation, with Erivo reprising Celie. We’ve no doubt she’d easily snatch up her EGOT-status. Regardless, congratulations are in order for the cast of The Color Purple!
Edit: While this is the first time a Broadway production has been nominated in these categories, Erivo and the cast will not actually be eligible to receive the award. Instead it will go to the program that hosted the performance.
Broadway Black Stars Shine In 89th Academy Award Nominations
There’s always a silver lining, right? After this whirlwind of the past few days with the Inauguration of an unqualified reality star to lead our country, millions of women marching around the world for equal rights, white people making up a new name for lying (“alternative facts”), the Academy Award nominations brightened things up a bit.
Announced last Tuesday, we were so pleased to see many of our Broadway Black favorites make the list this year, some even making history.
Moonlight managed to rack up a total of eight nominations including: Best Picture, Best Adapted Screenplay (Tarell Alvin McCraney & Barry Jenkins), Best Director (Barry Jenkins), Best Supporting Actor (Mahershala Ali), Best Supporting Actress (Naomie Harris), Best Cinematography, Best Original Score, and Best Film Editing.
The acclaimed film adaptation of Fences garnered a Best Picture nomination along with Best Actor in a Leading Role (Denzel Washington), Best Supporting Actress (Viola Davis), Best Adapted Screenplay (August Wilson).
Hidden Figures scored three nominations for Best Picture, Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Supporting Actress (Octavia Spencer). Someone must have forgotten to include Taraji P. Henson’s name on the ballots.
Ruth Negga received a nomination for Best Actress in a Leading Role for her nuanced and remarkable performance in Loving.
Another breakthrough for African-American filmmakers was the documentary category with four of the five nominations going to directors of African descent (13th, I Am Not Your Negro, Life, Animated & OJ Made In America).
While Hollywood will quickly pat themselves on the back and try to say this isn’t a repeat of #OscarsSoWhite, the work is far from over. So, you nominated seven actors of color (including Lion’s Dev Patel) out of a possible 20 nominees? Good for you, Hollywood. You go, Glenn Coco.
This so-called “drought,” as Deadline wrote, is far from over. There shouldn’t be any reason Halle Berry is still the last — and only — Black actress to have won in the lead actress category. Viola Davis shouldn’t have to campaign for Best Supporting Actress to increase her odds of winning when Best Actress should definitely be hers — she has a Tony for Best Leading Actress for the same role.
Image: David Lee/Paramount Pictures/REX/Shutterstock
Barry Jenkins is only the fourth Black director to get the esteemed Best Director nomination in the category’s history and, for the first time ever, three films with majority Black casts have been nominated for Best Picture.
This also marks the first time three Black writers received nominations for Adapted Screenplay, including the late August Wilson, in the same year. His posthumous nomination is enough to bring tears to my eyes.
It’s 2017. And while Hollywood wants to say “the drought is over” when we’re just breaking the mold in 2017, we still have such a long way to go.
After the backlash of only 20 white actors in performance categories two years in a row, the Board of Governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences took action to help increase the diversity of its governing board and voting members.
Watch The Oscars LIVE! to see Viola Davis earn her O, snatch a wig or two, and make her way to EGOT status, Sunday, February 26, 7 PM EST/4 PM PST, only on ABC.
Moonlight, Fences & More Snag Golden Globe Nominations
Awards season has arrived, and several Black-led films and television shows have picked up nominations for the upcoming 2017 Golden Globes.
Moonlight, which has scored multiple wins and nominations this season, such as the Critics’ Choice Awards and AFI Awards, earned six nominations, including Best Motion Picture Drama. The film, based on a play by Tarell Alvin McCraney, tells the coming-of-age story of a gay Black man growing up in Miami.
The film also earned nominations for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture (Mahershala Ali), Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture (Naomie Harris), Best Director of a Motion Picture, Best Original Screenplay (Barry Jenkins), and Best Original Score for a Motion Picture (Nicholas Britell).
The anticipated film adaptation of August Wilson’s play Fences earned two nominations for its leads, Denzel Washington, who also directs, and Viola Davis.
Scandal’s Kerry Washington received a Best Performance by an Actress in a Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television nomination for her performance as Anita Hill in HBO’s Confirmation.
Ruth Negga, who earned an Olivier Award nomination in 2003, received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture for Drama for her film Loving.
The People v. O.J. Simpson, in addition to Best Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television, picked up several nominations, including Best Performance by an Actor in a Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television for Tony winner Courtney B. Vance for his turn as lead attorney for Simpson, Johnnie Cochran. His co-star Sterling K. Brown also received a Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role nomination.
Thandie Newton earned a nomination for Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Series, Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television for Westworld.
Broadway Black would also like to congratulate other faves who’ve scored nominations including Issa Rae (Insecure), Pharrell Williams (Hidden Figures), Lin-Manuel Miranda (Moana), Benj Pasek, Justin Paul (La La Land), Octavia Spencer (Hidden Figures), and the numerous other talented artists in their respective categories.
The Golden Globe Awards 2017 nominees were announced on Monday morning by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association at the Beverly Hills Hilton Hotel. The Golden Globes honour the year’s best in film and TV, split into the genres of comedy (or musical) and drama.