All Articles Tagged "musical"

Say What Now? An All White Cast Of “The Wiz” Causes An Uproar In New York

March 3rd, 2013 - By Drenna Armstrong
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Well, isn’t this interesting.

According to an EURweb report, a high school in Syracuse, NY will be performing their version of The Wiz but the problem is all the lead characters are…white.

Parents spoke to the NBC and CBS affiliates in upstate New York and they are outraged that the musical will not be more diverse, mixing all races that embody the school.

One parent, Letice Titus, whose daughter was cast in an ensemble role rather than a lead, says that the school should recast the play or acknowledge the elephant in the room:

“They have black talented kids at the school, but they chose to put them at the ensemble because they’re not theater kids. They should have made a collaborative effort based on diversity, cultural awareness, [and] sensitivity. How are the black kids going to feel when they see a play?”

As just about everyone knows, The Wiz, which starred Michael Jackson and Diana Ross in the movie and Stephanie Mills in the actual Broadway musical, was created as a more “soulful” version of the original The Wizard of Oz.  Many have argued that it is the “better” version.

North Central Syracuse superintendent Kim Dyce Faucette says that while she can relate as an African-American woman, she is not willing to pull the card on the play just yet. Instead, she is going to do some further investigation and then she will make a more informed decision.

Hopefully, the school will come to their senses before the superintendent makes up her mind and diversifies the lead characters.

Fulfilling Her Destiny: Singer Michelle Williams Headed Back To The Stage!

January 5th, 2013 - By Drenna Armstrong
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"Fela pf"

Joseph Marzullo/

People always have a lot of shade to throw at former Destiny’s Child members not named Beyonce but there’s one that always seems to be working.

Michelle Williams is on her way back to the stage in yet another acting role. Playbill has confirmed that she’s been added to the national tour of the phenomenal musical, “Fela!”Williams will play the character of “Sandra” in the musical which will begin at the end of January in Washington, D.C., and play in 16 cities, ending in Oakland, CA.

Miss Michelle is no stranger to acting. After Destiny’s Child parted ways, she took on the lead role in Aida and also played Shug Avery in the national tour of The Color Purple. The acting stage has become more of a first home for her over the singing stage in the last few years.

In a statement, she said:

“I am thrilled to join the cast of Fela! This musical journey is one that I’ve wanted to be a part of since first seeing it on stage in 2008. The sounds, the passion and the politics of Fela Kuti have long intrigued me and speak to my heart. I am simply honored.”

That’s wonderful news for her! If Fela! comes to or close to your city, you should check it out. It’s so exciting and fun while telling the story of a revered man and they love audience participation.  It is a wonderful experience.



Hitsville U.S.A.: Motown the Musical is Headed to Broadway

June 26th, 2012 - By Brande Victorian
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From The Grio

The Hollywood Reporter is reporting that Sony Entertainment and Berry Gordy confirmed Tuesday that they will be teaming up to bring the legendary Motown story to Broadway in 2013. The show will be based on the life of Berry Gordy and the story of his rise to fame as the head of Motown records. It’s reported the production will feature Motown hits from Diana Ross, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye and Michael Jackson. The show is scheduled to open at a Nederlander theater. The cast will be revealed at a later date.

For more details on this new musical venture, head over to The Grio.

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Tupac Comes to Broadway

February 29th, 2012 - By madamenoire
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From Black Voices

Good news for Tupac Shakur fans! The late hip-hop icon’s music will be featured in a new Broadway musical titled, “Holler If Ya Hear Me.”

According to Playbill, the Kenny Leon directed musical will begin casting in New York City on March 10 and are seeking African American Male and Female rappers between the ages of 18 – 35, in addition to one “Caucasian actor” between the ages 20 – 25 with a “strong facility for rap and terrific guitar skills.”

While Leon previously revealed to The Huffington Post that he has held small workshops with Shakur’s mother, Afeni, he also mentioned during an interview with PBS that he has always wanted to direct a production inspired by the rapper’s illustrious discography.

Get the rest of the story and out when you can expect to see this show at Black

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Mary J. Blige to Star in ‘Rock of Ages’

December 14th, 2011 - By Brande Victorian
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It may seem odd for the Queen of Hip-Hop/Soul Mary J. Blige to star in a film about Rock & Roll, but the R&B songstress says she couldn’t be more excited to be a part of a film with such an all-star cast.

“Rock of Ages” is based on the Tony-nominated Broadway musical about a small-town girl and a big-city boy who meet while pursuing their dreams of making it as an actress and a rock star in Hollywood. Some of the biggest actors in the industry are lined up to star in the movie musical, including Tom Cruise, Alec Baldwin, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Russell Brand, and Paul Giamatti. Here’s what Mary J. had to say about her role:

“It’s a classic 80′s rock film that I’m so blessed to be in. It features an all-star cast, which I’m still pinching myself about working with. I play a Gentleman’s Club owner, who inspires the women working there and encourage them in their life journeys.”

Check out the trailer and tell us what you think? Is this something you’d check out to see Mary’s performance?

Brande Victorian is a blogger and culture writer in New York City. Follower her on Twitter at @be_vic.

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