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Posts Tagged ‘“The Scottsboro Boys”’

Tonight, I was fortunate enough to attend the closing night of Broadway’s “The Scottsboro Boys,” the final collaboration by musical theatre luminaries John Kander and Fred Ebb. The enthusiasm, energy, and countless applause filled the theatre through the rafters! So many people turned out to see this final show: Brian Stokes Mitchell, Debra Monk, and Julia Murney were just a few of the folks I was sitting in the midst of, not to mention I was seated just a few rows behind John Kander himself! The final bows were very moving as the cast took them for the last time. John Kander made a beautiful toast to his friend and long-time collaborator Fred Ebb. It was truly a night to remember!

Now onto the show itself…”The Scottsboro Boys” is true piece of theatre and everyone who had anything to do with this production should be very proud to have brought this show to life for audiences to see and experience. It’s sad that such a powerful, thought-provoking, and entertaining show did not last longer.

Starring fellow “Adaumbelle’s Quest” participant Joshua Henry along with John Cullum, Colman Domingo, Forrest McClendon, Sharon Washington, Josh Breckenridge, Derrick Cobey, E. Clayton Cornelious, Jeremy Gumbs, Rodney Hicks, Kendrick Jones, James T. Lane, JC Montgomery, Clinton Roane, Julius Thomas III, Robin S. Walker, and Christian Dante White, “The Scottsboro Boys,” based upon the famous “Scottsboro” case in the 1930s, tells the story of 9 African-American men who were unjustly accused of a terrible crime.

Watching these actors bring this story to life was moving. I really felt a part of their journey and took some of it away with me as I left the show. Some of my personal favorite numbers were “Nothin’,” “Go Back Home,” “Make Friends With The Truth,” “That’s Not The Way We Do Things,” and “Never Too Late.” The lyrics to these songs really spoke to me and were so well performed! The whole cast should be applauded for a job well done, especially Joshua Henry (for a powerful and strong performance both acting wise and vocally), Sharon Washington (who is an integral part of the show, but doesn’t have any dialogue until the she utters her few lines in the final moments of the show), Jeremy Gumbs (at such a young age to be so talented with an amazingly strong and powerful voice), and James T. Lane (bringing his wonderful comedic timing to “Ruby Bates”).

I am truly grateful for being able to see this show. It was an evening of theatre I will always remember! If this show ever comes back around, whether on tour or revived, I highly suggest going to see it! This show will not only entertain you, but it will make you think about the consequences of telling a lie to how the truth can set you free to equality, justice, and freedom for all.

Thank you “Scottsboro Boys” for an engaging and entertaining night!

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Joshua Henry is another one of our next generation actors on the rise! He won the Drama Desk Award for Best Featured Ensemble for “In The Heights,” which he also starred in on Broadway and he originated the role of the “Favorite Son” military hero in Broadway’s “American Idiot.” His other theatrical credits include “The Wiz” (City Center), “Godspell” (Papermill Playhouse), and “Being Alive” (Westport Country Playhouse). On television, Joshua has been seen in HBO’s “Sex and the City” as well as NBC’s “Kings.” Joshua is currently in Minneapolis making his Guthrie debut, in the pre-Broadway run of “The Scottsboro Boys” through September 25. “The Scottsboro Boys” will arrive on Broadway starting October 7. Be sure to check out this amazing talent!

1. Who inspired you to become a performer? It was just one person, but I remember being twelve years old watching Michael Jackson on TV and in awe at the power he had over an audience.

2. What is the highest and lowest note you can sing? Why? Is this the final callback? I fancy myself a tenor 2 range with a little extra on the bottom and a few surprises on top.

3. Who is the one person you haven’t worked with that you would like to? Brian McKnight. Amazing musician and song writer. Brian, if you listening, let’s jam together!

4. If you couldn’t be doing what you are doing now, what career would you choose? Music Therapy.

5. Do you have any rituals that you must do before a performance? How do you decompress after a show? After shoulder rolls forward and back I like to have a moment of silence to remind myself how blessed I am to be doing what I love. Most nights after a show, I zone out to ESPN on the couch.

6. Do you have any strange or unusual talent that nobody knows about? Well, I can make my voice sound computerized/audio-tuned.

7. Favorite way to stay in shape? I’m all about supersets at the gym. Although I’ve recently discovered Sculpt Yoga.

8. Boxers or Briefs? Recently briefs.

9. Favorite website? Facebook. Sometimes it’s annoying, but when it comes down to it, it’s perfect for the NYC lifestyle.

10. Superman or Wonder Woman? Superman because he can fly and see through walls. I haven’t done much research on Wonder Woman..I’m on it.

BONUS QUESTIONS:

11. What is the best advice you’ve ever received? Always do your best.

12. If you could dream about anyone while you sleep, who would it be? Beyonce. And I mean that in the most respectful, professional way.

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I attended the 2010 Drama Desk Awards and it was very exciting, especially when fellow “Adaumbelle’s Quest” participant Jan Maxwell won for Best Actress in a Play for “The Royal Family.” It was so exciting to be there in person when she won and then to be able to personally congratulate Jan after the show was that much more exciting! I also got to meet Brooke Sheilds who was kind, gracious, and absolutely stunning. Before the evening got underway I got to hang out with fellow “Adaumbelle’s Quest” participant Tom D’Angora who’s show “NEWSical the Musical” was nominated for “Best Musical Revue”, but unfortunately didn’t win. We still had a wonderful time as always!

To find out who won awards check out the list of winners below…

Outstanding Play: John Logan,¬†“Red”

Outstanding Musical: “Memphis”

Outstanding Revival of a Play: “A View from the Bridge” & “Fences”

Outstanding Revival of a Musical: “La Cage Aux Folles”

Outstanding Actor in a Play: Liev Schreiber, “A View from the Bridge”

Outstanding Actress in a Play: fellow “Adaumbelle’s Quest” participant Jan Maxwell, “The Royal Family”

Outstanding Actor in a Musical: Douglas Hodge, “La Cage Aux Folles”

Outstanding Actress in a Musical: Montego Glover, “Memphis” & Catherine Zeta-Jones, “A Little Night Music”

Outstanding Featured Actor in a Play: Santino Fontana, “Brighton Beach Memoirs”

Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play: Viola Davis, “Fences”

Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical: Christopher Fitzgerald, “Finian’s Rainbow”

Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical: Katie Finneran, “Promises Promises”

Outstanding Director of a Play: Michael Grandage, “Red”

Outstanding Director of a Musical: Michael Mayer, “American Idiot”

Outstanding Choreography: Twyla Tharp, “Come Fly Away”

Outstanding Music: David Bryan, “Memphis”

Outstanding Lyrics: John Kander & Fred Ebb, “The Scottsboro Boys”

Outstanding Book of a Musical: Alex Timbers, “Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson”

Outstanding Orchestrations: Daryl Waters & David Bryan, “Memphis”

Outstanding Musical Revue: “Sondheim on Sondheim”

Outstanding Music in a Play: Branford Marsalis, “Fences”

Outstanding Set Design: Phelim McDermott, Julian Crouch, & Basil Twist: “The Addams Family”

Outstanding Costume Design: Matthew Wright, “La Cage Aux Folles”

Outstanding Lighting Design: Neil Austin, “Red”

Outstanding Sound Design in a Musical: Acme Sound Partners, “Ragtime”

Outstanding Sound Design in a Play: Fitz Patton, “When the Rain Stops Falling”

Outstanding Solo Performance: Jim Brochu, “Zero Hour”

Unique Theatrical Experience: “Love, Loss, and What I Wore”

Outstanding Ensemble Performance: “Circle Mirror Transformation” & “The Tempermentals”

Special Awards:

To the cast, creative team, and producers of Horton Foote’s epic “The Orphans’ Home Cycle” “We salute the breadth of ¬†vision which inspired exceptional direction, performances, sets, lighting, costumes, music, and sound that made it the theatrical event of this season.”

To Jerry Herman, “For enchanting and dazzling audiences with his exhuberant music and heartfelt lyrics for more than half a century.”

To Godlight Theatre Company for “consistent originality and excellence in dramatizing modern literature, and especially for the vibrant theatricality of its innovate productions.”

To Ma-Yi Theater Company for “more than two decades of excellence and for nurturing Asian-American voices in stylistically varied and engaging theater.”

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