|Stage Aurora Theatrical Company (Darryl Reuben Hall, Executive Director) will present “Broadway Celebrates Veterans Day,” a virtual concert of Broadway performers celebrating our military veterans and those who have served – and are currently serving – in the Armed Forces. The concert will stream on the Stage Aurora Theatrical Company’s YouTube page here beginning Saturday, November 7 at 12pm and will be available for viewing through Veteran’s Day, Wednesday, November 11. Attendance is free with a suggested donation of $25.|
Proceeds from the concert will benefit Northeast Florida Women Veterans of Jacksonville and Stage Aurora Theatrical Company. For more information, please visit www.stageaurora.org.Broadway Celebrates Veteran’s Day will feature many of your favorite Broadway performers, musicians, and crew singing and performing in this ‘can’t miss’ virtual concert of heartfelt thanks and recognition to the hundreds of thousands who have served and continue to serve to keep this country safe. Hear favorite selections such as “The Impossible Dream,” “Imagine,” “America the Beautiful,” “Boogie, Woogie, Bugle Boy,” and much more.
The virtual concert will feature Tony nominee Robert Cuccioli (Broadway: Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark, Jekyll & Hyde), Darius de Haas (Broadway: Shuffle Along, Or The Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921…), Jarrod Emick (Broadway: Ring of Fire, Damn Yankees), Darryl Reuben Hall(Broadway: Godspell, Cinderella), Janet Hubert (Broadway: Cats, “The Fresh Prince of Bel Air”), Tony award winner Cady Huffman (Broadway: The Will Rogers Folliies, The Producers), Renee Lawless (Broadway National: Wicked, “The Haves and The Have Nots”), N’Kenge (Broadway: Caroline or Change, Motown The Musical), Randy Redd (Broadway: Million Dollar Quartet, Parade), Cody Renard Richard (Broadway Stage Manager), Desmond Richardson (Broadway: Fosse, Chicago), Angela Robinson (Broadway: The Color Purple), “The Haves and The Have Nots”), Justin Matthew Sargent (Broadway: Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark, Rock of Ages), Tony award winner Ben Vereen (Broadway:Pippin), Bethaney Wellings-Davies (West End: Cabaret, Phantom of the Opera), Natasha Yvette Williams (Broadway: Waitress, The Color Purple), and Vanessa Williams (Broadway: Into the Woods, Kiss of the Spider Woman). Artists subject to change.“As Founder of Stage Aurora Theatrical Company, Inc.,
I’m incredibly grateful for this special opportunity to give back to those who’ve completely given of themselves in the armed forces through bravery and courage,” states Darryl Reuben Hall. “My goal is to continue to produce ‘theatre that enlightens’. Through the universal language of music and song, we all can celebrate in this moment of sheer entertainment, enlightenment, and joy. This is a musical celebration of thanks.”The event is stage managed by Roumel Reaux and directed by Darryl Reuben Hall. Consultants on the virtual concert are Tim and Pamela Kashani (Apples and Oranges Arts), and Tegan Summer.Stage Aurora Theatrical Company has produced 200+ productions of award-winning theatre in Florida and now looks to expand theatrical operations to New York City. Broadway Celebrates Veteran’s Day is part of Stage Aurora Theatrical Company’s NEA Big Read/ The Things They Carried. The series began on October 3 with a presentation of Tim O’Brien’s Pulitzer Prize finalist “The Things They Carried” that was made possible by a Big Read Grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. The NEA Big Read is a program of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest. Additional information about the NEA Big Read, including book and author information, podcasts and videos, may be obtained at arts.gov/neabigread.
Stage Aurora Theatrical Company, theatre that enlightens, is now located in both New York City and Jacksonville, FL having launched its Mainstage of Theatre, Dance, and Music in 2000 under the leadership of Darryl Reuben Hall. Stage Aurora began as an opportunity to provide the underserved community of Jacksonville’s Northside with professional theatre reflecting the African-American experience. In New York City, Stage Aurora is quickly making its mark with original productions The Dinner and Drawn from the Water, having received some support from the Dramatists Guild Fund, Actor’s Equity Association, National Alliance for Musical Theatre, and the Queens Council on the Arts. The Main Stage has produced 200+ productions including Pulitzer Prize Winners The Color Purple, Fences, Driving Miss Daisy, To Kill a Mockingbird, and The Piano Lesson; and Tony Award Winners For Colored Girls Who…, Dreamgirls, The Wiz, and A Raisin in the Sun. Other favorites include Steel Magnolias, Crowns, Miss Ever’s Boys, Mama, I Want to Sing, and Disney’s High School Musical. Original works include Sinner Man by Roumel Reaux, Trent Armand Kendall’s Louis and Ella, Noble Lee Lester’s Apostasy 360, Alzheimer’s and Darryl Reuben Hall’s Frat House, The Dinner, Harlem of the South, A Very Merry Jacksonville Christmas, and the upcoming Drawn from the Water. Children’s include FRIENDS: James, Mary, and George, SONG AND DANCE, and Field Trip Safari. Critical success abounds: Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun ‘was both splendid and captivating’, Langston Hughes’ Black Nativity ‘All color and life and unbelievable, this is a miraculous spectacle of Biblical and artistic proportions’; Tom Stolz’s Mahalia as ‘an exceptional masterpiece’, and Darryl Reuben Hall’s Frat House ‘Impressively choreographed, energetic, and lots of fun.’ Local, Statewide, and National recognition is seen through a variety of awards: State of Florida Division of Cultural Affairs’ Diversity and Inclusion Award, Rosetta LeNoire Award Nomination for Diversity from Actors’ Equity Association; the Onyx Award, Individual Arts Award from the Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville, among others. National celebrities who’ve graced our stage at Stage Aurora include: Ella Joyce, Tony Award Winner Melba Moore, T’Keyah Crystal Keymah, Daniel Beaty, Kim Coles among Artistic Associates: Angela Robinson (Tyler Perry’s The Haves and The Have Nots, Broadway’s The Color Purple), Sondra Bonitto (Broadway’s Ragtime), Jannie Jones (Broadway’s The Full Monty), Roumel Reaux (Broadway’s The Wiz), and Natasha Yvette Williams (Broadway’s The Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess).
Darryl Reuben Hall (Founder /Executive Director of Stage Aurora Theatrical Company) holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Architecture from the University of Florida. He is an alumnus of Lincoln Center Director’s Lab, Creative Capital, Eugene O’Neill Theater Center Fellow, a member of the Board of Directors at Amas Musical Theatre, National Alliance for Musical Theatre, Theatre Communications Group, and has served as a Panelist for the New York State Council of the Arts, Queens Council on the Arts, and Florida Department of State Division of Cultural Affairs’ State Touring Roster and Cultural Support Programs for Community Theatre. Professional union affiliations include Actor’s Equity Association, Screen Actor’s Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, American Guild of Variety Artists, and American Guild of Musical Artists. He has worked on Broadway, Off-Broadway, National and International Tours, and in Regional Theatre. He has penned Darryl Reuben Hall’s Frat House (winner of (2) Festival Favorite Awards in the Atlanta Black Theatre Festival), Dinner with Booker T. (premiered in the 2019 National Black Theatre Festival, The Dinner (Midtown International Theatre Festival, Harlem of the South, and the upcoming musical Drawn from the Water.www.stageaurora.org
Countdown to Christmas: For The Dancer and Theatre Lover Chita Rivera
2o days to go! Every year people panic to find the perfect gift. We at T2C have been collecting idea’s all year long to bring you the perfect gift guide at all price levels. When you’re at the end of your rope trying to find the perfect Christmas present this year, come to this guide for some great suggestions.
There are a lot of books out there this year but we highly recommend Chita: A Memoir , the critically-acclaimed book is written by the legendary Broadway icon Chita Rivera with arts journalist Patrick Pacheco. Chita takes fans behind-the-scenes of all her shows and cabaret acts, she shares candid stories of her many colleagues, friends, and lovers. She speaks with empathy and hindsight of her deep associations with complicated geniuses like Fosse and Robbins, as well as with the mega-talent Liza Minnelli, with whom she co-starred in The Rink. She openly discusses her affair with Sammy Davis, Jr. as well as her marriage to Tony Mordente and her subsequent off-the-radar relationships. Chita revisits the terrible car accident that threatened to end her career as a dancer forever. Center stage to Chita’s story are John Kander and Fred Ebb, the songwriters and dear friends indelibly tied to her career through some of her most enduring work: Chicago, The Rink, Kiss of the Spider Woman, and The Visit.
Chita’s love of performing began as a child in Washington, D.C., when her mother enrolled her in a local ballet school to channel her boundless energy. Still a teenager, she moved to New York to attend the School of American Ballet after an audition for George Balanchine himself and winning a scholarship. But Broadway beckoned, and by twenty she was appearing in the choruses of Golden Age shows like Guys and Dolls and Can-Can. In the latter, she received special encouragement from its star Gwen Verdon, forging a personal and professional friendship that would help shape her career. The groundbreaking West Side Story brought her into the orbit of Leonard Bernstein, Jerome Robbins, Arthur Laurents, Hal Prince, and Stephen Sondheim. After Bye Bye Birdie further burnished her rising star, she reunited with Verdon and her then-husband Bob Fosse to work on the film version of Sweet Charity and the celebrated original Broadway production of Chicago.
Chita: A Memoir was published in English and Spanish and the English audio version of the Memoir was recorded by Chita. A Spanish audio version is also available.
“Chita Rivera blazed a trail where none existed so the rest of us could see a path forward. She has been part of some of the greatest musicals in the history of the form, from Anita in the trailblazing West Side Story through Claire Zachanassian in the underrated masterpiece The Visit, over 60 years later. She is a Puerto Rican Broadway icon and the original ‘triple threat.’ We’re so lucky to be alive in the same timeline as Chita Rivera.” — Lin-Manuel Miranda.
“A frank and fascinating memoir from one of the truly great artists of the American Theater. Lots of stories … Lots of insight … and quite a few caustic statements from Chita’s alter ego, Dolores. An illuminating history and a guaranteed pleasure!” — John Kander
Broadway legend and national treasure Chita Rivera, multi-Tony Award winner, Kennedy Center honoree, and recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom – has taken no prisoners on stage or screen for seven decades. From her trailblazing performance as the original Anita in West Side Story—for which she tapped her own Puerto Rican roots—to her haunting 2015 star turn in The Visit. Chita has proven to be much more than just a captivating dancer, singer, and actress beloved by audiences and casts alike. In her equally captivating and one-of-a-kind memoir, Written with Patrick Pacheco, the woman born Dolores Conchita Figueroa del Rivero shares an incomparable life, both on stage and behind the curtain.
By the way this Memoir has won a Gold Medal for “Best Autobiography – English” at the 2023 International Latino Book Awards. https://www.latinobookawards.org/
Click here to buy your copy.
Ken Fallin’s Broadway: Spamalot
Here is the amazing cast of Spamalot. Christopher Fitzgerald as Patsy, James Monroe Iglehart as King Arthur, Leslie Rodriguez Kritzer as The Lady of the Lake, Ethan Slater as The Historian/Prince Herbert, Jimmy Smagula as Sir Bedevere, Michael Urie as Sir Robin, Nik Walker as Sir Galahad and Taran Killam as Lancelot.
I was so inspired I drew the whole cast.
To read T2C’s review click here.
Ahead of the Broadway Opening of Lempicka The Longacre Theatre Is Showcasing Art Work By Tamara de Lempicka
The Longacre Theatre (220 W 48th St.), soon-to-be home of the sweeping new musical, Lempicka, is showcasing a curated selection of renowned artist Tamara de Lempicka’s most famous works. Eschewing traditional theatrical front-of-house advertising, the Longacre’s façade now boasts prints, creating a museum-quality exhibition right in the heart of Times Square. The musical opens on Broadway on April 14, 2024 at the same venue.
The Longacre’s outdoor exhibition includes works of Self Portrait (Tamara in a Green Bugatti) (1929), Young Girl in Green (1927), Nu Adossé I (1925), The Red Tunic (1927), The Blue Scarf (1930), The Green Turban (1930), Portrait of Marjorie Ferry (1932), Portrait of Ira P. (1930), Portrait of Romana de la Salle (1928), and Adam and Eve (1932).
Starring Eden Espinosa and directed by Tony Award winner Rachel Chavkin, Lempicka features book, lyrics, and original concept by Carson Kreitzer, book and music by Matt Gould, and choreography by Raja Feather Kelly.
Spanning decades of political and personal turmoil and told through a thrilling, pop-infused score, Lempicka boldly explores the contradictions of a world in crisis, a woman ahead of her era, and an artist whose time has finally come.
Young Girl in Green painted by Tamara de Lempicka (1927). Oil on plywood.