Producers Richard Bell, N’Kenge, Park Row Equity Partners, Tegan Summer, Sam Williams, Michael Loeb and Derow Enterprises, in association with Coalition for African Americans in the Performing Arts, announce the presentation of “The Songs of Dorothy Dandridge! The Musical,” selections from the upcoming production of Dorothy Dandridge! The Musical, with book and lyrics by Trey Ellis and music and lyrics by Shelton L. Becton, directed by Tamara Tunie at Zankel Hall at Carnegie Hall (881 7th Ave. & 57th St.) There will be two (2) performances – Sunday, July 17 and Monday, July 18, both at 7:30pm. Tickets may be purchased at www.dorothydandridgemusical.com. For more information about the show, email email@example.com.
Dorothy Dandridge! The Musical is a joyous, spectacular song and dance celebration of a fearless pioneer who dared to dream, but tragically fell short of her own aspirations. After getting her “big break” in Hollywood, the beautiful, ambitious, and talented African American girl from Ohio inherits the challenges of a leading black woman in a white male-dominated industry. In addition, Dandridge struggles to navigate her own demons, fame and wealth, and the promises of a powerful selection of men who pledge to stand by her side.
The musical combines Great American Songbook classics with an original, contemporary genre-crossing score. The book and lyrics are by two-time Emmy and Peabody Award-winning filmmaker and American Book Award-winning novelist, playwright, and essayist Trey Ellis (The Tuskegee Airmen, Good Fences) with music and lyrics by Tony Award-winning conductor, arranger, and musician Shelton L. Becton (The Wiz; Ain’t Misbehavin’,The Color Purple, Memphis). Tony Award and Obie Award-winning actress and Broadway producer, Tamara Tunie (“Law and Order: SVU”, Dreamgirls, Julius Caesar) is Director.
Leading the cast in the title role is N’Kenge, who recently co-starred in the Tony Award-winning musical Caroline, or Change, with Tony nominee John Cariani (Fiddler on the Roof, Something Rotten! The Band’s Visit and Caroline, Or Change) as Earl Mills, Aisha De Haas (Bring In Da Noise, Bring In Da Funk, RENT and Caroline, Or Change) as Ruby Dandridge, and Phillip Attmore (Shuffle Along, Hello, Dolly!) as Harold Nichols.
The cast also includes Jeremy Webb as Otto Preminger, Mac Award winner Dawn Derow as Marilyn Monroe, Dominic Nolfi as Jack Dennison, Trisha Jeffrey as Vivian Dandridge, Natalie Renee as Etta Jones, Dewitt Fleming Jr. as Phil Moore, and Grace Field as the Marilyn Monroe stand by.
N’Kenge, the Musical’s conceiver and lead producer, has been a longtime admirer of Dandridge as a courageous black female artist in the 1950s who helped pave the way for other black artists. Dandridge is not only the first African American film star to be nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actress but is also a Golden Globe Award nominee for her starring role (opposite Sidney Poitier) in the 1959 musical drama film, Porgy and Bess. “My inspiration for bringing this iconic story to Carnegie Hall is that Dorothy Dandridge was a trailblazer, and it is really important to me to shine a spotlight on her activism, her talent and her endurance as an actress and mother – which are empowering!”
Dorothy Dandridge! The Musical is supported by Park Row Equity Partners, Park Central Hotel and Tony Award-winning producer Willette Klausner.