Photo Coverage: Black Angels Over Tuskegee Opening Night

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Photo Coverage: Black Angels Over Tuskegee Opening Night

Layon Gray's historical drama Black Angels Over Tuskegee made its Off-Broadway premiere at St. Luke's Theatre, 308 West 46th Street (between Eighth & Ninth Ave.), beginning performances Friday, January 29th, with Opening Night last night, February 15th.

Based on true events, six men explore their collective struggle with Jim Crow, their intelligence, patriotism, dreams of an inclusive fair society, and brotherhood as they become the first African American fighter pilots in the U.S. Army Air Forces. Black Angels Over Tuskegee goes beyond the headlines of the popular stories of the Tuskegee Airmen and exposes the men who exhibited the courage to excel in spite of all the overwhelming odds against them.

Writer and director Layon Gray continues to make his mark in traditional African American theatre with Black Angels Over Tuskegee. His natural flow for dialogue has been compared to August Wilson's work by many critics and audiences on both the east and west coast. Featured in the cast of Black Angels Over Tuskegee are film and TV star Lamman Rucker (from Tyler Perry's Why Did I Get Married? and Meet the Browns), Demetrius Gross, Thom Scott II, Antonio Charity, Layon Gray, David Wendell Boykins, Derek Shaun, Jay Jones, and Rich Skidmore.

In addition to being an official selection of the 2009 National Black Theater Festival, the play recently won a 2009 NAACP Award for Best Ensemble and a 2009 Artistic Director Achievement Award for Best Play. Black Angels Over Tuskegee was presented at the 2009 National Tuskegee Airmen Convention in Las Vegas for over 30 chapters.

Black Angels Over Tuskegee is being produced Off-Broadway by The Black Gents, Edmund Gaynes, and The Layon Gray Experience.

Performances will be Monday, Friday and Saturday evening at 8 PM, and Sundays at 5 PM. Tickets will be $31.50 and $56.50 and are available through Telecharge.com or by calling 212-239-6200.

Photos by Walter McBride / Retna Ltd.

 

Photo Coverage: Black Angels Over Tuskegee Opening Night

Photo Coverage: Black Angels Over Tuskegee Opening Night

Photo Coverage: Black Angels Over Tuskegee Opening Night

Photo Coverage: Black Angels Over Tuskegee Opening Night
Rehearsing the stage fight blocking

Photo Coverage: Black Angels Over Tuskegee Opening Night
Derek Shaun, Lamman Rucker, Demetrius Grosse & Thom Scott II

Photo Coverage: Black Angels Over Tuskegee Opening Night
Derek Shaun, Lamman Rucker, Demetrius Grosse & Thom Scott II

Photo Coverage: Black Angels Over Tuskegee Opening Night
Derek Shaun, Lamman Rucker, Demetrius Grosse & Thom Scott II

Photo Coverage: Black Angels Over Tuskegee Opening Night
Derek Shaun, Lamman Rucker, Demetrius Grosse & Thom Scott II

Photo Coverage: Black Angels Over Tuskegee Opening Night
Derek Shaun, Lamman Rucker & Thom Scott II

Photo Coverage: Black Angels Over Tuskegee Opening Night
Lamman Rucker, Derek Shaun & Thom Scott II

Photo Coverage: Black Angels Over Tuskegee Opening Night
Lamman Rucker, Derek Shaun & Thom Scott II

Photo Coverage: Black Angels Over Tuskegee Opening Night
Thom Scott II, Derek Shaun, Lamman Rucker & Dave Wendell-Boykins

Photo Coverage: Black Angels Over Tuskegee Opening Night
Thom Scott II, Derek Shaun, Lamman Rucker & Dave Wendell-Boykins

Photo Coverage: Black Angels Over Tuskegee Opening Night
Derek Shaun & Lamman Rucker

Photo Coverage: Black Angels Over Tuskegee Opening Night
Thom Scott II, Derek Shaun, Lamman Rucker & Dave Wendell-Boykins

Photo Coverage: Black Angels Over Tuskegee Opening Night
Thom Scott II, Derek Shaun, Lamman Rucker & Dave Wendell-Boykins

Photo Coverage: Black Angels Over Tuskegee Opening Night
Derek Shaun & Lamman Rucker

Photo Coverage: Black Angels Over Tuskegee Opening Night
Lamman Rucker & Layon Gray

Photo Coverage: Black Angels Over Tuskegee Opening Night
Lamman Rucker & Layon Gray

Photo Coverage: Black Angels Over Tuskegee Opening Night
Jojing around on the cell phone

Photo Coverage: Black Angels Over Tuskegee Opening Night
Lamman Rucker

Photo Coverage: Black Angels Over Tuskegee Opening Night
Lamman Rucker

Photo Coverage: Black Angels Over Tuskegee Opening Night
Lamman Rucker

Photo Coverage: Black Angels Over Tuskegee Opening Night
Layon Gray

Photo Coverage: Black Angels Over Tuskegee Opening Night
Layon Gray

Photo Coverage: Black Angels Over Tuskegee Opening Night
Layon Gray

Photo Coverage: Black Angels Over Tuskegee Opening Night
Lamman Rucker

Photo Coverage: Black Angels Over Tuskegee Opening Night
Lamman Rucker

Photo Coverage: Black Angels Over Tuskegee Opening Night
Lamman Rucker

Photo Coverage: Black Angels Over Tuskegee Opening Night
Lamman Rucker

Photo Coverage: Black Angels Over Tuskegee Opening Night
Lamman Rucker

Photo Coverage: Black Angels Over Tuskegee Opening Night
Lamman Rucker

Photo Coverage: Black Angels Over Tuskegee Opening Night
Demetrius Grosse

Photo Coverage: Black Angels Over Tuskegee Opening Night
Demetrius Grosse

Photo Coverage: Black Angels Over Tuskegee Opening Night
Demetrius Grosse

Photo Coverage: Black Angels Over Tuskegee Opening Night
Dave Wendell-Boykins

Photo Coverage: Black Angels Over Tuskegee Opening Night
Dave Wendell-Boykins

Photo Coverage: Black Angels Over Tuskegee Opening Night
Dave Wendell-Boykins

Photo Coverage: Black Angels Over Tuskegee Opening Night
Dave Wendell-Boykins

Photo Coverage: Black Angels Over Tuskegee Opening Night
Thom Scott II

Photo Coverage: Black Angels Over Tuskegee Opening Night
Thom Scott II

Photo Coverage: Black Angels Over Tuskegee Opening Night
Thom Scott II

Photo Coverage: Black Angels Over Tuskegee Opening Night
Rich Skidmore

Photo Coverage: Black Angels Over Tuskegee Opening Night
Rich Skidmore

Photo Coverage: Black Angels Over Tuskegee Opening Night
Rich Skidmore

Photo Coverage: Black Angels Over Tuskegee Opening Night

Photo Coverage: Black Angels Over Tuskegee Opening Night
Deborah Cox

Photo Coverage: Black Angels Over Tuskegee Opening Night
Deborah Cox

Photo Coverage: Black Angels Over Tuskegee Opening Night
Deborah Cox

Photo Coverage: Black Angels Over Tuskegee Opening Night
Jacque Reid

Photo Coverage: Black Angels Over Tuskegee Opening Night
Jacque Reid

Photo Coverage: Black Angels Over Tuskegee Opening Night
The Original Tuskegee Airmen

Photo Coverage: Black Angels Over Tuskegee Opening Night
The Original Tuskegee Airmen

Photo Coverage: Black Angels Over Tuskegee Opening Night

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Walter McBride As a 14 year old youth, Walter was transfixed by his first Broadway Show, the original production of 'GREASE'. His Journey to celebrity photojournalism began that fateful night. Meeting, photographing and getting to know the cast inspired him to spend his professional life doing what he loved. Walter moved to Manhattan and for a leading role as a Photographer & Photo Researcher. Currently headlining in New Jersey with his partner Richard and family members Dali (Jack Russell) & Gala (Schnoodle). Recently he made his Broadway debut sharing the stage with Hugh Jackman in 'Hugh Jackman on Broadway' as well as receiving the Actors' Equity Association Gypsy Spirit Award. Walter McBride Photography is syndicated worldwide by Corbis/AP.