Pasadena Playhouse to Honor Diahann Carroll with 2014 Diversity Award

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Pasadena Playhouse to Honor Diahann Carroll with 2014 Diversity Award

The Pasadena Playhouse announced today that trailblazing actress Diahann Carroll will be the 2014 Diversity Award Honoree at the 8th Annual Pasadena Playhouse Wells Fargo Theatrical Diversity Project fundraising event on Sunday, September 21, 2014.

"I had the true honor (and the great fun) of directing Diahann Carroll here at the Playhouse in our production of BLUE," said Sheldon Epps. "She has become a good friend and a great supporter of my work here. Diahann has been a great trailblazer and pioneer in our field, opening many doors in the entertainment industry. One could say that the Diversity Project itself is in the grand tradition of her achievements."

Diahann Carroll has moved effortlessly between the worlds of film, television, concerts and the stage throughout her career, earning her the title of "Hollywood Legend." Ms. Carroll is, perhaps, best known for her critically acclaimed television series, Julia, which debuted in 1968 and ran for three years. This was one of the first series on American television to star a black woman in a non-stereotypical role for which she received her first Emmy nomination. She made her Broadway debut starring in Harold Arlen and Truman Capote's musical House of Flowers. Following this, she starred in the Broadway musical No Strings, for which she won a Tony Award. She returned to the Broadway stage again in 1983 in the award winning production of Agnes of God and received rave reviews for her portrayal of "Norma Desmond" in the Toronto premiere of Andrew Lloyd Weber's Sunset Boulevard. In 2002 she starred in The Pasadena Playhouse production of Charles Randolph Wright's BLUE. Her long television career has included her game-changing role as "Dominique Devereaux" on the internationally acclaimed television series Dynasty as well as recurring roles on Grey's Anatomy and A Different World. She currently has a recurring role on USA Network's hit series White Collar. On the big screen, Carroll received an Oscar nomination for Best Actress and a Golden Globe award for her starring role opposite James Earl Jones in Claudine. Other notable films include Carmen Jones, Paris Blues, Porgy and Bess, Hurry Sundown, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings and Eve's Bayou. Her latest book, "The Legs Are the Last to Go", was a New York Times bestseller.

The Theatrical Diversity Project has raised over a million dollars since the 2005 inception. These funds are used to support Playhouse Diversity Initiatives, The Pasadena Playhouse's vision to build a legacy of artistic and theatrical diversity through eclectic programming, outreach and education programs, HOTHOUSE (The Playhouse new play development program), and continued efforts for expanded audience engagement. This year's Diversity Project fundraising event will coincide with the theatre's season opener KISS ME, KATE starring Wayne Brady and Merle Dandridge.

The Diversity Project fundraising event will take place on Opening Night, September 21, 2014. Pre-show reception begins at 3:30 p.m. Presentation to Diahann Carroll is at 4:45 p.m. on the Mainstage. Curtain is at 5:00 p.m. Post show party immediately following.

Patron Levels with benefits start at $1000 for two tickets. Single tickets, which include the show and the post-party (pre-reception not included), are $250. For more information about the Wells Fargo Theatrical Diversity Program, or to become a Patron of the 2014 Diversity Celebration, contact Julia Fitzgibbons by phone at 626-204-7383 or via email at jfitzgibbons@pasadenaplayhouse.org.

KISS ME, KATE represents the iconic composer-lyricist Cole Porter at his very best and includes some of musical theatre's most famous songs: "So in Love," "Another Op'nin' Another Show," "Too Darn Hot," and "Brush Up Your Shakespeare." It is without a doubt one of the great classics of the American musical theatre, celebrating Shakespeare (it describes a production of a musical version of The Taming of the Shrew) and the joys, madness, and the rewards of working in the theatre - both onstage and off. The book is by Bella and Samuel Spewack.
The Pasadena Playhouse production will view the work through a new lens, using the wonderful material of this celebrated production to showcase the trailblazing African-American actors and entertainers of the early 20th century.

KISS ME, KATE will play September 16, 2014 through October 12 with the official press opening on September 21. The Pasadena Playhouse is located at 39 South El Molino Avenue, Pasadena, CA 91101. The performance schedule is Tuesday through Friday at 8:00 p.m.; Saturday at 4:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m.; and Sunday at 2:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.

Photo by Greg Gorman.

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