Annie Golden, NaTasha Yvette Williams, Allen Nichols and More Set for INNER CITY in Concert Tonight

Annie Golden, NaTasha Yvette Williams, Allen Nichols and More Set for INNER CITY in Concert Tonight

Tom O'Horgan's controversial 1971 Broadway musical INNER CITY, originally produced by Harvey Milk, will be presented in concert tonight, August 17th, at Feinstein's/54 Below, with shows at 7:00pm and 9:30pm.

Part of an effort to bring INNER CITY back to a New York stage, this concert will feature Broadway's Annie Golden (Norma Romano in Orange is the New Black), NaTasha Yvette Williams (B'way cast of Chicago), West End performer Ray Shell (Starlight Express and Children of Eden), R&B Songstress, Cheryl Pepsii Riley, original cast member Allen Nichols and others. Directed by Michael Boyd, the concert will feature musical direction by Rob Baumgartner, Jr.

The 1971 Broadway musical INNER CITY was based on Eve Merriam's controversial book "The Inner City Mother Goose," a collection of poems that parody traditional nursery rhymes. Published in 1969, it quickly became one of the most banned books in America for it's language, aggressive exploration of American racial issues and the perception of being anti law enforcement. A relevant example is the poem 'Wino Will,' a spoof on Jack & Jill:

Wino Will, who's drunk his fill, gets chased by Law and Order

Knock him down and kick him around, That's the way of Law and Order

Don't complain or they'll do it again, Just a Law and Order caper

Bloody his head and leave it for dead and keep it out of the pape

Set to music by pop songwriter Helen Miller and helmed by director Tom O'Horgan, the musical opened at Broadway's Barrymore theater in December of 1971 where it ran for 5 months, developing a cult following and winning a Tony Award for it's star, Linda Hopkins. Though critical opinion varied, it is generally acknowledged that the show's premature closing was the result of a backlash from Broadway's power brokers unhappy with the growing success of "bad-boy" director Tom O'Horgan (With the opening of INNER CITY, O'Horgan had four musicals running on Broadway simultaneously; the others being the original productions of HAIR, JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR, and LENNY.)

Harvey Milk, who later became the first openly-gay elected politician in the state of California, was Associate Producer of the original Broadway production of INNER CITY. Prior to INNER CITY, Milk assisted O'Horgan on both JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR and LENNY. Milk, disillusioned by the premature closing of Inner City, abandoned his theater pursuits and moved to San Francisco. The rest is history.

54 Below, Broadway's Supper Club, and Michael Feinstein, one of the world's great musical artists, have united to give New York an unparalleled destination for entertainment and dining. Feinstein's/54 Below is the performance venue in the grand tradition of New York City nightlife. A few blocks from the heart of Times Square and just below the legendary Studio 54, Feinstein's/54 Below is a classically designed state-of-the art nightclub in the theatre district that hosts audiences with warmth and style. Feinstein's/54 Below presents iconic and rising stars from the worlds of Broadway and popular music. The venue provides a food and beverage menu from early evening through the wee hours of the morning that is worthy of the world-class entertainment on the stage. Located at 254 West 54th Street, Feinstein's/54 Below will host 2 shows nightly for this event with cover charges ranging from $30-$80.


Annie Golden: Currently featured as Norma Romano on Netflix series, ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK. Broadway: LEADER OF THE PACK, ON THE TOWN, THE FULL MONTY, and VIOLET. Featured as Jeannie in the film version of HAIR, and in the recurring role of Margaret O'Keefe on popular TV sitcom, CHEERS.

NaTasha Yvette Williams: Broadway: THE COLOR PURPLE, The Gershwin's PORGY AND BESS, A NIGHT WITH Janis Joplin, and CHICAGO.

Ray Shell: American-born West End performer, created the role of Rusty in STARLIGHT EXPRESS, Ham in CHILDREN OF EDEN, and was in the original West End productions of MISS SAIGON and THE BODYGUARD. As a singer, he has performed in both the studio and live proving backing vocals for The Police, Nona Hendryx, and Whitney Houston.

Cheryl Pepsii Riley: Best known for her 1988 recording "Thanks For My Child." Film credits include Tyler Perry's DIARY OF A MAD BLACK WOMAN and MADEA"S BIG HAPPY FAMILY.

Allan Nicholls: Original Broadway cast of INNER CITY. Also featured in HAIR and DUDE. Films include NASHVILLE, SLAP SHOT, and POPEYE.

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