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Broadway Stars Set for Special Showcase THE JOINT at TNC's Dream Up Festival

Evelyn must follow her dreams ... by leaving her family. Come down for some hot times with THE JOINT at Theatre for The New City's Dream Up Festival this September.

The Joint serves up a passionate, heart-racing musical score and wild-weaving of stories inside a smoky juke-joint run by the vivacious "Queen" in the town of Stuckley, Virginia, circa 1957 to 1967. All tales and tunes center on the Brinkley family. While Melvin thought his dreams had come true when he married Evelyn and had a daughter like Corrida, Evelyn felt differently. She leaves him to answer the call of the "music." Just when he begins to heal, it's Corrida's turn.

The Joint is an intoxicating blend of funky Broadway-style music, rich southern humor, and genuine emotion. It's love, forgiveness, dreams ... and their ramifications - all served in a tall glass.

The Joint is directed and choreographed by Kenneth L. Roberson (Avenue Q), Timothy Graphenreed (The Wiz), with a powerful book by playwright and Obie nominee, Curtis D. Jones, from a concept by Denise Gray (Don't Bother Me, I Can't Cope).

At press-time, the cast includes Broadway notables:

Sheila K. Davis (Little Shop of Horrors),
Brenda Braxton (Chicago, Smokey Joes Café),
Crystal Joy (Motown the Musical, Memphis, Hair, Legally Blond),
Shani Worrell (Color Purple),
Richard E. Waits (Ain't Misbehavin', The Full Monty),
Lee Summers (Dreamgirls),
Khiry Walker (Films: At Night Only, Swell Gents),
Devin Roberts (Lion King, Smash, Venice, City Center Encores),
Hollie Wright (Hot Feet, Amazing Grace, Color Purple, Alvin Ailey),
Miquel Edson Banket (Amazing Grace, Carnival, West Side Story)
and LaTrisa A. Harper (Color Purple, The Wiz, Motown the Musical).

Special Showcase Presentation: Thursday, September 8 - Sunday, September 11, 2016, playing Thursday and Friday at 6:30 p.m; Saturday and Sunday at 5:00 p.m.


CURTIS D. Jones, PLAYWRIGHT, a mentee of award-winning playwright, Steve Carter, is best known as a playwright and director for the Obie award winning production of The Maafa Suite which has been produced annually for the last twenty-two years by St. Paul Community Baptist Church. The acclaimed docu-drama has played to sold out audiences nationally and internationally. A registered pharmacist by trade, Jones' passion is for the arts. Like many, that passion was first developed and nurtured in the church. Mr. Jones has also written for the Obie nominated adaptation of Langston Hughes' Black Nativity. His work as a director includes; Unto Us, Joy, He Got Up, Bless My Bones: A Billie Holiday Story and Sojourn. He is also coauthor of a novel entitled Who Killed Leslie Cummings and is currently working on a new novel -- Which Way to the Top?

Timothy Graphenreed, COMPOSER, is best known for composing The Tornado, The Funky Monkey, and Emerald City Ballet in the Mega Broadway hit The Wiz. He is a member of ASCAP and has worked with several multi-talented Directors/Choreographers including Michael Peters, Maurice Hines, Pat Birch, Hinton Battle, Louis Johnson, Debbie Allen, Otis Sallid and of course, Tony Award-winning George Faison. Mr. Graphenreed has the distinct pleasure of having done vocal arrangements for four African American Tony Award winners; including LiLlias White, Hinton Battle, Adriane Lenox, and LaChanze. He has also composed for several notables, including Gregory Hines; Jennifer Holiday; Phylicia Rashad; Jeff Goldblum; Robert Downey, Jr.; Maya Angelou; Valerie Simpson; Darlene Love; Morgan Freeman; Charles Strouse; Ben Vereen; Melba Moore; Lalo Schifrin; Nick Ashford; Peabo Bryson and Patti Austin to name a few. He has written arrangements for several corporations including Ford, Krizia, L'Oreal, Essence Magazine, CBS, Rai Uno, Panasonic, PBS, Coca Cola 100 Years of Coca Cola and Lincoln Mercury.

Kenneth L. Roberson, DIRECTOR/CHOREOGRAPHER, productions at IU: Director and choreographer for Sweet Charity; Directed Into the Woods and choreographed In The Red and Brown Water. New York credits include: Avenue Q Tony Award For Best Musical; All Shook Up, The Palace Theater; Purlie (Encores!), City Center; Freak, Court Theater; Off Broadway: A Boy and His Soul, The Vineyard; Jazz a La Carte (as director and choreographer.) Regional Theatre credits as Director include,: Ethel (ALLIANCE THEATRE Spring 2016;) Frog Kiss (world premier Virginia Stage.) Crowns, Lady Day at the Emerson Bar and Grill and Ain't Misbehavin', all at the Arena Stage in Washington D.C.: Once on This Island, Baltimore Center Stage. Regional Theatre credits as Choreographer; Ray, Pasadena Playhouse; The Color Purple (world premier,) Alliance Theater, Guys and Dolls both at Thunder Knocking on the Door, Arena Stage. Film: HBO's Lackawanna Blues, Preaching to the Choir, Brother to Brother and John Lequizamo's House of Buggin', Fox T.V. which he received an Emmy Nomination. Other awards include: two NAACP Awards, two Lucille Lortel Award nominations, Drama Desk Award nomination and ADELCO Award, BET Spirit Award, NPT Spirit Award and Lifetime Achievement Award from SAY (Stuttering Association for the Young.) As a teacher, Kenneth has taught workshops specializing in the Black Vernacular of Theatre dance world wide, Brazil, Japan and Germany. Also a performance artist and writer, Kenneth's one man show Middle Aged Passage Crisis has garnered a NYC cult following. Lastly, he is the recent winner of NPT's New York Writers Festival for his new Gospel musical in progress, WE AIN'T PERFECT. Kenneth is a graduate of the University of Georgia's Henry Grady School of Journalism.

DENISE GRAY, PRODUCER, GRAYT DAY PRODUCTIONS, LLC, is a multifaceted performer and producer with over twenty-five years of experience in the entertainment business, event production and management for non-profits. Ms. Gray created and produced the popular From Broadway to the Boroughs, Neighborhood Housing Services of NYC's annual fundraiser at the American Airlines Theatre. An evening when stars including; Patti LaBelle, Ty Pennington, Ben Vereen, Stephanie Mills and Jennifer Holliday and talent from Fela!, Memphis, Jersey Boys, Rent, Sister Act and Lion King perform to support community development. Theatrical productions include the Tony award winning, Don't Bother Me, I Can't Cope, written by Micki Grant and conceived by Vinnette Carroll which will be revived in NYC in spring 2017, and the powerful LOVE, above all things, by the award winning spoken word artist, Jennifer Falu. A graduate of New York University, Tisch School of the Arts, she has worked with and learned from the best in the business, including Tony Award winning artists and creators Kenny Leon, Daryl Waters, Olympia Dukakis, James Earl Jones and Alia Jones. Ms. Gray is a proud member of the Theatre Resources Unlimited Producers Master Class and a graduate of City College's producing program.

Photo Credit: Walter McBride

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