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Leslie Uggams and Tommy Tune to Be Honored by TADA! Youth Theater at Annual Gala

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Leslie Uggams and Tommy Tune to Be Honored by TADA! Youth Theater at Annual Gala

On March 5, 2018, TADA! Youth Theater will host its annual gala at Tribeca 360, located at 10 Desbrosses Street in Manhattan. This year's honorees will be Leslie Uggams and Tommy Tune. The evening will feature a cocktail hour, dinner, live and silent auctions, entertainment from the TADA!'s Resident Youth Ensemble and Broadway stars, and many more great surprises.

Leslie Uggams is a Tony and Emmy Award-winning actress and singer whose career has brought her from Harlem to Broadway, the big screen to television. Perhaps best known for her stirring portrayal of Kizzy in the landmark TV mini-series Alex Haley's Roots, Ms. Uggams has performed to critical and popular acclaim ever since her first professional appearances at the age of nine at the famed Apollo Theater in New York City. There she opened for such musical legends as Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald and Dinah Washington. Now, after six decades on stage and screen, she is a legend in her own right. She is on the Board of Directors of the Apollo Theater; was recently awarded an Honorary Doctor of Fine Arts from the University of Connecticut; and is also the recipient of an American Artist Award from Arena Stage in Washington, DC.

Ms. Uggams tours nationally, performing to sold-out audiences, with her autobiographical one-woman musical Uptown/Downtown, which chronicles her extraordinary career in stories and song. Recently, she made theater history by becoming the first African American actress to portray the iconic character of Mama Rose in Connecticut Repertory Theatre's acclaimed production of Gypsy. On Broadway, she made her stunning musical theater debut starring in Hallelujah, Baby!, earning her both Tony and Theater World awards. Since then she has starred on Broadway in Blues in the Night, Her First Roman with Richard Kiley, Jerry's Girls, and Anything Goes at the Lincoln Center Theatre among others. Off-Broadway, Ms. Uggams has won Audelco Awards for The Old Settler, Keb Mo's blues musical Thunder Knocking on the Door, and First Breeze of Summer at the acclaimed Signature Theater.

Her television career, which began at the age of six portraying Ethel Waters' niece on the TV series Beulah, spans decades. As a teenager she famously won a $12,500 college scholarship on Name That Tune, and as a regular on Sing Along with Mitch she was the first African American performer to be featured on a weekly national primetime television series. In 1970, she hosted her own primetime variety series, The Leslie Uggams Show.

While a student at the Julliard School in New York, Ms. Uggams released the first of 10 solo albums she was to record for Columbia Records, later signing with Atlantic Records. In concert, she has toured with Peter Nero and Mel Torme; performed at the Hollywood Bowl in Jerry Herman's Broadway; and appeared as a guest soloist with numerous symphony orchestras across the country. In addition, she performed before 300,000 people during the Memorial Day Concert on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol which was broadcast live by PBS to millions of viewers nationwide.

Currently Ms. Uggams can be seen as Leah Walker in the hit television series Empire. She also stars as Blind Al in the blockbuster 20th Century Fox film Deadpool starring Ryan Reynolds, and recently co-starred in the HBO original movie The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks with Oprah Winfrey.

Tommy Tune is one of the country's most prolific performer/director/choreographers and is celebrating his golden decade on the great American stage. He has received 10 Tony Awards, including the 2015 Tony for Life Achievement in the Theatre, and the only person in theatrical history to win in four different categories and to win the same two Tony Awards two years in a row. Mr. Tune has also received The National Medal of Arts, the highest honor for artistic achievement given by the President of the United States; 8 Drama Desk Awards; 2 Obie Awards; 3 Astaire Awards and multiple Lifetime Achievement Awards, including the Society of Directors and the Choreographers' George Abbott Award.

Mr. Tune began his career as a dancer in the Broadway shows Baker Street, A Joyful Noise and How Now Dow Jones. He has received Tony Awards for The Will Rogers Follies (Direction and Choreography), Grand Hotel (Direction and Choreography), My One and Only (Actor in a Musical and Choreography) Nine (Direction), A Day in Hollywood/A Night in the Ukraine (Choreography) and Seesaw (Featured Actor in a Musical). His film credits include Hello Dolly, The Boy Friend, and Mimi Bluette...fiore del mio giardino.

In 1999, he made his Las Vegas debut as the star of EFX at the MGM Grand Hotel, and he has been honored with his own star on the legendary Hollywood Walk of Fame and was inducted into The Theater Hall of Fame by Gwen Verdon. Mr. Tune has also been invited to sing and dance for three United States Presidents, the Queen of England and the Royal Family of Monaco. In addition to touring with Chita Rivera in Chita & Tune, Mr. Tune is also touring the country in his one-man show, Tommy Tune Tonight!

TICKET INFORMATION: Tickets start at $250 for individual tickets and tables from $5,000. Ticket prices will increase after February 19. To purchase tickets, please visit www.tadatheater.com/gala. Ad space is also available. For more information, email aglickman@tadatheater.com.

Since 1984, TADA!'s mission is to provide young people from different backgrounds with musical theater programs that inspire them to be creative, learn, and think differently. A unique Drama Desk award-winning nonprofit youth theater, TADA! produces original musicals for children, teens, and family audiences. TADA! offers a free, year-round, pre-professional training and a positive youth development program for its Resident Youth Ensemble (ages 8-18); musical theater classes/camps for the public; as well as musical theater residencies in NYC schools and community centers. Through high-quality work, young people's self-confidence and creativity are enhanced. They also develop advanced skills in leadership, communication, responsibility, collaboration, and problem-solving - skills that help with growing up and are essential to their success both in school and in life.

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