Official: Norm Lewis to Star in Industry Reading of MANDELA: A NEW MUSICAL, 3/31

Norm Lewis - the Tony Award nominated leading man who will soon make history as the first African-American Phantom in The Phantom of the Opera on Broadway- will play the title role in a special industry reading of Mandela: A New Musical with book, music and lyrics by Steven M. Fisher on Monday, March 31 at 3:00 PM. It will be directed by David Glenn Armstrong with Music Direction by Micah Young. Industry members interested in attending should email RSVP4MANDELA@GMAIL.COM and indicate their affiliation.

The cast also includes Tony Award nominee Forrest McClendon (The Scottsboro Boys), Rosena M. Hill Jackson (After Midnight, Spamalot), Darlesia Cearcy (The Book of Mormon, The Color Purple), John Henry Cox (Desire Under the Elms, Macbeth), Alan H. Green (Sister Act, Play On!), Aisha de Haas (Caroline or Change, Rent), Isaiah Johnson (Far >From Heaven, Peter and the Starcatcher), Nehal Joshi (LES MISERABLES, Threepenny Opera), Jacob Ming-Trent (Hands on a Hardbody, Shrek), Paul O'Brien (On A Clear Day, The Importance of Being Earnest), Ben Schrager (Roaring Company's columbinus), Michael Sharon (Folger's Richard the Third, Long Wharf's The Fantasticks), and Nick Wyman (Catch Me If You Can, A Tale of Two Cities). The show will also include 60 members of the Keystone State Boychoir and Pennsylvania Girlchoir who will bring the glorious sounds of South Africa to the presentation.

Fisher commented, "We all know about the journey of Mandela the hero. This is the journey we don't know - of a man who struggled to be father to his own children while serving as father to the freedom struggle." The backdrop of this story is as epic as LES MISERABLES, but the story itself is quite intimate - much more in the spirit of Carousel. Mandela: A New Musical tells a universal tale of the love and loss between parent and child that is both heart-breaking and heart-warming. Threaded through an original score by Fisher are enthralling South African folk songs that transport us to the various times and places in Mandela's life. The piece has been developed here in the United States as well as in the townships of South Africa. Fisher has deep roots in South Africa. "It's really a second home for me. I'm so excited to share the wonder of this country and this incredible life."

Production credits include General Management by Martian Entertainment and casting by Geoff Josselson. The stage managers for the show are Scott DelaCruz and LaShawn Keyser; Associate Directors are Michael Rader and Michael Schwartz.

STEVEN M. FISHER is also the creator of the musical Isabelle and the Pretty-Ugly Spell, which enjoyed a successful Off-Broadway run in 2010. He has just completed a dramatic work entitled Sorry, which is inspired by the tragic death of Tyler Clementi and incorporates the rapturous music of Hector Berlioz. He is currently working on a new old-fashioned musical Mother B, about the trailblazing nurse of the American Civil War. Other works include In the Theatre, based on the life of Joan Littlewood.

DAVID GLENN ARMSTRONG has staged over 160 productions/workshops seen in 49 states including work at the New York Shakespeare Festival, Goodspeed Opera, Walnut Street, Manhattan Theatre Club, Classic Stage Company, Library of Congress, Pasadena Playhouse, Inge Festival, Chicago Humanities Festival, Blank Theatre, Amas, HERE, York, Pacific Rep Opera, Arkansas Rep, NYMF, Anchorage Opera, and Iowa Shakespeare Festival. David is privileged to have directed new works by authors as diverse as Pulitzer Prize winners Sheldon Harnick and Jonathan Larson; to have shared opening nights with Theatre Hall of Famers Jerry Bock, Joe Stein, and Tom Jones; and to have been enthralled in rehearsal by Oscar winners Geraldine Page, Kim Hunter, and Olympia Dukakis. David is proud to have worked with Tony winners/nominees Karen Akers, Annaleigh Ashford, Kate Baldwin, Hunter Bell, Ben Davis, Christopher Fitzgerald, Beth Fowler, David Garrison, Montego Glover, Sam Harris, Cady Huffman, Robin de Jesús, Judy Kaye, Charles Kimbrough, Megan Lawrence, Norm Lewis, Rebecca Luker, Forrest McClendon, David Miller, Brad Oscar, Faith Prince, Charlotte Rae, Carole Shelley, Maria Tucci, Louis Zorich, and hundreds of other amazing actors, writers, composers, designers, stage managers, technicians, and producers that have inspired him to make magic in the dark.

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