Ebony Rep Finds Full Cast for FIVE GUYS NAMED MOE, Starring Reginald VelJohnson
Ebony Repertory Theatre announced today the full casting and the creative team of FIVE GUYS NAMED MOE. Acclaimed veteran actor Reginald Veljohnson (ABC/CBS's Family Matters, Die Hard, Die Hard 2) will co-star as "Big Moe" with the previously announced Emmy Award-winner Obba Babbatundé (Dreamgirls - Tony Award nomination, Broadway's Chicago, CBS's The Bold and the Beautiful) as "Nomax."
This exuberant, international hit musical, written by Clarke Peters, pays tribute to the music of rhythm and blues pioneer Louis Jordan. ERT's production will commemorate the 25th Anniversary of the musical's Broadway production. FIVE GUYS NAMED MOE is directed and choreographed by Keith Young (Sammy) with musical direction by Abdul Hamid Royal (Five GuysNamed Moe/original Broadway production).
Performances will play May 18 trough June 11, 2017, with the official press opening on Saturday, May 20 at the Nate Holden Performing Arts Center (4718 West Washington Boulevard) in Los Angeles, 90016.
Reginald Veljohnson, who was born in Queens, New York, has become a prominent name in the entertainment industry, not only as an actor in film, in television and on the stage, but as a producer and writer as well. Before starting his career in Los Angeles, VelJohnson earned his Bachelor of Arts from New York University.
Best known for his role as "Carl Winslow" on the Emmy-nominated sitcom Family Matters, VelJohnson was the only cast member to appear in every episode of the show's nine-year run. He also sang in and wrote a couple of episodes of the show. Since then, he has had no trouble keeping busy and has worked on many popular series and made-for-TV movies. He has held a recurring role on such shows as CBS's CSI, Mike and Molly and CW's Hart Of Dixie as well as guest appearances in Always Sunny In Philadelphia, Monk, Ray Donovan and Bones, among others.
In addition to being a seasoned TV actor, VelJohnson is no stranger to the big screen. He starred as "Sergeant Al Powell" alongside Bruce Willis in the four-time Oscar nominated Die Hard and its sequel, Die Hard 2. He also lent his voice to the same character in the video games based on the movies. VelJohnson has also played a number of supporting roles in major films such as the Golden Globe and Oscar nominees Ghost Busters and Crocodile Dundee. His other film credits include Turner & Hooch with Tom Hanks, Like Mike with young rap artist Lil' Bow Wow and Death to the Supermodels.
VelJohnson currently resides in Los Angeles, and is known for his extensive hat collection.
In addition to Obba Babbatundé and Reginald Veljohnson, FIVE GUYS NAMED MOE also stars: Eric B. Anthony as "Eat Moe" (Broadway productions of Mary Poppins, Hairspray, The Lion King); Trevon Davis as "Little Moe" (Broadway and National Tour productions of Book of Mormon, Broadway's The Gershwin's Porgy and Bess); Rogelio Douglas, Jr. as "Four-Eyed Moe" (Broadway's In the Heights, original Broadway cast, Showtime's Ray Donovan, Straight Outta Compton); Jacques C. Smith as "No Moe" (Broadway's Rent, The Pasadena Playhouse's 12 Angry Men, HBO's Oz).
"I am overjoyed with the company of actors and designers we've assembled. I have long admired the dimensional talents of these actors, and I am additionally excited that five of them will make their Ebony Repertory Theatre debuts. Of additional note, having the opportunity to work with two friends and colleagues of three decades, the venerable and brilliant Obba Babbatundé and Reginald Veljohnson, brings a special joy to my life. I cannot wait for our first rehearsal with this wonderful collection of men," said Producing Artistic Director, Wren T. Brown.
Director Keith Young said, "I am humbled and honored to have the privilege to rediscover and celebrate Clark Peters' gem, Five Guys Named Moe, and to work with this enormously talented cast. The exuberant music of Louis Jordan fuels this life lesson and the self reckoning of a troubled, down and out over indulger Nomax...performed by the inimitable Obba Babatunde." He added, "Veteran actor Reginald Veljohnson, who for years has brought much joy and dignity to the world, beautifully tops off this exemplary cast, which includes Trevon Davis, Rogelio Douglas, Jr. Eric B. Anthony, and Jacques C. Smith. I am excited and eager, to relish in the textures of Louis Jordan's music, and let the good times roll..."
Joining the creative team of FIVE GUYS NAMED MOE are Edward E. Hayes, Scenic Design; Naila Aladdin Sanders, Costume Design; Dan Weingarten, Lighting Design; John Feinstein, Sound Design and Ed De Shae, Production Stage Manager.
FIVE GUYS NAMED MOE celebrates the music of "The King of the Jukebox," the pioneering saxophonist, singer and bandleader Louis Jordan. The musical tells the story about the heroic Nomax - who is down on his luck, his girlfriend Lorraine has left him, he's been drinking and he's listening to the radio at 4:45 am. Emerging from his radio, the Moes (No Moe, Little Moe, Four Eyed Moe, Eat Moe, and Big Moe) encourage Nomax through song and stories to turn his life around and tell Lorraine that he loves her.
FIVE GUYS NAMED MOE began its unlikely journey with a six-week run at the Theatre Royal, Stratford East. With a growing following, and enthusiastic reviews, producers came to see it. Cameron Mackintosh was captivated and brought the musical to London's West End Lyric Theatre in 1990 where it played until 1995 when it moved to the Albery Theatre. In 1992, FIVE GUYS NAMED MOE made its Broadway debut at the Eugene O'Neill Theatre, where it played 445 performances and 19 previews. The musical's legacy was set. The show's popularity grew, as regional and touring productions wowed audiences across the U.S. and the world.
Ebony Repertory Theatre (ERT) is the resident company and operator of the Nate Holden Performing Arts Center. ERT is Los Angeles' only African American professional theatre company. Under Wren T. Brown's producorial leadership, ERT has produced Ovation Award and NAACP Theatre Award-winning productions of August Wilson's Two Trains Runningand Lorraine Hansberry's A Raisin In the Sun. Last season's Gospel At Colonus, which stared Tony Award-winner Roger Robinson, garnered 14 Ovation Award nominations. Other ERT productions include: Jeff Stetson's Fraternity and Phillip Hayes Dean's Robeson, among others.
FIVE GUYS NAMED MOE plays May 19, 2017 - June 11, 2017, with the official press opening on Saturday, May 20 at the Nate Holden Performing Arts Center, 4718 West Washington Boulevard in Los Angeles. Two preview performances are scheduled for Thursday, May 18 at 8:00 p.m. and Friday, May 19 at 8:00 p.m. The regular performance schedule is Friday at 8:00 p.m., Saturday at 2:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. and Sunday at 3:00 p.m. Tickets range from $30 - $55 and are available online at ebonyrep.org or by phone at 323-964-9766. Groups of 10 or more are available via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or 323-964-9766.