Pasadena Playhouse Leads 2012 NAACP Theatre Award Nominations with TWIST and BLUES FOR AN ALABAMA SKY

The Pasadena Playhouse announced today that its productions of TWIST – AN AMERICAN MUSICAL (seven nominations) and BLUES FOR AN ALABAMA SKY (five nominations, tied with CTG's Fela!) are lead contenders for the 2012 NAACP Theatre Awards. The 2012 NAACP Theatre Awards ceremony will be held on November 5, 2012, at the Director's Guild of America in Hollywood.

"It is quite an honor, and certainly most well deserved that the NAACP Theatre Awards committee is celebrating these two fine productions," said Sheldon Epps, Playhouse Artistic Director and director of BLUES FOR AN ALABAMA SKY. "This recognition reemphasizes The Playhouse's on-going mission to bring diverse, compelling and entertaining theatre to our patrons and to our community."

The Pasadena Playhouse's 2012 NAACP Theatre Award nominations include:

• Best Director of a Musical – Equity, Debbie Allen
• Best Choreography – Equity, Debbie Allen
• Best Costumes – Equity, E Sosa
• Best Lead Female – Equity, Tamyra Gray
• Best Lead Male – Equity, Alaman Diadhiou
• Best Producer – Equity, TAM Producing Partners, Michelle Seward, Dror Soref, Willette Klausner, Gary Goddard and Forbes Candish
• Best Supporting Male – Equity, Cleavant Derricks

• Best Director – Equity, Sheldon Epps
• Best Ensemble Cast – Equity
• Best Costumes – Equity, Karen Perry
• Best Playwright – Equity, Pearl Cleage
• Best Set Design – Equity, John Iacovelli

TWIST - AN AMERICAN MUSICAL is a timely adaptation of Charles Dickens' classic with a contemporary score, set in New Orleans on the eve of the Great Depression. TWIST tells the story of a young orphan boy born of a courageous white mother and an incredibly talented black father, who navigates the colorful and sometimes rough waters of street life and racial indifference in his quest to find his family and to find love. The score for TWIST features the musical pulse of New Orleans in the 1920's and is highlighted by a tapestry of soaring ballads, hot jazz, blues, gospel and tap-infused dance numbers that will take audiences along this magical journey. TWIST - AN AMERICAN MUSICAL performed at The Pasadena Playhouse June 14 – July 17, 2011.

BLUES FOR AN ALABAMA SKY unfolds in the summer of 1930 in Harlem, NY, just as the harsh realities of the Great Depression have devastated an ebullient decade of the Harlem renaissance. Disease and poverty have overshadowed the creative euphoria that permeated and fueled a surge of African American artists, writers and luminaries. BLUES FOR AN ALABAMA SKY introduces a rich cast of characters, scrambling to survive and make some sense of their overlapping personalities, politics and love lives: Angel is a struggling blues singer and nightclub performer who cannot find a job. Her friend Guy, a costume designer, is also out of work but dreams of being hired to design dresses for the famous African-American singer and dancer Josephine Baker. Their neighbor Delia, a social worker, is trying to organize a family planning clinic in Harlem. Their friend Sam, a doctor, works long hours delivering babies at the Harlem Hospital. And Leland, having recently moved to New York from Tuskegee sees in Angel a memory of lost love and a reminder of those "Alabama skies where the stars are so thick it's bright as day." BLUES FOR AN ALABAMA SKY performed at The Pasadena Playhouse November 1 – 27, 2011.

The Pasadena Playhouse was established in 1917 and was designated the State Theatre of California for bringing national and international renown to the state as a center for dramatic art in 1937. Built on a tradition of innovation and excellence, The Pasadena Playhouse is committed to continue to be the premiere theatrical experience in Southern California showcasing the most exciting theatrical entertainment in the state and being an amazing forum for launching new work onto the national stage. Broadway productions that originated at The Pasadena Playhouse include: Sister Act, Baby It's You!, Looped and Mail. Unchain My Heart, The Ray Charles Musical, which premiered at The Playhouse, is scheduled to open on Broadway in the 2012-13 Season. Looped has also recently announced a US Tour, starring Valerie Harper, beginning January 2013. The Pasadena Playhouse is the recipient of the 2012 Los Angeles Times Reader's Choice Award for "Best Dramatic Theatre" and the Pasadena Star-News' "San Gabriel Valley's Best Live Theatre" 2012 Reader's Choice Award. For more information on The Pasadena Playhouse visit

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