Layon Gray's KINGS OF HARLEM Sweeps Top Awards In South Florida
Layon Gray's Kings Of Harlem rocked the Broward Performing Arts Center with its four awards Monday, April 2, 2018 when the winners of the 42nd annual Carbonell Awards were announced. The play received Best Ensemble, playwright Layon Gray won Best Director, Andre L. Gainey won Best Supporting Actor, and the cast and producers received the final award of the night Best Production.
Written and directed by Layon Gray, Kings Of Harlem is inspired by the 1939 Harlem Rens basketball team. A story of eight men who overcame adversity to win more than 2,000 games while barnstorming throughout segregated parts of the country in the 1930s despite never being officially accepted professionally or socially. Harlem Renaissance Big Five was one the most successful renowned all-Black professional basketball teams in the 1920s and '30s that added grace and style to the game of basketball.
The team was formed five years before the Harlem Globetrotters, and provided African- American men with the opportunity to compete against white athletes equally on the court. The Rens got their name from playing at the Renaissance Casino ballroom in Harlem, New York, where they amazed fans with their innovative and unique style of play. They toured the country competing against Black and white teams, and in the process, compiled the most impressive winning streak in Basketball history. In 1963, the entire team was inducted into the Professional Basketball Hall of Fame. Gray is the writer and director of the Off-Broadway hit play Black Angels Over Tuskegee. The story of the Tuskegee Airmen. He is in the process of developing the stage version of Kings Of Harlem into a feature film.
Kings Of Harlem was produced by the M Ensemble. Miami's oldest African American theatre company. For more information on Kings Of Harlem go to www.KingsOfHarlem.com or call (323) 762 3488.