Denzel Washington Honored by CROSSROADS THEATRE COMPANY in New Brunswick
Crossroads Theatre Company has had a marvelous start to their 2019/2020 Season. After a successful staging of Paul Robeson in September, the Company recently had an event that will be treasured by supporters, friends, and patrons for a very long time. "A Night With Crossroads-Honoring Denzel Washington" was held on October 19. The successful affair was the first signature fundraising gala in the 41 years of Crossroads' history.
The exciting evening kicked off with an elegant formal reception at The Heldrich where guests enjoyed cocktails, appetizers, and delicious food while they socialized and listened to music.
Broadwayworld.com had a chance to chat with some of the distinguished guests. The Artistic Director of Crossroads, Marshall Jones III commented, "This is really a night to remember and I feel great, absolutely great. It has been many years in the making."
Warren Zimmerman was the Board Chairman for the State Theatre of New Jersey for six years. He is now a new trustee for Crossroads Theatre. He told us, "I am honored to be a part of the Crossroads family."
Courtney B. Vance, star of stage and screen, talked to us about the significance of Crossroads. "They've been here for 40 years, endured and endured. For that, we have to celebrate them and be proud of all their accomplishments."
We also spoke with Ricardo Khan, who co-founded Crossroads with Kenneth Richardson. Khan is enthusiastic about the future of the Company. "I see a strengthened institution for New Brunswick and the arts community. He also told us that they will be bringing back their Associate Artist program that will be led by theatre greats.
The gala reception was followed by dazzling, star-studded performances and the presentation of the inaugural Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee Lifetime Achievement Award to Mr. Washington at the State Theatre of New Jersey. The event was hosted by David Alan Grier who charmed the audience with his sense of humor.
Special musical guests included Gregory Porter accompanied by Albert "Chip" Crawford on piano. Ashley Tamar Davis also performed several songs including "Someone to Watch Over Me." The musical director for the evening's festivities was Nat Adderly, Jr.
The audience was treated to several compelling short theatre pieces. A selection from Fly, written by Trey Ellis and Ricardo Khan, was presented by Omar Edwards and Robert Karma Robinson. A scene from King Hedley II written by August Wilson was performed by Lynda Gravatt and Stephen McKinley Henderson.
Heartfelt tributes reflected each speaker's admiration for Denzel Washington. They were delivered by Anthony Carter, Marshall Jones III, Ricardo Kahn, Woodie King, Jr., Guy Davis and Hasna Muhammad, Phylicia Rashad, Courtney B. Vance, and Susan Kelechi Watson. The audience was fascinated to hear about Mr. Washington's remarkable achievements. The speakers also discussed the significance of black theatre and diversity in the entertainment profession.
The children of Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee, Guy Davis and Hana Muhammad spoke about their parents' legacy in the performing arts. Guy Davis commented, "This award by their name allows them to leave their mark on the theatre."
Crossroad's Board President, Anthony Carter, who had attended Fordham University with Denzel Washington, made the presentation of the Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee Lifetime Achievement Award to Denzel Washington. Mr. Carter's was very proud to honor his friend of more than 45 years.
Mr. Washington was both gracious and appreciative in his acceptance speech. "I am hopeful and humbled by the possibilities to come on the stage and in the world." He also said, "Man gives the award, God gives the reward."
"A Night with Crossroads-Honoring Denzel Washington" will live in the memories of its attendees for years to come as the excellence of Crossroads Theatre Company continues to enlighten the arts community.
Crossroads Theatre Company is a Tony Award winning venue that celebrates the culture, history, spirit and voices of the entire African Diaspora. Performing arts enthusiasts have exciting productions to look forward to. Now housed in the beautiful state-of-the-art New Brunswick Performing Arts Center (NBPAC) Crossroads' shows include A Christmas Carol from 12/5/19 to 12/15/19 and Freedom Rider from 4/9/20 to 4/19/20 and the annual Genesis New Play Festival. Tickets can be obtained by visiting http://www.crossroadstheatrecompany.org/ or by calling 732.545.8100.
Photo Credit: Courtesy of LOVE Imagery (Follow them on Facebook @Love Imagery)