N'Kenge Stars as 'DOROTHY DANDRIDGE' in Amas Musical Reading Today
A friendly reminder that Amas Musical Theatre will present Dorothy Dandridge - Hollywood's Sepia Goddess, the second offering of Dare To Be Different, the previously announced series of new musicals and one-night only special events being held at A.R.T./New York Theatres (502 West 53rd Street - 10th Avenue & 53rd Street).
American film and theatre actress, singer and dancer Dorothy Dandridge was often referred to as "The Black Marilyn Monroe" and "the first of her race" to be nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress (Carmen Jones). Dorothy Dandridge - Hollywood's Sepia Goddess chronicles how she boldly cleared a path for generations to come.
Directed by Jerry Foley (Tony Bennett Celebrates 90: The Best Is Yet to Come, Late Show with David Letterman) with Music Supervision by Rob Berman (Bright Star) as well as music direction by Andre "Chez" Lewis, the cast will feature N'Kenge (Motown: The Musical, Sondheim on Sondheim) in the title role with Glen Allen (The Light in the Piazza), Lawrence Cummings (Jesus Christ Superstar), Tina Fabrique (Once on This Island), DeWitt Fleming, Jr. (Riverdance), Dan Grimaldi ("The Sopranos"), Lauren Hooper (Ragtime, Beauty & the Beast), Soara-Joye Ross (HBO's "Crashing"), John Preator (The Hero), Christian Rozakis (Metropolitan Opera) and Erin Sullivan (With Love, Marilyn). Jarran Muse (Motown: The Musical) will be the narrator. Julian Stoneman (Mamma Mia, Jersey Boys, Rock of Ages) is the Executive Producer. Dorothy Dandridge - Hollywood's Sepia Goddess is sponsored by Richard Bell and Willette Klausner.
"Dorothy Dandridge is one of the great actresses of the Golden Age of Hollywood," says Artistic Producer Donna Trinkoff. "She was an inspiration to so many who followed in her lonely footsteps as she fought to be recognized for her talent and not her color. I can't think of a more talented or charismatic actress to fill this part than N'Kenge, who is in her own right a real force of nature."
"For 49 years, Amas has been a pioneer in multi-ethnic casting and has been devoted to the creation, development and professional production of new American musicals through the celebration of diversity and minority perspectives, and the emergence of new artistic talent," says Ms. Trinkoff. "We wanted to present a series featuring new musicals being developed in our Lab and special one night events that explore the stories of people who dared to be different: the slave who stole a gunship from under the nose of the Confederate army; Hollywood's sepia goddess- the first black woman to be nominated for an Oscar; the Mexican immigrant who fought to unionize building janitors. And to give our audiences the chance to get in at the ground floor in the development process of our talent artists in an intimate and up-close and personal setting."
Tickets for Dorothy Dandridge - Hollywood's Sepia Goddess are $20. Become an "Amas49er" member to receive a 50% discount. For tickets, call (212) 352-3101 or visit the brand new Amas web site at www.amasmusical.org.
Robert Mitchell (Book, Music & Lyrics) is an award-winning composer, playwright and lyricist. His musical Vincent won Best Musical honors in NYC. Rappaccini's Daughter, referred to as an 'Off-Broadway hit' by The New Yorker, has been produced in New York, New Jersey, San Francisco and Las Vegas. Other New York musicals include Frankenstein, Dimaggio, and They All Knew. His musical, Capone, starring Danny Aiello, is to be produced by Caiola Productions in the Spring. His music drama, The Lone Star State, commissioned and performed at the 3,000 seat Moody State Theatre in Galveston, Texas, was recorded in London with members of the London Philharmonic. One Man, Two Minds, a one act opera, was broadcast live on WQXR Radio and his Latin-jazz arrangement of The Carmen Ballet was commissioned by the Chicago Ballet. He has also written scores for several films, a PBS documentary, and is a proud member of The Dramatists Guild, ASCAP and The Writer's Guild of America. Also active as a conductor of music theatre, Mr. Mitchell was music director for several European tours of The Best of Andrew Lloyd Webber.
Jerry Foley (Director) is a respected television director. In 2016, he directed The Radio City NBC Primetime Presentation: Tony Bennett Celebrates 90: The Best Is Yet to Come. Previously, Jerry was the director and supervising producer of Late Show with David Letterman on CBS. Dorothy Dandridge: Hollywood's Sepia Goddess marks his theatrical directing debut. He has produced and directed over 40 Broadway television performances, including Cats, Aladdin, South Pacific, SPIDER-MAN Turn Off the Dark, Wicked, Pippin, The Adams Family, Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Hair, Young Frankenstein, and Cinderella. He has directed over 3900 hours of late night television sketch and single camera comedy segments. He produced and directed all 72 episodes of the Live on Letterman concert series with performances by The Black Keys, The Killers, Adele, Phoenix, Taylor Swift, and St, Vincent. Jerry has directed episodes of ABC's The View and Jimmy Kimmel Live and Broadway segments for Good Morning America. In November of 2016 he produced and directed the America Salutes You Benefit Concert in Chicago. In August 2016 Jerry was named Artistic Director of the North Fork TV Festival. He has 24 Emmy nominations and nine nominations from The Directors Guild of America. He is a graduate of the University of Southern California.
N'Kenge (Dorothy Dandridge) is an international award-winning singer. Broadway debut: Sondheim on Sondheim; Broadway's Smash Hit Motown: The Musical where she originated the role of Mary Wells. She starred in London's West End at the Theatre Royal in a tribute to Ray Charles and has done solo engagements in New York at Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center, as well as the Library of Congress in Washington, DC which was broadcast worldwide on NPR. N'Kenge sang the title role in Elton John/Tim Rice Musical, Aida and in Marion Caffey's, 3 Mo Diva's where she received a Helen Hayes Nomination for Outstanding Lead Actress. She starred in Michael Jackson Tribute Show World Tour and was recently seen in NYC in the role of Mother Hare/Circe in The Golden Apple at New York City Center Encores!. N'Kenge has sung around the globe as a soloist with symphonies and will debut her new show LEGENDS from Puccini to Proud Mary with Jacksonville Symphony in March 2018. N'Kenge is the conceiver of the Dorothy Dandridge Musical and is thrilled to have Executive Producer Julian Stoneman bring it to London in the Fall 2018. For more info on N'Kenge's tours and recordings, visit www.nkengemusic.com.
Amas Musical Theatre (Donna Trinkoff, Artistic Producer) now in its 49h year of continuous operation is New York City's award-winning pioneer in diversity and multi-ethnic casting in the performing arts since 1968. Amas ("you love" in Latin) is devoted to the creation, development and professional production of new American musicals through the celebration of diversity and minority perspectives, the emergence of new artistic talent, and the training and encouragement of underserved young people in the New York area. In recent years, Amas has emerged as a leading not-for-profit laboratory for new musicals, the most recent being Broadway and the Bard, starring Len Cariou and Red Eye of Love, which was awarded the Joseph A. Callaway Award for Outstanding Choreography. Its production of The Other Josh Cohen received six 2013 Drama Desk nominations including Outstanding Musical, a 2013 Lucille Lortel nomination for Outstanding Musical, and a 2013 Off-Broadway Alliance nomination for Best New Musical. Other shows that Amas has developed include Play it by Heart, A Taste of Chocolate, Triassic Parq, The Countess of Storyville, Distant Thunder, Marry Harry, Me and Miss Monroe, Aesop & Company, Signs of Life, Wanda's World, Shout! The Mod Musical, Lone Star Love, From My Hometown, Zanna, Don't!, 4 Guys Named Jose and Stormy Weather: Reimagining Lena Horne. Amas education programs include the Rosetta LeNoire Musical Theatre Academy, Lens on Live Theatre and in-school theatre arts residencies designed in partnership with elementary, middle, and high schools.
The A.R.T./New York Theatres are a project of the Alliance of Resident Theatres/New York (A.R.T./New York), which provide state-of-the-art, accessible venues at subsidized rental rates, plus free access to top-line technical equipment, so that the city's small and emerging theatre companies can continue to experiment, grow, and produce new works. Founded in 1972, A.R.T./New York is the leading service and advocacy organization for New York City's 375+ nonprofit theatres, with a mission to assist member theatres in managing their companies effectively so that they may realize their rich artistic visions and serve their diverse audiences well. We accomplish this through a comprehensive roster of real estate, financial, educational, and community-building programs, as well as research, advocacy, and field-wide initiatives that seek to improve the long-term health and sustainability of the industry. Over the years, A.R.T./New York has received numerous honors, including an Obie Award, an Innovative Theatre Award, a New York City Mayor's Award for Arts & Culture, and a Tony Honor for Excellence in the Theatre. For more information, visit www.art-newyork.org.