Photo Flash: Tshidi Manye, Quentin Earl Darrington and More in National Black Theatre-Apollo Theater's Concert Reading of WiLDFLOWER
The Apollo Theater Salon Series in partnership with Dr. Barbara Ann Teer's National Black Theatre (NBT) presented two special performances of the new musical WiLDFLOWER on Friday, April 26, and Saturday, April 27, at the Apollo Theater Soundstage. WiLDFLOWER, a full-length musical with book, music and lyrics by Jason Michael Webb and Lelund Durond Thompson, featured Broadway stars Tshidi Manye (The Lion King) and Quentin Earl Darrington (Once on this Island) performing before a packed house on both night.
WiLDFLOWER, inspired by the life of Manye and set during the tumult of the early 1990s in both South Africa and the U.S., follows a rebellious, but devoted young mother who unwittingly meets a Sangoma (traditional healer), learns her ancestors' purpose for her young son, and then must choose between the cost of obeying her ancestors or the higher cost of defying them. Buoyed by a thrilling South African pop and gospel score by Thompson and Webb, the latter of whom was announced this Monday as a recipient of a Special Tony Award during the upcoming awards ceremony this June,WiLDFLOWER was directed by Logan Vaughn with choreography by Kevin E. Boseman. In addition to Manye and Darrington, the cast also included Tamara Jade, Bre Jackson, Pearl Khwezi, Mduduzi Madela, Orlando Dixon, Ayana George, Carlton Terrence Taylor, Lia Holman and Phindile Mkhize Wilson.
WiLDFLOWER was presented as part of the Apollo's Salon series, the Theater's new works program which began in 2016 to support innovative artists and works-in-progress. The Salon Series extends the Apollo's commitment to the creation of new, innovative works that draw upon the Theater's rich legacy to support emerging and established artists. The event and collaboration are a part of National Black Theatre's 50th anniversary season and its program NBT Beyond Walls, which sees the historic institution producing activities citywide, nationally and internationally.
Photo Credit: EJ White
Director of WiLDFLOWER Logan Vaughn, choreographer Kevin E. Boseman, WiLDFLOWER creators Jason Michael Webb and Lelund Durond Thompson and National Black Theatreâ€™s CEO Sade Lythcott and artistic director Jonathan McCrory
WiLDFLOWERâ€™s director Logan Vaughn speaks during post-show Q&A with WiLDFLOWER choreographer Kevin Boseman, WiLDFLOWER creators Jason Michael Webb and Lelund Durond Thompson as NBT CEO Sade Lythcott looks on
Lelund Durond Thompson
Lia Holman, Ayana George and Tamara Jade
The cast of WiLDFLOWER
Tshidi Manye (center) performs with WiLDFLOWER cast