Gospel Recording Artist Kenton Rogers to Headline Avant Bard's Revival of THE GOSPEL AT COLONUS

Gospel Recording Artist Kenton Rogers to Headline Avant Bard's Revival of THE GOSPEL AT COLONUS

Well-known gospel recording artist Kenton Rogers has joined the cast of Avant Bard's revival of The Gospel at Colonus, a critical and audience hit last season. Rogers-an actor, singer, and ordained preacher-will headline The Gospel at Colonus in the role of Singer Oedipus along with local civic legend William T. Newman Jr., who returns as Preacher Oedipus.

Avant Bard's up-close and unplugged production of the legendary gospel musical by Lee Breuer and composer Bob Telson returns to Gunston Arts Center February 22 to March 25, 2018.

The original cast of the 2017 Helen Hayes Awards-recommended production has been nominated for a Helen Hayes Award in the "Outstanding Ensemble in a Musical - Helen" category.

"We could not be prouder of the recognition our production of The Gospel at Colonus has received from Helen Hayes Award judges. And we are incredibly excited about the new star power Kenton will bring to the show," said Avant Bard Artistic and Executive Director Tom Prewitt. "We look forward to welcoming Kenton's fans and making new ones."

Kenton Rogers has performed Off-Broadway (in God's Creation and Black Nativity) and on stages across America and internationally. He made his recording debut on Melvin Williams's project Live! In Living Color performing the duet "Time Is Running Out." He then signed with Blackberry Records and released his freshman project, Just Look at Me, which yielded the classic and still popular "God Has Never Failed Me." In addition, he released his sophomore project, Alive & Pressin' On, featuring gospel superstars Williams Brothers, Paul Porter, the late Willie Neal Johnson, and the late Albertina Walker, who blessed him with "Jesus Will Fix It," "Hold to God's Unchanging Hand," "Help Me Lord," "I Wanna Go," and "God Is."

Director Sandra L. Holloway, who choreographed The Gospel at Colonus last season, will restage the show based on original direction by Jennifer L. Nelson. Musical direction will again be by e'Marcus Harper-Short (Musical Director of Theater Alliance's acclaimed Black Nativity). Avant Bard also welcomes back collaborating producers Minister Becky Sanders and The Women's Ecumenical Choir, which will have a more prominent role in the production this year.

The remount will feature three other new cast members: Ayanna Reed as Antigone, Jessa Marie Coleman as Ismene, and Gregory Wright as Balladeer. All are "locally grown" talents, with bios that include Duke Ellington School of the Arts and George Mason University (Reed), Stevenson University (Coleman), and Howard University and The University of the District of Columbia (Wright).

"Ayanna and Jessa are going to open eyes," said Tom Prewitt. "And Gregory has an amazing voice and presence. Taken together our four new cast members are definitely going to be one more reason for people who have seen the show to see it again."

Other returning members of the original ensemble are A. J. Calbert as Theseus, e'Marcus Harper-Short as Creon, Greg Watkins as Polyneices, and Rafealito Ross as Chorus.

Tickets are available online or by calling 703-418-4808.General admission is $30 on Fridays; $35 on Saturday evenings and Sundays. Thursdays and Saturday matinees are Pay What You Will, which means you can name your ticket price, any price, at the door (and you can reserve a Pay What You Will ticket online in advance with a $10 minimum).

PERFORMANCE SCHEDULE
February 22 to March 25, 2018

VENUE
Gunston Arts Center, Theatre Two
2700 South Lang Street, Arlington, VA 22206
(Ample free parking. For driving and public-transportation directions click here.


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