Thursday, January 10, 2008

BGs and Guys Take Broadway by Storm

Earlier this week I had the opportunity to see a performance of the “Little Mermaid” on Broadway. I wasn’t exactly thrilled about seeing the show, which officially opens tonight, but since it was free and one of my friends who is a bonafide Broadway lover convinced me to go; I obliged. To my surprise, I actually enjoyed it!

Today I found out that the powerhouse R&B singer, Chaka Khan will be picking up where Fantasia left off in the Broadway version of the “Color Purple,” along with gospel singer Bebe Winans starting tonight.

There seems to be a crop of talented BGs and guys performing in upcoming live stage shows. It was also recently announced that Oscar-nominated Terrence Howard and Dreamgirls diva Anika Noni Rose would be acting in the popular play, “A Cat on a Hot Tin Roof,” in March.

Hypocrisy, greed and secret passions threaten to tear apart a wealthy but dysfunctional Mississippi family in Tennessee Williams' stunning American masterpiece. CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF searingly portrays the larger-than-life characters of Maggie "the Cat," her alcoholic husband, Brick, and the dominating family patriarch, Big Daddy.

“Passing Strange,” is another Broadway show where the cast is predominately African-American.

From Los Angeles to Amsterdam to Berlin and Back, Passing Strange is the story of a young black bohemian, who abandons his bourgeois roots to journey to Europe searching for ‘the real’. Discovering a world of sex, drugs, rock and roll and art revolutionaries, our rebel-hero explores love, identity and the meaning of home.

I haven’t always been a Broadway fan (I’ve only seen “A Raisin in the Sun” and the “Color Purple”), but I just might check out some of these upcoming shows. If they’re as entertaining as the "Little Mermaid," I’ll definitely be back for more!


MeMe said...

Oh how I wish I was in NYC to catch some of these great broadway shows (not to mention a chance to see the talented and fine actor, Terrence Howard)!

Btw, what happened to Fantasia?

Brown Girl Gumbo said...

I heard that Fantasia missed a lot of shows and was quite unprofessional during her stint on Broadway. Not sure if that had anything to do with her leaving the show when she did, but she had a great long run. Remember, casts often change for Broadway shows. I recall Usher was in Chicago for a couple of weeks a year or so ago? Even Brian McKnight had his time playing the lead in Chicago. So cast members definitely change. Her contract was probably up.

bam said...

I don't know the true story behind the Fantasia leaving The Color Purple, but I do know that Chaka Khan is a horrible replacement. Yes she can sing, but her look is all wrong.

As for Anika Noni Rose (what a name) I hope she receives great reviews for her performance in the up-coming play, because she got no love in her role in Dreamgirls.

Anonymous said...

I saw Passing Strange at the Public and it was amazing! Stew's songs are incredible, as is the whole cast. And what's amazing is the way they play ewith race...the all !lack cast also plays the white folks in Amsterdam and Berlin, too. It's really exciting that it's going to Broadway, and I'm so curious to see if it changes

Divine Blackness said...

Ohmiiiiigoodness! I really wanted to see "The Little Mermaid" when I was in NYC. Luckkkkyyyy. And I am so excited about these new plays. I want to see them all.

K-Bear said...

Divine, I'm with you. I want to see them all! How lucky you are BGG! I love to see 'us' performing live. It just takes me away and afterwards, I spend days just thinking about each character. I know...I'm such a nerd. :-)

Brown Girl Gumbo said...

I'm going to see "Come Back, Little Sheba" on Broadway this Saturday starring S. Epatha Merkerson from Law and Order. I'll let you guys know how that play is as well. After being impressed with the Little Mermaid, I'm definitely going to take full advantage free Broadway tickets. I used to give them away! LOL