INTERVIEW: Charl Brown…2013 Tony Nominee and Beyonce Fan

CharlBrown

Photo Credit: BoneauBryanBrown.com

It’s  likely that you have been introduced to Charl Brown via Playbill or Broadway.com. Thanks to these sources you know how he felt the day he found out he was nominated, that he portrays Smokey Robinson in Motown the Musical, annnd that he thinks Motown audiences are the best.

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TONY TUESDAY: Patina Miller

Photo Credit: Chad Griffith

Photo Credit: Chad Griffith

Tony Tuesday continues with a focus on the 2013 Tony season. This is the last week that we will be  featuring artists of color who are nominated this year (specifically in the leading role category). Today’s feature is Patina Miller! Currently Patina is starring as the Leading Player in the 2013 revival of Pippin (a role originally played by Broadway great-Ben Vereen).

Earlier this week Diane Paulus (Pippin’s Director) told Arts in Color, ‘Patina is a force of nature. She defines what is now known as a “quadruple threat” — she can sing, dance, act and do a routine on the trapeze.’ The pair had worked together previously on Hair at the Delacorte in 2008 so when Paulus started thinking about reviving Pippin, Miller was the first person who came to mind.’

Miller’s face may be familiar as she was most recently on Broadway (and in London) as Deloris Van Cartier in the 2009 West End and 2011 Broadway productions of Sister Act. This earned her her first Tony nod.

Fun Fact: Miller was one of three finalists for the role of Effie White in Dreamgirls, which ultimately won Jennifer Hudson the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress.

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TONY TUESDAY: Valisia Lekae

valisia lekae

Valisia Lekae and I

Tony Tuesday continues with a focus on Tony season. As mentioned before, instead of featuring artists of color who have already won Tony’s we will be featuring those who are nominated this year (specifically in the leading role category for now).  Today’s feature is Valisia Lekae!

LeKae has recently been nominated for the Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical for her portrayal of Diana Ross in Motown. Valisia, ‘grew up in Memphis and listened to Motown records in her grandfather’s barbershop from an early age. Like Ross, she began singing in church. As a teenager working at the Tennessee theme park Dollywood, LeKae regularly sang the signature Supremes song “Stop! In the Name of Love.”

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TONY TUESDAY: Billy Porter

Billy Porter and I

Billy Porter and I

Tony Tuesday continues with a focus on Tony season. As mentioned before, instead of featuring artists of color who have already won Tony’s we will be featuring those who are nominated this year (specifically in the leading role category for now).  Today’s feature is Billy Porter!

Currently you can see Mr Porter in the open-ended run (and most Tony nominated show of the year) Kinky Boots as Lola. Porter is nominated for the Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical. So far he has actually already won an Outer Critics Circle Award and Broadway.com Audience Choice Award.

‘Billy Porter was born September 21, 1969 in Pittsburgh. He graduated from the Musical Theatre Program at Taylor Allderdice High School’s School of Drama and achieved fame performing on Broadway before going off on a solo career as a singer. He is a graduate of Carnegie Mellon University College of Fine Arts with a B.F.A in Drama.

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TONY TUESDAY: Cicely Tyson

Tony Tuesday is back, but this time with a different spin. As a result of Tony season, instead of featuring artists of color who have already won Tony’s we will be featuring those who are nominated this year (specifically in the leading role category for now).  Today’s feature is Cicely Tyson!

Photo Credit: Broadway World

Photo Credit: Broadway World

Currently you can see Ms Tyson in The Trip to the Bountiful  through July 7th (for which she is nominated for the Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Play). Sidenote-Condola Rashad (Phylicia Rashad’s daughter) is also in this show and has been nominated for the Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Play.

Cicely Tyson’s career began in a beauty salon. Her hairdresser asked Tyson to model at a hairstyle show. “At the hair show, she was spotted by a photographer from Ebony magazine, and began her successful career as a model. Within a few years, she was among the most successful black models in America.

NEWS: Nominations for the 2013 American Theatre Wing’s Tony Awards

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Check out the list below and weigh in! We’ve done our best to highlight productions that include artists of color as leads or have a substantial amount of artists of color amongst supporting roles. Nominated individuals who are artists of color are highlighted as well. 

Do you agree with this years nominations?? Leave a comment and let us know!

Best Play

The Assembled Parties

  • Author:  Richard Greenberg
  • Producers:  Manhattan Theatre Club, Lynne Meadow, Barry Grove

 Lucky Guy

  • Author:  Nora Ephron
  • Producers:  Colin Callender, Roy Furman, Arielle Tepper Madover, Roger & William Berlind, Stacey Mindich, Robert Cole & Frederick Zollo, David Mirvish, Daryl Roth, James D. Stern/Douglas L. Meyer, Scott & Brian Zeilinger, Sonia Friedman Productions, The Shubert Organization

The Testament of Mary

  • Author:  Colm Toíbín
  • Producers:  Scott Rudin, Stuart Thompson, Jon B. Platt, Roger Berlind, Broadway Across America, Scott M. Delman, Jean Doumanian, Roy Furman, Stephanie P. McClelland, Sonia Friedman Productions/Tulchin Bartner Productions, The Araca Group, Heni Koenigsberg, Daryl Roth, Eli Bush

 Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike

  • Author:  Christopher Durang
  • Producers:  Joey Parnes, Larry Hirschhorn, Joan Raffe & Jhett Tolentino, Martin Platt & David Elliott, Pat Flicker Addiss, Catherine Adler, John O’Boyle, Joshua Goodman, Jamie deRoy/Richard Winkler, Cricket Hooper Jiranek/Michael Palitz, Mark S. Golub & David S. Golub, Radio Mouse Entertainment, ShadowCatcher Entertainment, Mary Cossette/Barbara Manocherian, Megan Savage/Meredith Lynsey Schade, Hugh Hysell/Richard Jordan, Cheryl Wiesenfeld/Ron Simons, S.D. Wagner, John Johnson, MacCarter Theatre Center, Lincoln Center Theater

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