NEWS: Arts in Color on Celi’s Hangout Tonight!

logoTONY Award nominations have been announced and we’re talking about them on Celi’s hangout!

What is Celi’s Hangout? An interactive web series/talk show for the inspired artist. Host Franceli Chapman teams up with Arts in Color for a special east Coast meets West Coast Google hangout discussion. One of the stars of a Tony Award nominated show this season will be in attendance as well!

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TONY TUESDAY: Diahann Carroll

Photo Credit:

Photo Credit:

There is no denying the greatness that is the legendary Diahann Carroll. This week in Tony Tuesday we’re taking a look at some highlights in her longstanding career. Spanning nearly six decades, Diahann Carroll is a successful television, stage actress, and singer.

Fun Fact: She is one of a number of ties in Tony Awards history; In 1962 she was the first African-American woman to win in the category for best actress.

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TONY TUESDAY: Diane Paulus

diane paulus

Photo Credit: Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images for Tony Awards Productions

This years Tony Awards may have wrapped but that doesn’t stop Tony Tuesday! This week we take a closer look at Diane Paulus. Accepting her first Tony Award for Best Direction of a Musical, Pippin, Diane Paulus soared at the 67th  annual awards.  In fact, it proved to be a pretty big night for Pippin. Patina Miller was also a big winner and we were lucky enough to have Paulus speak to us when we featured her!

Fun Fact: The third time is a charm! This is Paulus’ third Tony nomination.

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2013 TONY AWARDS: Top 10 Best Dressed List

Sunday marked the 67th annual Tony Awards and Broadway brought every bit of its spectacle to Radio City Music Hall for all of the world to see! Once a year we get the chance to see our favorite Artists of Color come out of character and into their own! On display last night were so many jaw dropping looks. Here is a look at our Top 10 Best dressed Tony attendee’s!


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Do you agree? Who would you include in the Top 10?

2013 TONY AWARDS: Speeches and Arrivals

In case you missed it here are acceptance speeches and also red carpet coverage of the artists of color at the 2013 Tonys! Do you have a favorite? Let us know and feel free to share!

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

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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NEWS: Tony Award Nominations

TonyAwardsStandardAs many of you know the Tony Award nominations will be announced today! Looking for a way to stay informed? Keep reading!


  • You can watch the nominations live at The webcast begins at 8:30 a.m. ET.
  • CBS This Morning will air a portion of the nominations live. The NYC cable TV channel NY1 will carry the event in its entirety, as will


The Nominations Announcement takes place at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center at Lincoln Center.  There is no admission to the public.

Who are you rooting for? After the nominations are announced let us know by leaving a comment (via the link under the title above).


Photo Credit: Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images

Nikki Michelle James is a Tony-Award winning American actress and singer

James is a New Jersey native of Haitian and Vincentian descent.  As a child, she sang and acted in church and in school performances.

Fun Fact: She was nominated for a Rising Star Award at Paper Mill Playhouse for her performance as Dolly Levi in high school. If you remember correctly this part was also played by a past Tony Tuesday feature, Pearl Bailey ,(who won some pretty big recognition for her role as well).

She later attended the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University. James made her Broadway debut in the ill-fated The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, and starred as Ottilie in the New York City Center Encores! production of House of Flowers. She played Adela in the Off-Broadway run of Michael John LaChiusa’s musical adaptation of Bernarda Alba and appeared in the Broadway cast of All Shook Up.

James has performed in everything from iconic Black musicals (i.e. Dorothy in the revival of The Wiz at La Jolla Playhouse) to traditional canon plays. When Anika Noni Rose, a Tony winner for Caroline, or Change dropped out, director Des McAnuff asked James about doing double-duty at the Stratford Festival. She ended up performing as a lead in both Romeo and Juliet and Caesar and Cleopatra  with Christopher Plummer.
Currently, James is performing on Broadway in her 2011 Tony award-winning role, Nabulungi, in the musical The Book of Mormon.

Sidenote-Although she’s never waited tables while waiting for an acting job, she’s hawked cosmetics and spritzed perfume at Bendel’s and Barneys. For more on Ms. James check out this great Entertainment Weekly interview given shortly after her big win and continue reading for videos of her acceptance speech and famous solo ‘Sal Tlay Ka Siti.’

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TONY TUESDAY: Juanita Hall

Photo Credit: Unknown

Juanita Long Hall, was born in Keyport, New Jersey on Nov. 6, 1901 to an African-American father, Abram Long, and an Irish American mother, Mary Richardson.

Classically trained at Juilliard, Hall’s early career was in singing and choir directing.  From 1935 to 1944 she directed the Works Progress Administration (WPA) Chorus.  From 1941 to 1942 she also directed the Westchester (New York) Chorale and Dramatics Association.  In the early 1940s she led the Juanita Hall Choir, which performed on radio with Rudy Vallee and Kate Smith and in 1949 the Juanita Hall Choir performed in the film, Miracle in Harlem.

Hall’s first major acting role came in 1943 when she appeared on Broadway in The Pirate.  Other Broadway acting opportunities came and she performed in Sing Out, Sweet Land, Saint Louis Woman, Deep Are the Roots, The Secret Room, Street Scene, and The Ponder Heart, all between 1943 and 1956.

Fun fact: Hall sometimes had to pass for Asian to get jobs on Broadway (i.e. Bloody Mary in South Pacific and Madam Liang in Flower Drum Song)

In 1950 Hall became the first African-American to win a Tony Award when she was named Best Supporting Actress for her role in South Pacific. She eventually played the part for close to 2,000 performances onstage and was the only cast member from the original Broadway production to star in the 1958 movie version. Take a look at her famous number, Bali Ha’i ,below.

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