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Broadway Celebrates Juneteenth

Howard Sherman • Theatre Buzz • June 21, 2021

Kimber Elayne Sprawl with Matthew Frederick Harris, Marc Kudisch, Tom Nelis, and Austin Scott (Photo © Howard Sherman)

The Broadway League’s Black to Broadway Initiative presented Broadway Celebrates Juneteenth, a free outdoor event centered around Black joy and unity that featured Black Broadway performers in a 90-minute concert. This inaugural event, which was sponsored by MAC Cosmetics and Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS with the support of the Times Square Alliance, took place in Times Square on Saturday, June 19, 2021.

Lillias White (Photo © Howard Sherman)

Broadway Celebrates Juneteenth, hosted by Lillias White, featured cast members from numerous shows, including Diana, Girl from the North Country, The Lion King, Moulin RougeThe Phantom of the OperaTina: The Tina Turner Musical, Thoughts of a Colored Man, with a special appearance byBen Vereen. Live music was provided by The Music Performance Trust Fund.

The creative and production team included Steve H. Broadnax III as Director, Daryl Waters as Music Director, Nzinga Williams as General Manager, and Cody Renard Richard as Stage Manager. The Broadway League was the executive producer of the event. Brian Moreland and Aaliytha Stevens are Co-Chairs of the Broadway League’s Multi-Cultural Task Force.

Bongi Duma and friends (Photo © Howard Sherman)


Prior to the event Charlotte St. Martin, President of the Broadway League, noted, “This will be the first year that Juneteenth will be an official holiday in New York State. We are proud to be honoring and celebrating this important day together as a community. We will be reflecting on the incredible contributions that the Black members of our community have made and continue to contribute to Broadway. As the industry prepares to reopen this fall, we welcome this opportunity to join together in looking forward to a better Broadway, one that comes back stronger, more diverse, more equitable, more inclusive, and more united.”

The goal of Black to Broadway is to inspire deeper engagement with, awareness of, and access to Broadway for all Black people. Created by The Broadway League in 2019, and originally called Let’s Do Broadway, this initiative is an industry-wide celebration of the Black community on Broadway—on stage, in the audience, behind the scenes, and as leaders in the Broadway community. For more about Black to Broadway visit BroadwayLeague.com. For Broadway information in NYC as well as for shows on tour across North America and internationally, visit Broadway.org.

Jacqueline B Arnold and Anastacia McCleskey (Photo © Howard Sherman)

 

Stanley Martin (Photo © Howard Sherman)

Solomon Dumas (Photo © Howard Sherman)

Ravi Best (Photo © Howard Sherman)

Nick Rashad Burroughs (Photo © Howard Sherman)

L. Steven Taylor (Photo © Howard Sherman)

LaVon Fisher Wilson and friends (Photo © Howard Sherman)

Keenan Scott II (Photo © Howard Sherman)

Janinah Burnett (Photo © Howard Sherman)

Ben Vereen (Photo © Howard Sherman)

André Jordan (Photo © Howard Sherman)

 

 

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