Author Archives: Mark Kennedy

  • Ruby Dee to be Memorialized Saturday in NYC

    NEW YORK (AP) — Ruby Dee will be remembered in poetry and song this weekend as the actress and civil rights activist is memorialized by admirers including Alicia Keys, Audra McDonald, Harry Belafonte and Angela Bassett. The celebration of Lee’s life will be held at the Riverside Church in ...

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  • Audra McDonald Helps ‘Lady Day’ Turn a Profit

    NEW YORK (AP) — Audra McDonald has propelled her new Broadway show into profitability. Producers of the play “Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill” said Tuesday that they’ve recouped their $2.6 million initial investment. In the show, McDonald portrays Billie Holiday in ...

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  • Tupac Shakur Musical to Close Sunday on Broadway

    NEW YORK (AP) — Tupac Shakur fans, keep ya head up: The Broadway musical “Holler If Ya Hear Me” that uses songs from one of hip-hop’s greatest artists is closing after less than two months. Producers said late Monday that the show will close Sunday at the Palace Theatre after ...

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  • Ruby Dee’s Legacy of Activism, Acting Mourned

    NEW YORK (AP) — For Ruby Dee, acting and activism weren’t contradictory things. They were inseparable, and they were intertwined. The African-American actress, who earned lead roles in movies and on Broadway, also spent her life fighting against injustice, even emceeing the 1963 March on ...

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  • ‘After Midnight’ to Close by The End of the Month

    NEW YORK (AP) — The Broadway musical celebrating Duke Ellington’s years at the CottonClub nightclub in Harlem is dancing into history: It will play its final show June 29. “After Midnight,” a candy sampler of some two dozen musical numbers that showcase dance, jazz or vocals ...

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  • Audra McDonald Makes Tony Award History with Win

    NEW YORK (AP) — Audra McDonald has become the Tony Awards' most decorated actress. The singer and actress on Sunday won her sixth Tony for portraying Billie Holiday in "Lady Day at Emerson's Bar & Grill," putting her ahead of five-time winners Angela Lansbury and the ...

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  • Audra McDonald Makes Tony Award History with Win

    NEW YORK (AP) — Audra McDonald has become the Tony Awards’ most decorated actress. The singer and actress on Sunday won her sixth Tony for portraying Billie Holiday in “Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill,” putting her ahead of five-time winners Angela Lansbury and the ...

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  • Broadway Welcomes its First Black ‘Phantom’ Lead

    NEW YORK (AP) — A thunderous standing ovation congratulated Norm Lewis as he became the first Black actor to take on the title role in Broadway's "The Phantom of the Opera." The Tony Award nominee, who brought his deep and rich voice as Porgy to the recent "Porgy and ...

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  • James Earl Jones Returning to Broadway this Fall

    NEW YORK (AP) — James Earl Jones is coming back to Broadway in a play that's almost as old as he is. The 87-year-old two-time Tony Award-winner will star in a fall revival of the zany "You Can't Take It With You," the 1936 comedy about an engagement that forces a wealthy ...

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  • ‘Soul Train’ May Boogie onto Broadway

    NEW YORK (AP) — The groundbreaking song-and-dance show "Soul Train" is chugging toward Broadway. Stage and film producer Matthew Weaver, who helped create "Rock of Ages," has acquired the theatrical stage rights to the TV show and said Tuesday he's hoping to repeat ...

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  • Denzel on ‘Raisin’ and Sidney Poitier

    NEW YORK (AP) — The Denzel Washington you meet backstage at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre is not exactly living a glamorous Hollywood life. He's more like a college kid during finals. He wears a black Yankee cap, black sweat pants and blue sneakers. There are free weights on a counter ...

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  • ‘Phantom of the Opera’ Welcomes First Black Lead

    NEW YORK (AP) — Norm Lewis has been tapped to be Broadway's next Phantom in the megahit "The Phantom of the Opera," a move that makes him the first African-American to slip behind the famous mask on the Great White Way. Producers said Thursday the Tony Award nominee, who ...

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