Tony and Drama Desk Award winner Ben Vereen (Pippin) performed Stephen Schwartz’s “For Good,” from Wicked, at Carnegie Hall in New York on Monday, June 23, 2014, as part of The Black Stars of The Great White Way Broadway Reunion: Live The Dream.
The black tie gala concert presented by Norm Lewis, Chapman Roberts, David H. Greer, Paula Marie Black, Stephen C. Byrd, in association with Richard Allen Center for Culture and Art, Queensborough Performing Arts Center and the California African American Museum, was an all-male tribute honoring jazz musicians Eubie Blake, Fats Waller, Louis Armstrong, Cab Calloway, Louis Jordan, Duke Ellington, and Paul Robeson that celebrated 100 years of jazz at Carnegie Hall, on Broadway and the 40th Anniversary of The Wiz, and featured the largest cast of African American Men of the Broadway stage at Carnegie Hall’s Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage.
Lewis, Phylicia Rashad, Chita Rivera, Cicely Tyson and Ben Vereen presented awards to Geoffrey Holder, Louis Johnson, Stephen C. Byrd, Harold Wheeler, Noble Sissle, Larry Hamlin, Berry Gordy, Luther Henderson, Donald McKayle, and Robert Guillaume.
The New York Times‘ Stephen Holden writes,
“Mr. Vereen capped the evening with a tender rendition of Stephen Schwartz’s “For Good,” from “Wicked.” The song’s tagline evokes the mentoring tradition that more than one guest described as standing on the shoulders of those who came before: “Because I knew you, I have been changed for good.”
Click on the link to The New York Times article to read the full music review.
The New York Times: Gentlemen Take a Bow in a Theater Tribute
Check out the video excerpt of Ben Vereen singing Stephen Schwartz’s “For Good,” from Wicked.
Featured performers included Guy Davis, Longineu Parsons, Norm Lewis, Keith David, Chuck Cooper, André De Shields, Brandon Victor Dixon, Clifton Davis, Obba Babatunde and cast members from the original cast of Dreamgirls, cast members from the original cast of Bring in ‘da Noise, Bring in ‘da Funk and more. The program also featured the New York premieres of David Alan Bunn’s Live The Dream Overture – A Soulful Fanfare and Chapman Roberts/William Foster McDaniel Legacy, in additions to selections by Blake, Jordan, Waller / Henderson, Ellington, and other Broadway favorites. Check back for my featured highlights of the night in photos and video.
The veritable who’s who of performers, dancers, musicians and composers included:
Chapman Roberts, Norm Lewis, André De Shields, James Monroe Iglehart, Larry Marshall, Kevin Ramsey, Glenn Turner, Doug Eskew, Milton Craig Neeley, Jeffrey Anderson-Gunter, Ben Harney, Cleavant Derricks, Adrian Bailey, Marcus Naylor, Rome Neal, Leotis Clyburn, Branden Cook, Brandon Bain, Avon Long, David Helper, Raun Ruffin, Jason Cook, Lee Summers, Stanley Hopkins, Claude Jay, Forest Ray, Keith David, Rob “Ike” Barnes, Bobby Harden, Obba Babatunde, Kirk Taylor, Wilkie Ferguson, Lacy Darryl Phillips, Clent Bowers, Avon Marshall, Scott J. Foster, Brandon Victor Dixon, Kenneth Kamal Scott, Raymond Patterson, D’Ambrose Boyd, Ken Ard, Thom Scott, C.E. Smith, Johnathan Lee Iverson, Torrence Bristow, Jayson Kolbicz, and Clifton Davis.
Derek Grant, Bakaari Wilder, Jason Samuel Smith, Joseph Web, Dule Hill, Vincent Bingham, Omar Edwards, and Alde Lewis.
Frank Owens, David Alan Bunn, William Foster McDaniel, Kenny Seymour, Julius Williams, and Abdul Hamid Royal (Piano)
Conductors Sipho Kunene and Buddy Williams, Clyde Bullard (Drums), Bass Keith Robinson (Bass) and Van Gibbs (Guitar).
Featuring “Broadway Brown”, Youth Cast Members from The Lion King, Matilda, Motown, Kinky Boots, Scottsboro Boys, Raisin in the Sun and South Pacific, including Douglas Baldeo, Guy Barfield, Judah Bellamy, Cole Bullock, Nile Bullock, Niles Fitch, Jeremy Gumbs, Robert (Kyle) Harris, Ryan Harris, Joshua Jackson, Alphonso Jones, Jaden Jordon, Aubrey Omari Joseph, Luke Kain, Darius Kaleb, Clifford Lee, D’Andre Lee, Raymond Luke, Jr., Caleb McLaughlin, Marquis Neal and Chris Sumpter.
Other articles on Live the Dream:
Photos and Video: Obba Babatunde and cast members from the original cast of Dreamgirls perform at Carnegie Hall in The Black Stars of The Great White Way Broadway Reunion: Live The Dream
Photos & Video: The Wiz’s André De Shields Sang “So You Wanted to Meet the Wizard” in The Black Stars of The Great White Way Broadway Reunion: Live The Dream at Carnegie Hall
June 23: André De Shields, Billy Porter, Chuck Cooper, Brandon Victor Dixon, Clifton Davis, Norm Lewis, Chapman Roberts and More Set for The Black Stars of The Great White Way Broadway Reunion: Live The Dream at Carnegie Hall
Jun. 23: Norm Lewis, Phylicia Rashad, Chita Rivera, Cicely Tyson and Ben Vereen Set to Present Awards at The Black Stars of The Great White Way Broadway Reunion: Live The Dream at Carnegie Hall
Jun. 23: The Black Stars of The Great White Way Broadway Reunion: Live The Dream at Carnegie Hall Features Chapman Roberts, Norm Lewis, André De Shields Chuck Cooper, Brandon Victor Dixon and More
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Click here for more articles on André De Shields.
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Click here for the Lia Chang Articles Archive and here for the Lia Chang Photography Website.
Lia Chang is an actor, a performance and fine art botanical photographer, and an award-winning multi-platform journalist. Lia recently starred as Carole Barbara in Lorey Hayes’ Power Play at the 2013 National Black Theatre Festival in Winston-Salem, N.C., with Pauletta Pearson Washington, Roscoe Orman, Lorey Hayes, Marcus Naylor and Phynjuar, and made her jazz vocalist debut in Rome Neal’s Banana Puddin’ Jazz “LADY” at the Nuyorican Poets Cafe in New York. She is profiled in Jade Magazine.
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