Backstage Pass with Lia Chang

Jackie Alexander’s BROTHERS FROM THE BOTTOM Starring Wendell Pierce, Kevin Mambo, Toccarra Cash, Thaddeus Daniels, Wendell Franklin and Megan Robinson at the Brooklyn Music School Playhouse through March 29

The Billie Holiday Theatre has kicked off a two-year residency at the Brooklyn Music School Playhouse with Brothers from the Bottom, starring actor and TONY Award-winning producer Wendell Pierce (SELMA, “Treme,” “The Wire”), two-time Emmy Award winner Kevin Mambo, who played the title role in Fela! on Broadway and recently appeared in the critically-acclaimed Fortress of Solitude, Toccarra Cash, Thaddeus Daniels, Wendell Franklin and Megan Robinson.

Kevin Mambo, Toccarra Cash, Wendell Pierce, Wendell Franklin and Megan Robinson. Photo by Helen L. Collen

Kevin Mambo, Toccarra Cash, Wendell Pierce, Wendell Franklin and Megan Robinson. Photo by Helen L. Collen

Helmed by Jackie Alexander, BHT artistic director and author of Brothers from the Bottom, the production began preview performances on March 6 and will continue through March 29 at The Brooklyn Music School Playhouse, 126 Saint Felix Street between Hanson and Lafayette, in the heart of the BAM Cultural District.

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Wendell Pierce and Kevin Mambo in Brothers from the Bottom. Photo by Helen L. Collen

Alexander’s Brothers from the Bottom deals with the hot button topic of gentrification, an incendiary subject for Brooklynites and New Yorkers alike. In the play, a real estate project threatens the fabric of a New Orleans neighborhood, and unravels the bond between brothers. “It’s a particularly relevant subject for us,” says Alexander, “since our residency and our permanent home are both central locations for the gentrification debates taking place in Brooklyn.”

What the critics are saying:
“Timely and sympathetic . . . Mr. Pierce is terrific . . . the acting stands way above the floodline.” – New York Times
“Polished ensemble, intriguing narrative and, most of all, authenticity of the New Orleans place and people presented on stage.” – Nola Vie-Life and Culture in New Orleans

Click here for more information and to purchase tickets.

Performance & Price Information:
Friday 8pm, Saturday 3 & 8pm, and Sunday 2 & 7pm
General Admission $30, Seniors and Students with valid ID $20

Special Offer:
Tickets are just $25** (reg. $30) when you use code WTGP for
performances Friday, March 20 at 8pm and Sunday, March 22 at 7pm-Talkback with cast after the show!

The Brothers From the Bottom 2pm matinee on Sunday, March 22nd is SOLD OUT!

How to purchase tickets:
Online: Visit www.thebillieholiday.org and enter code WTGP.
Phone: Call 718.636.0918 or 718.636.0919 and leave a message at ext. 10. A box office representative will return your call within 24 hours, Tuesday-Saturday. Mention code WTGP.
In person: Bring a print out of this offer to the Brooklyn Music School Playhouse Box Office, 126 St. Felix Street, Brooklyn, NY, one hour before the performance,

Special Event!!!
Join the conversation. A post-show discussion with Wendell Pierce and the entire cast will take place immediately following the 7pm performance on Sunday, March 22.

Brothers from the Bottom

Wendell Pierce, an accomplished Julliard trained actor, has conquered all realms of media with critically praised performances in theater, film, television and broadcast radio. The TONY, Emmy, Obie and Peabody winning actor and producer is best known for his portrayals on HBO’s ground breaking television series “The Wire” and “Treme”. Pierce is currently co-starring on CBS’ “The Odd Couple,” Showtime’s “Ray Donovan” and this year’s Oscar nominee for Best Picture, SELMA. He continues to host the Peabody Award winning national radio program, Jazz at Lincoln Center. Pierce is honored to be doing theatre for BHT. “When I moved to New York in 1981, I lived almost around the corner from BHT so I’ve almost come full circle in those 34 years.”

Check out the Wendell Pierce’s video promo below.

Brothers from the Bottom writer and director Jackie Alexander is a prolific award-winning actor, writer, producer and director for theater and film. BHT named Alexander artistic director in 2013 after devoting its entire 2010-2011 season to Alexander’s work; commissioning him to write three new plays, one of which was Brothers from the Bottom; and making him the only playwright in the forty-two year history of the theatre to receive such an honor.

Original Music: Edward Anderson and Darrell Lavigne (Bleu Orleans); Set Design: Felix Cochren (Broadway credits: Amen Corner, Inacent Black, Home); Assistant Set Designer: Patrice Davidson; Costume Design: Helen Simmons-Collen; Lighting Design: Joyce Liao; Sound Design: Douglas Forbes; Stage Manager: Avan Littles.

Thanks to a special partnership with the Brooklyn Music School Playhouse, The Billie Holiday Theatre (BHT) will present their acclaimed productions to Brooklyn’s flourishing Downtown Cultural District, as their award-winning theatre home in Bed-Stuy’s Restoration Plaza undergoes a multi-million dollar facelift.

The Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation is invested in forward-thinking, provocative and relevant work and partnerships with world-class artists and institutions, such as Wendell Pierce and the Brooklyn Music School Playhouse. The Restoration Center for Arts and Culture is dedicated to promoting arts and culture in Brooklyn with a range of arts programming, including a multidisciplinary youth arts academy, several professional dance company residencies and the Skylight Gallery with exhibits curated by renowned artists.

“The move to Brooklyn’s downtown cultural district is a natural progression in our evolution for the Billie Holiday Theatre,” says Alexander. “This residency, coupled with acclaimed actor Wendell Pierce’s performance in Brothers from the Bottom, presents BHT with an invaluable opportunity to re-establish ourselves as one of New York’s premier Off-Broadway houses, introduce our work to a new demographic and cultivate our existing audience base.” Brooklyn Music School artistic-executive director Piruz Partow agrees saying, “This partnership makes real sense. For decades, both our organizations have continued to make high quality programming accessible for Brooklynites.”

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cropped-lia-chang_photo-by-carlos-flores-3.jpgLia Chang is an actor, a performance and fine art botanical photographer, and an award-winning multi-platform journalist. Lia 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, 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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Crafting a Career
Click here  for the Lia Chang Articles Archive and here for the Lia Chang Photography Website.

All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2015 Lia Chang Multimedia. All rights reserved. All materials contained on this site are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of Lia Chang. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content. For permission, please contact Lia at liachangpr@gmail.com

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