Backstage Pass with Lia Chang

LaChanze and Lindsay Mendez will join Telly Leung, Billy Porter, Norm Lewis, Joshua Henry, Marcus Paul James, Adam Pascal, Chad Kimball and Jarrod Spector in INSPIRATIONAL BROADWAY Concert Lineup at B.B. King Blues Club & Grill on Feb. 15

CbHYRkIXEAASIBj.jpg-large Broadway leading ladies LaChanze (Tony Award winner for The Color Purple) and Lindsay Mendez (Wicked, Godspell) have been added to the all-star lineup of INSPIRATIONAL BROADWAY, a dynamic and soulful evening of music.The one night only concert features theater’s biggest names singing Broadway, Gospel, Pop, and Rock classics with a stirring and spiritual twist, including musical arrangements by BIV founder and Tony Award-nominee Michael McElroy. Join Tony-winner Billy Porter (Kinky Boots), Tony-nominee Norm Lewis (The Phantom of the Opera), Tony-nominee Joshua Henry (Violet), Telly Leung (Allegiance), Tony-nominee Chad Kimball (Memphis), Tony-nominee Jarrod Spector (Beautiful), Tony-nominee Adam Pascal (Rent), Marcus Paul James (Motown), and select members of the Grammy-nominated Broadway Inspirational Voices as they lift their voices to benefit BIV’s Outreach Programs providing inspiration and music to youth in need and children in underserved communities. Music direction is by James Sampliner (Prince of Broadway, Honeymoon in Vegas). Previously-announced participants Renee Elise Goldsberry and Eden Espinosa need to withdraw due to scheduling conflicts. The concert takes place at B.B. King Blues Club & Grill on February 15, 2016 at 7:30 PM (Doors at 6:00 PM). Tickets begin at $30 and can be purchased by here.

With hits from Broadway shows like Rent, Sunday in the Park with George, Violet, Oklahoma! and Memphis, the show celebrates the soul of Broadway and BIV’s mission to give “hope, inspire, and change” lives with the universal power of inspirational music. This event is presented by Marathon Live Entertainment (Mike Karns), Telly Leung Productions and R/J Productions (Rich Aronstein).

MICHAEL McELROY Founder/director, Broadway Inspirational Voices (BIV), a multiracial gospel choir. Broadway: Big River (Tony nomination), Rent, The Wild Party, The Who’s Tommy, Miss Saigon, Patty LuPone…Broadway, High Rollers…, Hair. National: Sarafina. Off-Broadway: Blue, Violet, Thunder, Knocking…Door, Richard III. Regional: Fences, Angels in America I and II. Television: “All My Children,” “Spin City,” “Michael Jackson Concert,” and the 2002 Grammy Awards.

LaCHANZE. Broadway: The Color Purple (2006 Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical), Once on This Island (Tony and Drama Desk nominations), Ragtime, Company and Uptown It’s Hot. Off-Broadway: Dessa Rose (Obie Award and Drama Desk Award nomination), The Bubbly Black Girl Sheds Her Chameleon Skin (Drama Desk nomination) and Inked Baby. Other theater credits: The Wiz, Baby, From the Mississippi Delta and Spunk. Film credits include: The Help, Side Effects, Breaking Upwards, Confessions of a Shopaholic, Disney’s Hercules, For Love or Money and Leap of Faith. Television credits include “Handel’s Messiah Rocks” (Emmy Award), “Lucy” (CBS TV movie), “Law & Order: SVU,” “Sex and the City,” “New York Undercover” and “The Cosby Show.” Follow her on Twitter @lachanze

LINDSAY MENDEZ recently starred as Elphaba in the Broadway production of Wicked at the Gershwin Theater. She had the honor of playing the role for the 10th Anniversary of the show and appeared on “The Today Show” and “The Katie Couric Show” as part of the celebration. She received a Drama Desk nomination, Outer Critics Circle nomination and a Drama League nomination for her performance as Rose Fenny in the Off-Broadway musical Dogfight. Lindsay also has a major passion for jazz and contemporary music. She collaborates with jazz pianistMarco Paguia and their first album This Time is currently available on iTunes. www.LindayMendez.net.

BROADWAY INSPIRATIONAL VOICES (BIV) is a diverse choir of Broadway artists united to change lives through the power of music and service. BIV’s mission consists of providing HOPE to INSPIRE and TRANSFORM youth in need through music and the arts. The company was founded by Michael McElroy in 1994 as the Broadway Gospel Choir and in 1999 reincarnated to its current name. In addition to numerous concerts, the Grammy nominated choir has performed with award-winning artists such as Mariah Carey, the Yeah Yeah Yeah’s, Sting, Elton John,Vanessa Williams, Heather Headley and Billy Porter. BIV has been featured on “Late Night withDavid Letterman,” “The Rosie O’Donnell Christmas Special,” multiple Tony Awards telecasts, “Smash” and “America’s Got Talent.”

NORM LEWIS Broadway: Phantom of the Opera, Porgy & Bess (Tony nomination), Sondheim on Sondheim, The Little Mermaid, Les Miseìrables (O2 Concert & West End), Chicago, Amour, The Wild Party, Side Show, Miss Saigon and The Who’s Tommy. Off-Broadway: Dessa Rose (Drama Desk nomination), The Tempest, Two Gentlemen of Verona, A New Brain. TV/Film: “Scandal,” “Chicago Med,” “Gotham,” “The Blacklist,” “Blue Bloods,” “Magnum Opus,” Sex & the City 2 and featured in five PBS specials. Album: This is the Life.

JOSHUA HENRY Broadway: Violet (Tony nomination), The Scottsboro Boys (Tony nomination), The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess, American Idiot, In the Heights (Drama Desk winner), Bring It On: The Musical. TV: “Army Wives,” “Kings.” Regional: Violet, The Cotton Club Parade, The Wiz, Being Alive. Film: Sex and the City, Winter’s Tale. Solo concerts: This Is the Love, Soul Weakness.

TELLY LEUNG Broadway / National Tour: Allegiance (Sammy Kimura), Godspell, Rent (final Broadway company), Wicked (Boq, original Chicago company), Pacific Overtures, Flower Drum Song. Television: Glee (Wes, Dalton Academy Warblers), “Deadbeat,” “Law and Order: Criminal Intent,” PBS’s “Broadway or Bust” (documentary series). Telly has released two solo albums on the Yellow Sound Label: I’ll Cover You and Songs for You – both available at iTunes and Amazon – and has played to sold-out rooms all over the world, including Joe’s Pub, Birdland, 54 Below, San Francisco’s Feinstein’s at the Nikko, Tokyo’s La Donna, and London’s Hippodrome.www.tellyleung.com

CHAD KIMBALL originated the role of Huey Calhoun in the Tony Award-winning Broadway musical Memphis (The Shubert), earning him a Tony nomination for Best Leading Actor in a Musical as well as nominations for the Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards for Best Actor. Mr. Kimball was also seen on Broadway as John Lennon in Lennon (The Broadhurst). He donned the guise of Milky-White in the Broadway revival of Into the Woods (also at the Broadhurst) with Vanessa Williams. Other Broadway credits include The Civil War (The St. James) and Good Vibrations (The Eugene O’Neill). Off-Broadway: Finian’s Rainbow (Irish Repertory Theatre), My Life With Albertine (Playwrights Horizons) Godspell (York Theatre) and Murder in the First (The Director’s Company). Regional theatre includes Sweeney Todd (Signature Theatre), Baby (Papermill Playhouse), Chess in concert and Little Fish (The Blank) and Come From Away (La Jolla Playhouse and Seattle Repertory Theatre), among others. Mr. Kimball won a Bistro Award for his solo concert, which he reprised at Joe’s Pub. He is a graduate of the Boston Conservatory.

MARCUS PAUL JAMES Television: “The Wiz – LIVE.” Broadway: Motown the Musical, In the Heights, Rent. Off Broadway: Rent. Film: Rent: Live on Broadway. Albums: Meant To Be.

ADAM PASCAL became part of theatrical history by creating the role of Roger Davis in Rent, earning a Best Actor Tony Award nomination and reprising his performance in the 2005 movie adaptation. Pascal has since juggled a career as a concert and recording artist with leading roles on Broadway in Aida (Radames), Cabaret (Emcee) and Memphis (Huey Calhoun). This Spring, Adam stars in Disaster! A New Musical on Broadway opening March 6th.

BILLY PORTER Broadway: Kinky Boots (Tony Award), Miss Saigon, Five Guys…, Grease, Smokey Joe’s…, Dreamgirls. Off-Broadway/regional: Angels in America, The Merchant of Venice, Radiant Baby, Birdie Blue, Songs for a New World, Ghetto Superstar (one-man show), Topdog/Underdog, King Lear, The Further Adventures of Hedda Gabler. Film/TV: The Broken Hearts Club, Noel, “Shake, Rattle and Roll,” “Law & Order,” “The Big C.” Recording: Untitled, At the Corner of Broadway & Soul.

JARROD SPECTOR enjoyed a childhood career as Gavroche in Les Miserables before heading to Princeton. He spent six years playing Four Seasons frontman Frankie Valli in Broadway’s Jersey Boys and currently stars as legendary songwriter Barry Mann (“You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin'”) in Beautiful – The Carole King Musical, for which he was nominated for a Tony Award.

Click here for the Lia Chang Articles Archive and here for the Lia Chang Photography Website.

Lia Chang. Photo by Garth Kravits

Lia Chang. Photo by Garth Kravits

Lia Chang is an award-winning filmmaker, a Best Actress nominee, a photographer, and an award-winning multi-platform journalist. Lia has appeared in the films Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon, Taxman and Hide and Seek. She is profiled in Examiner.comJade Magazine and Playbill.com.

All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2016 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 lia@liachang.com

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