Freda Payne, B.J. Crosby and More to Sing and Celebrate Maurice Hines at Amas Benefit Nov. 13

News   Freda Payne, B.J. Crosby and More to Sing and Celebrate Maurice Hines at Amas Benefit Nov. 13 Amas Musical Theatre will celebrate its 38th year with a Nov. 13 gala evening featuring its annual "Blast from the Past" show — a performance of Broadway Soul, a star-studded concert of song and dance in tribute to America's great jazz composers.

Conceived, arranged and directed by Chapman Roberts, Broadway Soul salutes the music and lyrics of Alberta Hunter, Louis Jordan, Billy Strayhorn, Fats Waller, Cab Calloway, Duke Ellington and many others.

Amas' gala will also honor Maurice Hines and Verizon with The Rosie Award (named for Amas founder Rosetta LeNoire).

Donna Trinkoff, producing artistic director of Amas Musical Theatre, states, "We honor Maurice for his sustained lifetime achievement and incredible career as a dancer, actor, choreographer, director and producer. He has always shared our mission of diversity, inclusiveness and excellence. And we honor Verizon for its continuing leadership in support of diversity in the workforce, strengthening community organizations, and championing literacy in America."

Musical direction for Broadway Soul is by Will Barrow, with choreography by Leslie Dockery. Its cast features Freda Payne, B.J. Crosby, Faruma and Floyd Williams, Bertilla Baker, Jean Cheek, Patricia Iacobazzo, Yolanda Graves, Patrick Jude, Mary Louise, Sandra-Reaves Phillips, Raun Ruffin, Steve Ruggieri, Glen Turner and others.

During the benefit evening, the third Rosetta LeNoire Scholarship will also be presented to a college-bound student attending Amas' arts education program, The Rosetta LeNoire Musical Theatre Academy. The Amas benefit will begin at 7 PM at New World Stages, 340 W. 50th Street followed by a buffet dinner at Puttanesca, 859 Ninth Avenue (at 56th Street).

Benefit ticket prices are $125 (performance only), $200 (performance, cocktails and buffet dinner) and $500 (premium performance seat, cocktails and buffet dinner). For tickets, call (212) 744-1048 or (212) 563-2565.

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Amas' honorary benefit committee is chaired by Phylicia Rashad with Judith Ann Abrams, Stephanie Abrams, Pat Addiss, Billie Allen, Joel and Rhela Aragona, Joe Benincasa, Ruby Dee, Carmen de Lavallade, Dasha Epstein, Tara Fishman, Micki Grant, Neville Grusd, Geoffrey Holder, Danny and Gail Holgate, Jeffrey Kent, Woody King Jr., Willette Klausner, Jeffrey Larson, Charles Mirotznik, Esq., Denise Morgan, Jack and Barbara LeNoire, Hon. Charles Rangel, Robert Schatz, Esq., Hon. Charles Schumer, Comp. William Thompson, Jr. and Leslie Uggams.

Amas Musical Theatre has been a pioneer in diversity and multi-ethnic casting in the performing arts since it was founded in 1968 by actress and visionary Rosetta LeNoire. Amas ("you love" in Latin) is devoted to the creation, development and professional production of new American musicals and to the training and encouragement of inner-city young people.

For 38 years, Amas "has engraved its unique trademark in the world of musical theatre, producing groundbreaking work embracing different cultural perspectives while reaching out to underserved audiences."

The Amas Benefit is an annual event held to raise funds in support of Amas Musical Theatre's ongoing theatre and arts education programs.