B.B. King Blues Club hosted this year's Broadway Bears event, then opened its doors to Broadway fans again as they presented their inaugural "Black 2: Broadway" series March 10. This month the event will play April 22 with headliners Melba Moore, B.J. Crosby, Victor Trent Cook and Marva Hicks.
"Black 2: Broadway" billed as a celebration of "the contributions of African-American Performers in Theatre," features a live band, background vocalists, dance and music performances. In addition, to cultivate future artists, the variety show formatted presentation will spotlight rising stars from theatre as well as music and dance.
Moore made her Broadway debut as in the original production of Hair. She went on to appear in Timbuktu!, Les Misérables and Purlie, for which she won a Best Supporting Actress Tony Award.
Crosby was last seen in this season's Broadway run of One Mo' Time. She garnered a Tony Award nomination for Best Featured Actress in a Musical for her performance in Smokey Joe's Café. Other credits include Cats, Dinah Was and Barnum.
Cook is best known for his Tony Award-nominated turn in the Broadway staging of Smokey Joe's Cafe (with "Black 2" co-star Crosby). He also played in Don't Get God Started, Starmites and Street Corner Symphony. More recently he has appeared in and currently is touring with the theatrically staged concert show "Three Mo' Tenors." Marva Hicks has made a name for herself as a recording star, but has appeared on the Broadway stage. Her credits include Lena Horne: The Lady and Her Music and The Lion King. She recently reprised her Helen Hayes Award role of Glory in Thunder Knocking on the Door for the Trinity Repertory Theatre production directed by Marion McClinton.
For tickets to "Black 2: Broadway" at B.B. King Blues Club, 237 West 42 St. (between 7th and 8th Ave.), call Ticketmaster at (212) 307-7171 or visit www.bbkingblues.com.
— by Ernio Hernandez