From an Historic Photo to an Historic Night: How Norm Lewis Was Inspired to Present Black Stars Of The Great White Way

By Karu F. Daniels
20 Jun 2014

Norm Lewis
Norm Lewis
Photo by Joseph Marzullo/WENN

Producers Norm Lewis and Chapman Roberts chat with about the June 23 Carnegie Hall concert featuring and celebrating Broadway's black leading men.


June 23, a star-studded, all-male line-up of black Broadway performers from yesteryear, today and tomorrow are scheduled to partake in The Black Stars of The Great White Way Broadway Reunion: Live The Dream concert event at Carnegie Hall's Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage.

The brainchild of Tony Award nominee Norm Lewis, currently starring in The Phantom of the Opera on Broadway, the concert will include appearances and performances by Tony Award winners Billy Porter (Kinky Boots), Chuck Cooper (The Life), Hinton Battle (Sophisticated Ladies), Ben Harney (Dreamgirls), alongside Clifton Davis (Aladdin), Andre De Shields (Ain't Misbehavin'), Brandon Victor Dixon (Motown), Dule Hill (After Midnight) and many others.

Song and dance numbers from popular black-themed Broadway musicals such as The Lion King, Dreamgirls, Five Guys Named Moe, Ain't Misbehavin' and Porgy and Bess will be performed during the black-tie event, which will also include special honors to Geoffrey Holder, Robert Guillaume, Berry Gordy, Louis Johnson, Stephen Byrd, Harold Wheeler, Noble Sissle, Luther Henderson and Donald McKayle.

Lewis, who is co-producing the event with playwright/producer David H. Greer and Broadway veteran Chapman Roberts, described the event as "serendipitous" since it's timed well with his historic Phantom debut earlier this month.

"No one has ever celebrated black men on Broadway," he added. "So we're going to do it big and do it at Carnegie Hall."


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