PLAYS DOROTHY DANDRIDGE/
EMMY, TONY & GRAMMY AWARD-NOMINATED N'Kenge is heralded by the New York Times as 'a classically trained diva that can stretch from Broadway, Pop, Soul, to Opera.' On Broadway, N'Kenge appeared as The Moon in the 2021 Revival of Caroline or Change receiving her second Grammy Nomination for Best Musical Theater Album after her first for Motown: the Musical where she originated the role of Mary Wells. Motown founder Berry Gordy describes N'Kenge as 'the most versatile artist I know' and NY Post called her performance of Mary Wells 'Electrifying'.
This international award-winning singer's musical range covers 11 languages, and she has sung for presidents and dignitaries around the globe including President Obama's historical Commander-in-Chief Inaugural Ball. N'Kenge has been seen as a soloist at world-renowned venues such as Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center's Alice Tully Hall, and Madison Square Garden and has headlined Pop and Opera concerts with Seattle Symphony, Jacksonville Symphony, Cincinnati Symphony, Indianapolis Symphony, and Cleveland Orchestra to name a few. N'Kenge is a proud alumnus of both the Julliard School and Manhattan School of Music and made her Broadway debut in Sondheim on Sondheim. This energetic, well-rounded singer has performed with jazz greats like Ornette Coleman and Wynton Marsalis and was nominated for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Musical for her portrayal of the leading roles in both the Elton John/Tim Rice Musical Aida and in Marion Caffey's 3 Mo' Divas by the Helen Hayes Awards and the Arizoni Theater Awards.
N'Kenge has written and produced both her Forever Summer - A Tribute to Donna Summer and Lights of Broadway which has performed to audiences around the world. N'Kenge is a Producer on the new musical The Dolly Sisters: Icons of the Jazz Age as well as an Associate Producer for Lucky Numbers: The Story of the Peerless Nicholas Brothers with Kenny Leon's True Colors Theatre Company (Jamil Jude Artistic Director). N'Kenge is on the board for both the Coalition for African Americans in the Performing Arts and TRU (Theatre Resources Unlimited) and an Honorary board member of Amas Musical Theatre. N'Kenge is a proud member of the National Alliance for Musical Theatre and the Dramatists Guild.
Mr. Bell has served as President of Third World Cinema (TWC) a New York Corporation organized to produce and distribute feature-length motion pictures, television programming, and educational films with an emphasis on providing employment opportunities in front and behind the camera for minority group members. Third World Cinema has produced the full-length feature Claudine starring James Earl Jones and Diahann Carroll; Greased Lightning starring Richard Pryor in his first principal role also starring Pam Grier.
Mr. Bell served as Executive Producer for Public Television and produced the Emmy Award-winning documentary Bearden Plays Bearden on the life and works of the foremost Black Artist Romare Bearden. Mr. Bell was the co-producer of the Broadway and internationally acclaimed musical production Bubbling Brown Sugar, the production Mahalia, and several off-Broadway productions. Mr. Bell recently co-produced a two-disc DVD on Mr. Bearden for general and streaming release.
TONY AWARD-WINNING DIRECTOR Tamara Tunie directed Feelin' Good!, Tony Award-winner LaCHANZE'S autobiographical, one-woman show. She produced and directed the feature film See You In September, Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep (a ZOOM film short), directed and co-wrote the world premiere of Jazzland at the Harlem School of the Arts, and is directing the new musical Marian, about the life of the world-changing Opera Diva. Also, under Ms. Tunie's direction, Love and Southern Discomfort, a new musical set in the sultry south, is currently in development.
Her Broadway Producer credits include: Spring Awakening (TONY AWARD), August Wilson's Radio Golf (TONY Nomination), and Magic vs Bird. Off-Broadway: The Dutchman (The Cherry Lane Theater), Frog Kiss (Virginia Stage Company). Select Acting credits include Theater: THE 47TH (The Old Vic, London), Julius Caesar, Dreamgirls, Oh Kay!, Lena Horne: The Lady and Her Music (Broadway); Building the Wall (New World Stages); Familiar – Obie Award for Distinguished Performance by an Actor (Playwrights Horizons); American Son – Berkshire Theater Award Best Actor (Barrington Stage Company); 42nd Street(The Ordway), Prospero in The Tempest (Pittsburgh Public Theater), The Library (The NY Public Theater); Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (Theater Virginia). Television: Cowboy Bebop, SEE, Black Earth Rising, Dietland, The Red Road, Law & Order: SVU, Almost Family, Better Call Saul, Blue Bloods, Billions, 24, to name a few.
Film credits include: I Wanna Dance with Somebody (December 2022), A Journal for Jordan, Flight, The Devil's Advocate, City Hall, The Caveman's Valentine. She is Chair Emerita of the Board of Directors of Figure Skating in Harlem and serves on the Board of Directors at Harlem Stage/The Gatehouse, and City Theatre Company in Pittsburgh. She also serves on the Advisory Board of Hearts of Gold and is a founding member of BLACK THEATRE UNITED. Ms.Tunie is an acclaimed vocalist, and her debut album 'Dreamsville' launched at the 2019 Pittsburgh International Jazz Festival. In 2005, Mayor Bloomberg awarded her the 'Made in New York Award' from the City of New York, for her support and commitment to Film, Television, and Theater. Ms.Tunie has a BFA in Musical Theatre from Carnegie Mellon University and now serves on its Board.
BOOK & LYRICS
Trey Ellis is an Emmy and Peabody-winning filmmaker, American Book Award-winning novelist, playwright, essayist, and Professor of Professional Practice at Columbia University's School of the Arts. His play Satchel Paige and the Kansas City Swing has been performed around the country including The Repertory Theater of St. Louis, The Cincinnati Playhouse, and the Vineyard Theater on Martha's Vineyard. His award-winning play Fly has been performed at The Pasadena Playhouse, Ford's Theater, The New Victory Theater, and a dozen other venues. Fly won an NAACP Image Award and in 2017 a Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Award and continues to be performed around the country. His work for the screen includes the Peabody-winning and Emmy-nominated HBO film, The Tuskegee Airmen.
He is also the author of the novels, Platitudes, Home Repairs and the American Book Award-winning, Right Here, Right Now, as well as the memoir Bedtime Stories. His essays have appeared in The New York Times, Playboy, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, GQ, Vanity Fair, and NewYorker.com and he has contributed audio commentary to NPR's All Things Considered.
SHELTON L. BECTON
MUSIC & LYRICS
Shelton Becton is a Tony Award-winning pianist, composer, music director, conductor, vocalist, arranger, and orchestrator who has been commissioned by such renowned artists as Judy Collins, Patti Austin, and Phylicia Rashad who refers to Shelton as a 'musical genius.' His versatility is an open secret in his 'behind-the-star' field of music directorship. In musical theatre, Shelton has conducted productions of The Wiz, Ain't Misbehavin', The Color Purple, Memphis, Baby, It's You, and Lady Day at Emerson's Bar & Grill. He also arranged two pieces for the revue Three Mo' Tenors, which toured the country and aired on a PBS special.
He conducted the critically acclaimed Nativity – A Life Story with Stephanie Mills, BeBe Winans, Phylicia Rashad, Lillias White, and Freddie Jackson. He served as conductor of the Tony Award-winning Broadway musical – In The Heights, which played at The Westchester Broadway Theater. He was honored to serve as Music Supervisor for the 2014 production of Ragtime staged at the same theater. He was conductor, pianist & actor in Lady Day at Emerson's Bar & Grill, starring with six-time Tony award-winner, Audra McDonald in New York (Broadway) and London. In addition to his post as Music Director & Conductor of Eubie Blake & Noble Sissle's Broadway production of Shuffle Along, he also played and conducted the CSC production of Carmen Jones featuring Anika Noni Rose in Carmen Jones. 'For over two decades, Shelton has been the heart of my musical career... His musicality is impeccable and his musicianship and talent soul deep.' - Roberta Flack
Everett Bradley is a Grammy nominated songwriter and percussionist who has performed and recorded with Carly Simon, Quincy Jones, Hall and Oates and Bruce Springsteen. He is currently performing with the Bon Jovi band. He won a World Theater Award for co-writing and starring in Broadway Swing. He directed and performed in the original Stomp and wrote and performed the UK dance classic, I Luv You Baby. He serves as the MD for SAY.ORG (Stutterers Association for the Young) and when he is not writing or performing, he is orchestrating and scoring re-imagined musicals like 42nd Street and the original Dorothy Dandridge! The Musical.