Are you looking for a powerhouse Valentine experience? Consider an evening with Tony- and Emmy Award winner Lillias White, who opens the 47th season of The Negro Ensemble Company with a special Valentine’s Day concert.
Ms. White, a long-time supporter of The Negro Ensemble Company, Inc., says, “I am pleased and proud to contribute my time and energy to benefit The Negro Ensemble Company. The NEC is an integral part of our community and has produced performing artist who have become world renowned. It is imperative that we all, especially those of us who have benefited from involvement with the NEC stand up and make sure that the work of this organization continues. Our community needs quality theatre. And it’s up to all of us who can to continue this legacy.”
Lillias White’s amazing voice, powerful delivery and unique song styling has and continues to thrill and delight audiences in productions, including; headlining a talented cast in the Broadway production of The Life, garnering the covetous Tony Award, Outer Critics Circle Award, Drama Desk, and the Friends of New York award; and a powerful performance in FELA for which she received a Tony nomination.
Ms. White’s has also received praise for the Broadway productions, Dreamgirls, Barnum, Cats, Rock ‘N Roll! The First 5,000 Years, Once on This Island, Carrie, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying and Chicago. Her film and TV credits include a regular role on Sesame Street (for which she won an Emmy Award), the role of Bloody Mary in the PBS Great Performances presentation of South Pacific, Pieces of April, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit and the voice of the lead muse in the Disney’s animated Hercules. She has appeared in concert at the Kennedy Center, Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center and has toured internationally with her one-woman show “From Brooklyn to Broadway.” Additionally, she was featured on the 1990 hit single “Rescue Me” by pop-icon Madonna.
The Negro Ensemble Company, Inc. (NEC) (Charles Weldon, Artistic Director; Karen Brown, Executive Director) provides African-American, African and Caribbean professional artists with an opportunity to learn, to work, to grow and to be nurtured in the performing arts. They present theatre performances by and about black people to a culturally diverse audience that is often underserved.
In 1965, Playwright Douglas Turner Ward, producer/actor Robert Hooks, and theater manager Gerald Krone made a dream a reality with The Negro Ensemble Company. The catalyst for this was A Raisin in the Sun. Hooks and Ward were cast-mates in the road company; and they dreamed of starting a theater company run by and for black people. Eventually with money from the Ford Foundation and a home at the St. Marks Playhouse, The Negro Ensemble Company formed officially in 1967.
Success began with the play “The River Niger”, that later moved to Broadway (Tony Award for Best Play), and later an extensive tour. In 1981, the NEC had probably its most successful production with “A Soldier’s Play”, winning the Critics Circle Best Play Award and the Pulitzer Prize. The NEC has produced more than two hundred new plays and provided a theatrical home for more than four thousand cast and crewmembers. The NEC is respected worldwide for its commitment to excellence, and has won dozens of honors and awards. It has been a constant source and sustenance for black actors, directors, and writers as they have worked to break down walls of racial prejudice.
Lillias White – A Woman on Love
Langston Hughes Auditorium at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture
515 Malcolm X Boulevard
7:00 p.m. / 10: 00 p.m. (VIP reception immediately following second concert.)
$75.00 General Admission
$100.00 for the concert with the VIP Reception
For discount information and Early Bird Specials, call smarttix at (212) 868-4444 or the NEC office at 212-582-5860.