2013: The Year in Black theater Part 2
Linda Armstrong | 1/9/2014, 11:13 a.m.
On Broadway at Circle in the Square Theatre, Amber Iman brought down the house as she played Nina Simone in “Soul Doctor.” The musical was absolutely incredible to watch, and Iman’s singing was amazing to hear.
Karen Aldridge made an enduring mark in her Broadway debut as Mrs. Phelps the librarian in “Matilda: The Musical,” playing at the Shubert Theatre on West 44th Street.
Daniel Hickman and Ava Jenkins starred in “Stealin’ Home” at the Castillo Theatre, a production about the life of Jackie Robinson that was directed by Charles Weldon. This play, written by Fred Newman, is a tribute to the first Black Major League Baseball player.
One of the events that I cherish chronicling in the Year in Review is the annual AUDELCO Awards, and 2013 was an exceptional year for the AUDELCO Awards, as they honor Black theater. This year, the production of “The Piano Lesson” received great kudos, winning eight VIV Awards, including Best Revival; Best Director/Dramatic Production—Santiago-Hudson; Best Lead Actress—Ruff; Best Lead Actor—Dirden; Best Supporting Actor—Cooper; Best Costume Design—Michael Camahan; and Best Lighting Design—Rui Rita.
You can always go to the AUDELCO website at www.audelco.net and see who 2013’s other VIV winners were. The AUDELCO organization is one that should be supported throughout the year, because its mission is to support and reward Black actors who give their all on the stage and behind the stage.
This year, make a commitment to support Black theater, whether it is Black-owned theater companies, theater companies that feature plays by Black playwrights and with Black casts or Black actors on Broadway. Our people are so versatile and talented, and we have so much to offer this world.