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Linda Armstrong

Stories by Linda

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New York productions to be showcased at NBTF

Black theater family, make your plans and get ready to pack your bags this summer.

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‘Black Stars of the Great White Way’ to headline NBTF

Chapman Roberts, the executive director and producer of “Black Stars of the Great White Way,” is very excited these days, as he prepares to bring this unique, marvelous production down to the National Black Theatre Festival, happening Aug. 3 to 8 in Winston-Salem, N.C., as the main stage production, which is an enormous honor.

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Corey Mitchell makes history at 69th Tony Awards

History was made this year at the 69th annual Tony Awards, held at Radio City Music Hall, as the inaugural Tony for Excellence in Theatre Education was awarded.

The incredible story of the Jubilee Singers

Inspired, educated, motivated—that’s how I felt as I watched “A Band of Angels” at Theater 3, located at 311 W. 43rd St.

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Don’t make plans to ‘Visit’

Have you ever sat in a Broadway theater and thought of the offering before your eyes, “This is weird”?

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‘The Glass Menagerie’ shines

The Masterworks Theater Company is proving that classic plays are truly timeless.

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‘It Shoulda Been You’ a bridal hoot

Have you ever gone to a musical and as it starts you sense this amazing energy in the theater?

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‘Something Rotten!’ is something wonderful!

“Something Rotten!” is one of the most original, creative musical comedies to hit Broadway in a long time! It makes the Renaissance hip and new! And it rejuvenates one’s love and appreciation for the brilliance of William Shakespeare’s work.

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Grace Jones to be honored at NBTF with Living Legend Award

If you are not familiar with the New York not-for-profit organization that supports Black theater by making sure to let audiences know about the shows and recognizing productions with the VIV Award, then you need to know about the AUDELCO Awards, which stands for Audience Development Committee.

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Chinese imagery at the Met

When you first enter the Costume Institute’s opening gallery that’s exhibiting “China: Through the Looking Glass,” you see the Mao suit, created after Mao Zedong.

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‘The Heidi Chronicles’: One woman’s journey to self-worth

What is success? What gives one fulfillment in life? If you have a great career in which you do something that you’re passionate about and that pays you well, is that success?

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‘Gigi’ flops on Broadway

“Gigi” is one of the most gigantic flops I’ve seen on Broadway in a while!

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Denzel’s daughter talks upcoming role in ‘The Glass Menagerie’

ennessee Williams’ classic drama “The Glass Menagerie” will be performed at the 47th Street Theatre, located at 304 W. 47th St., May 8 to May 30.

Lane, Uggams and Epps discuss history of Blacks in theater

Stewart F. Lane wrote a phenomenal book called “Black Broadway: African Americans on the Great White Way,” published by Square One Publishers. The book chronicles the history of Blacks in theater, and it is a marvelous, exciting, fascinating history.

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An American in Paris’ has been reinvented!

Broadway’s Palace Theatre, at the corner of Broadway and 47th Street, is home to a reimagined version of “An American in Paris,” and it is worth seeing.

‘Tallest Tree’: Beaty phenomenal as Robeson

From the time that Daniel Beaty began his one-man show “The Tallest Tree in the Forest,” your attention was grabbed and maintained.

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UniverSoul: You will laugh, clap and be moved

From the time you sit down at the UniverSoul Circus, you realize why you are here once again. It is time for you to rejoin this family.

‘Brothers From the Bottom’ is a vital work to see

Have you ever experienced a play that not only entertained you, but also left you feeling educated and motivated? I saw a play over the weekend that did just that. “Brothers From the Bottom” is a captivatingly written and directed play by Jackie Alexander.

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Ringling Bros. is ‘Xtreme’ fun

“Circus Xtreme” is the current offering from Ringling Bros. Barnum & Bailey Circus, and it is extreme—an extremely good time for all! Make sure to arrive early because once you pick up your tickets, you are invited to come onto the floor as long as it is one hour before the performance for the preshow. D

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Broadway dished up the laughs with James Earl Jones

The comedy “You Can’t Take It With You,” one of the funniest productions to ever hit a Broadway stage, just finished its run at the Longacre Theatre on West 48th Street.

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‘Dutchman’ is powerful theater

“Dutchman” by Amiri Baraka, playing at the Castillo Theatre on West 42nd Street, is being performed by New Federal Theatre. Woodie King Jr. has decided to dedicate the theater’s 46th season to reviving Baraka’s work. “Dutchman” is a very powerful play to watch.

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Black B’way stars chronicled in fabulous new book

“Black Broadway: African-Americans on the Great White Way” is full of the history of Black performers on Broadway, with some of the most stunning photos of these performers that you will have the pleasure of viewing.

This year, consider AUDELCO and support Black theater

As you begin the new year and decide what you want to do with some of your extra money or time, consider getting involved with AUDELCO, the nonprofit organization that has been supporting Black theater for 42 years.

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‘Into the Woods’ is big fun on the big screen

The Disney Christmas release, “Into the Woods,” is definitely a gift for the entire family. Rated PG, it is a delightful movie to experience.

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‘Africa Umoja’: Strength, passion and spirit

If you were at Symphony Space last week, then you got to experience the captivating, sensual and powerful performance of “Africa Umoja: 20 Years of Freedom and Democracy Tour.”

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Black theater Year in Review

2014 was a phenomenal year for Black theater.

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‘Radio City Christmas Spectacular’ ushers in the holidays

The “Radio City Christmas Spectacular” is back at Radio City Music Hall, and it is a marvelous way to usher in the holiday season.

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Wallace is a powerhouse in Frederick Douglass play—hurry!

You only have until Sunday, Dec. 14 to go to the ArcLight Theatre and experience a one-man tribute to Frederick Douglass.

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‘Brownsville’ captivating, moving theater

Lizan Mitchell opens “brownsville song (b-side for tray)” with one of the most moving, riveting and emotional monologues I have heard in a play in years.

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Howard Robertson: Retired Rikers warden starts anti-violence program

Imagine having your father murdered during a mugging when you are only 9 years old, then, later, three of your older siblings die from drug usage, and your mother is murdered by her boyfriend while you are away at college?

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Billy Porter, family, cast discuss theatrical first

I recently had the pleasure of attending the opening night performance of “While I Yet Live,” playing at the Duke on West 42nd Street.

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Palmer is perfect as Cinderella on Broadway

Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “Cinderella,” playing at the Broadway Theatre at 53rd Street and Broadway, currently stars Keke Palmer in the role of Ella, and this young lady is wonderful.

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Multiple award winner Billy Porter talks new play

Q&A: Billy Porter, the Tony, Grammy, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Award-winning actor for his portrayal of Lola in “Kinky Boots,” in which he is still starring on Broadway, has decided to take a step in a slightly different direction.

Black stars are front and center at Carnegie Hall

I had the distinct pleasure of being in Carnegie Hall as history was made. Yes, it was nothing less than history, as a packed theater experienced.

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‘If/Then’ is about possibilities in life

Did you ever make a choice in life and wonder what would have happened if you did something else?

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‘After Midnight’ Is Pattified!

Tuesday, June 10 was the official press opening for Patti LaBelle in “After Midnight,” a musical that spotlights Harlem nightlife in 1932. “After Midnight” is now officially “Pattified.” LaBelle put her delightful spin on each song and made the jazz music and ballads of that period come alive as only she can do.

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Audra McDonald makes history at 68th Tony Awards

Audra McDonald made history on Sunday, June 8 when she became the first person to win six Tony Awards.

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Audra McDonald channels Billie Holiday on Broadway

Audra McDonald channels the spirit of Billie Holiday in a touching, moving portrayal of the late jazz singer in her Broadway show, “Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill.”

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Drama Desk Shows Love to McDonald, Iglehart, Thompson

At the 59th annual Drama Desk Awards, held at Town Hall on West 43rd Street, three African-American actors won the coveted award that acknowledges the best in Broadway and off-Broadway theater.

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Billie Holiday production brings back old-time faith

The Billie Holiday Theatre is currently showing “The Seeds of Abraham,” a play that is both a drama and a comedy.

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‘Dutchman’ is stunning!

If you want to have a theatrical experience that will leave you stunned, then you need to head to the National Black Theatre on 125th St. and 5th Avenue and see “Dutchman.” It is the 50th anniversary of this powerful, emotional drama created by the late Amiri Baraka.

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Norm Lewis: First Black phantom on B’way!

History will be made with the longest running show in Broadway history, “Phantom of the Opera,” when for the first time on a Broadway stage, an African-American actor—Norm Lewis—will step into the lead role as the Phantom.

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‘Raisin’ is riveting!

“A Raisin in the Sun” is superb! This production is powerful! There is such raw, real and passionate emotion. Lorraine Hansberry truly gave life to the struggles of Black families and the relationship dynamics that exist in the Black family.

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Babyface bursts onto B’way scene; Braxton needs to project

The line went down Eighth Avenue to 46th Street, and people were excited as they waited to get into the Brooks Atkinson Theatre on West 47th Street to see multiple Grammy Award winners Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds and Toni Braxton appear in “After Midnight”

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The Public delivers passion-filled ‘Antony and Cleopatra’

I have experienced several productions of “Antony and Cleopatra” over my three decades of covering theater, but none were performed with the intensity and passion that I saw in the Public Theatre’s production

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Voza Rivers honored at NFT’s 44th anniversary

Woodie King Jr.’s New Federal Theatre’s 44th anniversary celebration was fabulous! It was a great Black theater family reunion held at the Tribeca Performing Arts Center at 199 Chambers St. this past Sunday.

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The ‘Greatest Show on Earth’ has a Black Ringmaster!

“Legends” is the name of the 144th edition of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, and it is coming to the Barclays Center on Feb. 20.

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Harlem Repertory Theatre offers fantastic double bill

If you enjoy marvelous theater performed in an intimate setting, then you must make plans to go to see Harlem Repertory Theatre at the 133th Street Arts Center

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2013: The Year in Black theater Part 2

Amazing, powerful, extraordinary, brilliant and thought-provoking are just some of the adjectives that come to mind when I think about the year in Black theater during 2013.

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‘Christmas Story’ is family fun for the holidays

The mounting of a production of “A Christmas Story: The Musical” becomes a holiday tradition.

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