Broadway Across America’s collaboration with the award-winning morning show The Balancing Act, on the Lifetime Channel ends Season Four of the five-part series “Broadway Balances America” with Chicago the Musical. This new episode debuts on Wednesday, January 3, 2018 at 7:30 am ET and will re-air on Wednesday, January 10 at 7:30 am ET.
In the final episode of the season, viewers will celebrate 21 years of “razzle-dazzle” with a backstage look at Chicago the Musical. Amber Milt, our Balancing Act host, will transform into a Broadway star for the 21st anniversary of the Broadway production. As she prepares and rehearses for her Broadway debut, we will meet costars Tom Hewitt, Charlotte D’Amboise, and Leigh Zimmerman and hear how they have balanced the strength of their characters with the wit and movement of the show’s timeless style.
Producers Barry and Fran Weissler will share the journey of Chicago the Musical onstage telling how it has become more relevant than ever – 21 years later! Check out what it takes to create and balance the magic of a musical theatre classic with razzle dazzle and…all…that…jazz.
There’s never been a better time to experience Chicago the Musical, Broadway’s razzle-dazzle smash. This triumphant hit musical is the recipient of six Tony Awards, two Olivier Awards, a Grammy, thousands of standing ovations and now the #1 longest-running American Musical in Broadway history.
Chicago the Musical has everything that makes Broadway great: a universal tale of fame, fortune and all that jazz; one show-stopping song after another; and the most astonishing dancing you’ve ever seen. It’s no surprise that Chicago the Musical has wowed audiences from Mexico City to Moscow, from Sao Paulo to South Africa.
“Broadway Balances America” provides behind-the-scenes access and interviews highlighting shows featured on Broadway Across America’s HYPERLINK “https://maps.google.com/?q=2017-2018+Broadway&entry=gmail&source=g” 2017-2018 Broadway series nationwide. The Balancing Act’s hosts get up close and personal with casts and crews of this seasons national production. To learn more about the “Broadway Balances America” series, please visit: www.broadwaybalancesamerica.com
Broadway Across America (BAA) is part of The John Gore Organization family of companies, which includes Broadway.com and The Broadway Channel. Led by 11-time Tony-winning producer John Gore (Owner & CEO), BAA is the foremost presenter of first-class touring productions in North America, operating in 44 markets with over 400,000 subscribers.
The John Gore Organization is the leading developer, producer, distributor and marketer of Broadway theatre worldwide. Under the leadership of theater producer and owner John Gore, its family of companies includes Broadway Across America, Broadway.com, The Broadway Channel, BroadwayBox.com, and Group Sales Box Office. The company presents shows in 44 cities across North America as well as on Broadway, Off-Broadway, London’s West End, Japan, and China. It has won Tony Awards in every producing category as well as numerous other Drama League, Drama Desk and Olivier awards.
Current and past productions include Beautiful, Cats, Chicago, Dear Evan Hansen, Groundhog Day, Hairspray, Hello, Dolly!, Million Dollar Quartet, On Your Feet!, The Producers, School of Rock and Waitress. Broadway.com is the premier theater website for news, exclusive content and ticket sales.
For more information please visit Broadway.com.
About The Balancing Act
Now in its ninth season, The Balancing Act is a daily morning show that brings fresh ideas to today’s on-the-go, modern woman to help balance and enrich her life every day. You’ll discover everything from delicious recipes, style makeovers and dream vacation getaways to parenting tips and the latest news in health and wealth. Tune in to The Balancing Act, America’s premier half-hour magazine-style show for women and about women, weekday mornings at 7:30 a.m. (ET/PT) on Lifetime Television. For additional information or to view a segment visit: www.thebalancingact.com.
Norm Lewis and Tamyra Gray to join ‘Once on This Island’
The producers of Broadway’s newest hit, Once on This Island, recently announced that Broadway veterans Norm Lewis and Tamyra Gray will step into the roles of Agwe and Papa Ge, respectively, on January 8, 2018. Merle Dandridge exits for a contractual leave to shoot her television series “Greenleaf.” Quentin Earl Darrington will also be on a contractual leave.
The new Broadway production of Once on This Island, produced by Ken Davenport and Hunter Arnold, opened on December 3 at The Circle in the Square Theatre (235 West 50th Street, NYC) to rave reviews. The new production is directed by Tony nominee Michael Arden, and choreographed by the critically-acclaimed Camille A. Brown.
The current cast is Lea Salonga (Erzulie), Alex Newell (Asaka), Merle Dandridge (Papa Ge), and Quentin Earl Darrington (Agwe) who are joined by newcomer, Hailey Kilgore (Ti Moune) with Phillip Boykin (Tonton Julian), Darlesia Cearcy (Storyteller), Rodrick Covington (Storyteller), Emerson Davis (Little Girl), Alysha Deslorieux (Andrea), Tyler Hardwick (Storyteller), Cassondra James (Storyteller), David Jennings (Armand), Grasan Kingsberry (Storyteller), Loren Lott (Storyteller), Kenita R. Miller (Mama Euralie), Isaac Powell (Daniel), T. Oliver Reid (Storyteller), Aurelia Williams (Storyteller), and Mia Williamson (Little Girl).
Once On This Island is written by the Tony Award-winning team Lynn Ahrens (Book and Lyrics) and Stephen Flaherty (Music), and based on the novel “My Love, My Love” by Rosa Guy. This production features new orchestrations by original orchestrator Michael Starobin who is joined by AnnMarie Milazzo.
The creative team also includes Dane Laffrey (Scenic Design), Clint Ramos (Costume Design), Jules Fisher and Peggy Eisenhauer (Lighting Designers), Peter Hylenski (Sound Designer), John Bertles/Bash The Trash (Unusual Instruments), Cookie Jordan (Hair/Wig & Makeup Designer), Chris Fenwick (Music Supervisor), Alvin Hough, Jr. (Music Director), David Perlow (Associate Director), Nikki M. James (Assistant Director), Rickey Tripp (Associate Choreographer) and Telsey + Co / Craig Burns, CSA (Casting Agent).
Additional producers include Carl Daikeler, Roy Putrino, Broadway Strategic Return Fund, Sandi Moran, Caiola Productions, H. Richard Hopper, Diego Kolankowsky, Brian Cromwell Smith, Ron Kastner, Rob Kolson, Judith Manocherian, Kevin Lyle, Jay Alix, Una Jackman, Jeff Wise, WitzEnd Productions, Jeff Grove, Wishnie-Strasberg, Mark Ferris, Michelle Riley, Marie Stevenson, Silva Theatrical Group, Jesse McKendry, Dr. Mojgan Fajiram, Conor Bagley, Brendan C. Tetro, Invisible Wall Productions, SilverWalport Productions, Tyler Mount, UshkowitzLatimer Productions, The Harbert Family, Reilly Hickey, Keith Cromwell, Red Mountain Theatre Company, 42nd.Club, The Yonnone Family and Island Productions. The associate producers are Kayla Greenspan and Valerie Novakoff. Boneau/Bryan-Brown is the press representative.
Once on This Island is the tale of Ti Moune, a fearless peasant girl who falls in love with a wealthy boy from the other side of the island. When their divided cultures keep them apart, Ti Moune is guided by the powerful island gods, Erzulie, Asaka, Papa Ge, and Agwe, on a remarkable quest to reunite with the man who has captured her heart.
Bursting with Caribbean colors, rhythms and dance, the story comes to vibrant life in a striking production by Tony Award®-nominated director Michael Arden (Spring Awakening revival) and acclaimed choreographer Camille A. Brown. This production transforms the reality of a tropical village devastated by a storm into a fantastical world alive with hope. Tickets for Once on This Island are on sale through www.YourBroadwayGenius.com.
Once on This Island premiered at Playwrights Horizons in May of 1990. The Broadway production opened in October of that year and ran for 469 performances garnering eight Tony nominations including Best Featured Actress (LaChanze), Best Original Score, Best Book of a Musical and Best Musical. The 1994 West End production won the Olivier Award for Best New Musical.
About Norm Lewis
Mr. Lewis most recently appeared as Sweeney Todd in the Off-Broadway production of Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street at the Barrow Street Theatre. Tony nominated for his role in Porgy and Bess, Lewis made history as the first African-American to play the title role in The Phantom of the Opera. He can be seen recurring in VH1’s “Daytime Divas” and ABC’s “Scandal.”
About Tamyra Gray
Ms. Gray made her Broadway debut in Bombay Dreams, and her triumphant return to Broadway as “Mimi” in Rent. She is best known for her powerhouse performances on “American Idol,” becoming one of the top five finalists on the first season. She also co-wrote the American Idol season three single “I Believe” which debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 charts for Fantasia Barrino.
Todrick Hall SLAYS in ‘Chicago the Musical’
Broadway fav and YouTube sensation Todrick Hall fresh from appearing on Broadway as Lola in Kinky Boots kicked off a seven week engagement in ‘Chicago’ in the role of “Billy Flynn” on November 30 and running through January 14, 2018 at the Ambassador Theatre. The popular “it” star enjoyed a celebrated Broadway Opening Night in which he was presented with beautiful long stemmed red roses to a standing ovation! Hall, who will serve as a guest judge on the upcoming season of “RuPaul’s All Stars Drag Race,” has an impressive theater resume that includes appearances on Broadway in hit shows such as The Color Purple and Memphis. He rose to fame as a contestant on the ninth season of American Idol where he placed as a semi-finalist and picked up millions of fans making him an international personality on YouTube along with 655,000 Instagram followers! ‘Chicago’ currently stars Charlotte d’Amboise, Leigh Zimmermanas, Raymond Bokhour, NaTasha Yvette Williams, LaVon Fisher-Wilson and R. Lowe.
Edited by Audrey J. Bernard