The King and I-Manasquan High
I was the first African-American lead of a Manasquan High School musical to this point. There was a bit of controversy but to this day I am reminded of this production when I return to the Brielle/Manasquan area. Anna was the wonderful Barbara Worthington.
Most Happy Fella-Manasquan High
I sang Great Big Italian Sposalizio in Most Happy Fella at Manasquan High School. That should have forewarned my bizarre and varied career.
The Mikado-Cornell Savoyards
Paul Surface, myself, and the late Byron Conner in The Mikado, directed by James Smith Learned.
The Mikado-Pooh Bah
Another picture from the Cornell Savoyard The Mikado. I was in this show while at Cornell Law School. It was the show that sealed my fate to enter this business.
This is the moment just before I spoke as Pooh-Bah. Jeffry George (Cismoski) was Ko-Ko and Paul Surface was Nanki-Poo.
Broadway Revival of Hair
My first professional show was the Broadway Revival of Hair directed by Tom O'Horgan. We were all new to the business and many of the cast went on to great careers including, Loretta Devine, Peter Gallagher, Charlayne Woodard, Deborah Van Falkenberg, Cleavant Derricks, and Alaina Reed.
Dancing with the late Eartha Kitt
One of my fondest memories and most hysterical. Years later we would work together in All About Us at the Westport Playhouse.
Stephanie Mills and Myself.jpg
Me and Stephanie Mills in a publicity shot for The Wiz in the New York Post. Stephanie gave me chills nightly and made me reach deeper when I sang.
The program of Broadway's The Wiz. There was more talent in this show than there was in the cosmos.
The Wiz Broadway-Stephanie Mills
The principals from The Wiz, Stephanie Mills, Gregg Burge, Tiger Haynes, and myself inside the Yellow Brick Road. The late Tiger Haynes taught me more about the business than any class could ever teach me.
Lion Broadway (Martha Swope)
Photo session with Martha Swope for Broadway's The Wiz.
Broadway's The Wiz
The Calidas from The Wiz.
The Wiz with Irene Cara
Irene Cara and I singing Be A Lion from the Milwaukee Repertory Theater production of The Wiz.
The Wiz-Irene Cara
Another picture from the Milwaukee Rep production of The Wiz starring Irene Cara. The movie Fame had just opened and she was about to become a star.
Little Shop LA with Michael Jackson
The late Michael Jackson came to the show and the entire cast was ecstatic. Michael was extremely shy and being my Arien self, I verbally sparred with him and made him laugh. The cast included: Ellen Greene, Marty Robinson, BJ Jefferson, Franc Luz, Louise Robinson, Lee Wilkof, Marian Ramsey, Linda Llloyd, and the hysterical Jesse White. I am at far left of picture
Little Shop of Horrors-London
Ellen Greene and Barry James from the London production of Little Shop of Horrors. I was the Voice of the Plant with manipulation by Anthony Asbury.
Howard Ashman and Ellen Greene
One of my favorite pictures, the late genius Howard Ashman (writer of Little Shop with Alan Menken) directing Ellen Greene in the London production of Little Shop of Horrors. Due to a logistical problem, I had to live with Howard for a short period. It was during that time that I started to know him.
Red Blood Cell-Senator Joe
This picture is from the ill-fated and infamous Broadway show Senator Joe. I played a red blood cell inside of Joe McCarthy's liver. Ric Ryder played Roy Cohn and he is about to kill me. LOL!!! Directed by Tom O'Horgan.
Another picture from the ill-fated Broadway show Senator Joe. I do not remember what I was doing in this picture ...but I looked good. LOL!!! It took me several years to get over the show's failure.
Once on This Island
Once on this Island is perhaps one of the most beloved shows among performers. I had the honor of playing Ton-Ton Julian twice. This picture is from the St. Louis Repertory Theater production (with Lynette Dupre and Fredi Walker-Browne). Some years later I was in a wonderful production at the Marriottt Lincolnshire Theater. It is a stunning show.
Ain't Misbehavin-Indiana Rep.
Beauty & the Beast-The Eggbeater
This costume was covered in silver sequins and they fell off everywhere!! Diana Ross ahd nothing on me. LOL!
Call Me Madam-Paper Mill Playhouse
My One and Only-Cape Playhouse
Anthony Rapp and me
Anthony Rapp starred as Seymour in the National Tour of Little Shop of Horrors. I was the Voice of the Plant. Anthony is the definition of a "renaissance man."
Performing Santariffic from Harry Connick Jr.'s The Happy Elf at First Stage in Milwaukee.
The Happy Elf
As The Mayor of Bluesville in Harry Connick Jr.'s The Happy Elf at First Stage in Milwaukee. The teenagers in this show where the most talented I have ever witnessed.
Harry Connick Jr.-The Happy Elf
In deep conversation with Harry Connick Jr. about the state of present-day singing (I had some nerve. LOL!!) Harry opined that when he was auditioning performers for a new show, all the singers sounded the same. He was funny, smart, and educational for the young performers of First Stage in Milwaukee.
Douglas J. Cohen's The Gig
An wonderful show with incredible music by Douglas J. Cohen. This is from a reading at the York Theater. I was called in at the last minute to replace an actor who had dropped out. The was recorded for Jay Records.
All About Us-Wesport Playhouse
This is from the rehearsal for the Fred Ebb and John Kander All About Us, starring Eartha Kitt, Shuler Hemsley, Cady Huffman, Yvette Freeman and other extraordinary creatures. Eartha was a hoot and continually had us laughing. I miss her.
Me & Jason Gotay
Performing Git It from Little Shop of Horrors with the talented Jason Gotay at the GMHC Howard Ashman Benefit.
Kristina-Royal Albert Hall, London
View from the stage of Royal Albert Hall London performing in Benny Andersson and Bjorn Ulvaues's (ABBA) Kristina, musical direction by Paul Gemignani. It was also performed at Carnegie Hall and is available on Decca Records...a career highlight. Kristina had a dream cast of spectacular performers.
Ghost of Christmas Present
Performing in the John Engemann Theater production of A Christmas Carol.
Queenie and Joe-Show Boat
Me and E. Faye Butler (Joe and Queenie) in the Asolo Repertory Theater production of Show Boat directed by Rob Ruggiero, choreography by Noah Racey, and musical direction by Wade Russo. This was another blessed cast. The chemistry between E. Faye and myself is evident.
Sarasota Manatee Scene Magazine
Almost one year after Show Boat at Asolo Rep. this cover appeared on the September 2014 issue of Sarasota-Manatee Scene Magazine. It is a testament to the success and the cast of the show.
Show Boat Cast -Asolo Rep.
Performing the number Can't Help Lovin that Man. The talent and the joy of the cast shows in this picture.
Show Boat-Asolo Repertory Theater
E. Faye Butler and I doing I Still Suits Me. This song was brilliantly added to the show from the 1936 film and was not in the original. The song added an arc to our characters and the audience went crazy over the number.
Gypsy-Leslie Uggams and Myself
My dear friend Leslie Uggams became the first African American to play Mama Rose in the 2014 Connecticut Repertory Theater production of Gypsy directed by Vincent J. Cardinal. I played HER FATHER...LOL!!! Leslie was incredible in the role and I remain in love with this cast.
"What A Piece of Work Is Man"
This is Zenobia Conferkite and myself from the critical and audience hit "Hair: Retrospection 2015" at Kansas City Repertory. What started out as possibly being a disaster turned into something incredible.
Jared Joseph, myself, and Larry Marshal singing "Colored Spade" from Hair: Retrospection 2015 at KC Rep. This was another brilliant moment by director Eric Rosen and director Sam Pinkleton. The song is subversive in that it is about race and yet the audience responded mightily to our combined talents.
Daniel Beeman and myself singing "Frank Mill." This is from Hair: Retrospection 2015" at Kansas City Rep. The conceit is that I am singing the song with my younger self. It had a powerful effect.
Me with Leslie Uggams
This picture was taken just before Leslie was to receive her Dr. of Fine Arts Degree from UCONN (April 9, 2015). We have been close friends for 20 years and it still thrills me that she and her husband Graham Pratt are my friends.
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver
On Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, costarring Rachel Dratch and a group of the most talented people I have ever encountered. We had a grand time.
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Judge Turpin in the Barrow Street Production of "Sweeney Todd.