FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 1, 2021
Contact: Karin Venegas, email@example.com, 347-361-7049
Sandra Tharas, firstname.lastname@example.org, 347-361-7068
Award-Winning Broadway Stars Join Flushing Town Hall’s
Black History Trilogy in Celebration of Black History Month
—Broadway’s Alton Fitzgerald White, Lillias White, and Triple Crown Winner André De Shields to present the works of John Lewis, Sarah Vaughan, and Frederick Douglass—
—Audiences may DONATE to support Flushing Town Hall while it remains physically closed during the pandemic—
(Flushing, N.Y.)—In celebration of Black History Month, Flushing Town Hall presents a Black History Trilogy, a three-part series featuring outstanding Broadway performers showcasing the music and speeches of influential African American artists, scholars, and leaders.
Alton Fitzgerald White kicks off the Trilogy in “John Lewis: A Pioneer for Justice” on Friday, February 5 at 7:00 PM (ET).
Alton Fitzgerald White, a gifted actor who starred in Broadway’s hit show Ragtime and performed over 4,000 times as Mufasa, “king of the jungle,” in Disney’s production of The Lion King, will bring to life the legacy of American politician and civil rights leader John Lewis, who passed away last summer and coined the popular phrase “good trouble” in one of his most resilient speeches. Following his reading of the speech, White will discuss why Lewis’ words and mission are still relevant today, and participate in a short question-and-answer session with the virtual audience.
On February 18 at 7:00 PM (ET), the Black History Trilogy continues with a presentation of “Divine Sass: A Tribute to the Music, Life, and Legacy of Sarah Vaughan,” featuring Tony Award-winning actress and vocalister Lillias White, who also wrote and conceived the show.
White, who performed in Dreamgirls, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, South Pacific, and Cy Coleman's The Life, will highlight the music and struggles of the African American Jazz Artist Sarah Vaughan, a pivotal figure in the formation of Be-Bop who has influenced generations of vocalists with her unique style of expression and melodic phrasing. Vaughan helped desegregate American airwaves and set the stage for the civil rights activism of the 1960's and 1970's. Born in Newark, New Jersey, Vaughan, called "Sassy" by the greatest Jazz musicians, was not only an extraordinary vocalist but an exceptional pianist.
On February 26 at 7:00 PM (ET), the Black History Trilogy concludes with “André De Shields is Frederick Douglass: Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory.” The Tony, Grammy, and Emmy Award Winner and Hadestown star explores the life and achievements of the great emancipator Frederick Douglass.
André De Shields is the triple crown winner of the 2019 awards season, having won the Outer Critics Circle, Drama Desk, and Tony Awards for Best Featured Actor in a Musical for his critically acclaimed performance as Hermes in Hadestown. The Actors’ Equity Foundation followed suit with the Richard Seff Award, honoring veteran stage actors’ best supporting performances of the year. In 2020, Mr. De Shields received the 2020 Grammy Award for Musical Theater Album for Hadestown, the 2020 AUDELCO for Lifetime Achievement, and an honorary Doctor of Arts Degree from Boston Conservatory at Berklee. In 2019, he received the 2019 Project1Voice Lifetime Achievement Award, the 2019 SAGE Joyce Warshow Lifetime Achievement Award, The York Theatre Company’s 2019 Oscar Hammerstein Award for Lifetime Achievement in Musical Theatre, and was inducted into the Theater Hall of Fame. He received the Key to the City of Baltimore from Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young in August, 2019. Prior to his Tony Award win, Mr. De Shields was best known for his show-stopping performances in four legendary Broadway productions: The Wiz, Ain’t Misbehavin’ (Emmy Award), Play On! (Tony Nomination), and The Full Monty (Tony Nomination). In a career spanning fifty one years, he has distinguished himself as an unparalleled actor, director, and educator, receiving in 2018 the 8th Annual Off Broadway Alliance Legend Award, and the 33rd Annual Bob Harrington Life Achievement Bistro Award. Among his other accolades are the 2009 National Black Theatre Festival’s Living Legend Award and the 2007 Village Voice Obie Award for Sustained Excellence of Performance. His film and TV projects include Anton Ego in Ratatouille: The TikTok Tok Musical, the Algebra Tutor in “John Mulaney & The Sack Lunch Bunch” on Netflix, Chubby in “Katy Keene” on the CW, and as Wyndham on “Almost Family.” He can next be seen as Gavin Plimsoll in Charles Busch’s new film, The Sixth Reel. De Shields is a proud member of AEA, SAG-AFTRA, and SDC. andredeshields.com
Frederick Douglass—who began his life as a slave, and through heroic effort, became one of America’s most important and historically influential icons—delivered a keynote address at a commemoration of the signing of the Declaration of Independence on July 5, 1852 at Corinthian Hall in Rochester, New York. In his speech entitled “The Meaning of July Fourth for the Negro,” Douglass asked, “What, to the American slave, is your 4th of July?” On February 26, de Shields will take the audiences back in time to this historic moment.
Flushing Town Hall’s Black History Trilogy is part of its FTH At Home! virtual programming, which is presented for free to the general public with a suggested donation to support the artists and the nonprofit cultural organization as they continue to provide programming and entertainment across New York and the world.
Black History Trilogy for Calendars:
FEB 5 @ 7:00 PM (ET)
Black History Trilogy I: Alton Fitzgerald White in “John Lewis: A Pioneer for Justice”
FEB 18 @ 7:00 PM (ET)
Black History Trilogy II: Lillias White in “Divine Sass: A Tribute to the Music, Life, and Legacy of Sarah Vaughan”
FEB 26 @ 7:00 PM (ET)
Black History Trilogy III: “André De Shields is Frederick Douglass: Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory”
Flushing Town Hall is excited to announce the launch of its redesigned website: https://www.flushingtownhall.org/. The new website improves access to online events, educational programming, artist services, and rental availabilities. It also features a brand new PRESS ROOM with the latest press releases and news coverage. As always, it remains a great source for information about the history and mission of the organization, as well as important contact and community engagement information.
Flushing Town Hall’s FTH At Home! virtual programming is presented for free to the general public but donations in any amount are appreciated to support the artists and the nonprofit cultural organization as they continue to provide programming and entertainment across New York and the world.
Flushing Town Hall’s facilities are temporarily closed to the public in accordance with COVID-19 safety regulations. Current programs are being presented virtually.
Although we cannot list every donor, Flushing Town Hall is grateful for all gifts received and wishes to thank everyone for their ongoing generosity.
Flushing Town Hall greatly appreciates the sponsors of the 2021 Lunar New Year Chinese Temple Bazaar: Tai Wang and Glow Foundation (Title Sponsor), Amy Mak Chan, The Andy Li Team at Compass, Healthfirst, The Parc Hotel, Shandong Association, Shanghai Commercial Bank, and President of Flushing Town Hall Veronica Tsang. A special thank you to Flushing Town Hall’s Chinese Cultural Committee for their ongoing support.
Flushing Town Hall greatly appreciates the supporters of our current campaign, Step Up for Flushing Town Hall, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. If you are able and willing to help, please click here to learn more and donate today. Special thanks to our Step Up Campaign donors with gifts of $100 and above: Karen Argueta, Maria Arias, Henry Assael, Christopher Banks, Barbara Banks Schwam, Beverly Bartow, Geraldine Benfante, Carol Bennett, Seth Bornstein, Larue Brathwaite, Anne Bresnahan, Claire Bullard, Jenna Capeci, Calvin Chan, Dongshin Chang, Christopher Chen, Cecilia Cheng, Amy Chin, Wanda Chin, David Creed, Jacob Eichenbaum, David Fesser, Ellen Fisher-Turk, Karen Fitzgerald, Paul Foster, Emma Frankel, Andrew Garson, Howard Graf (Graf & Lewent Architects), Anat Gerstein, Heather Harrison, Alan Heilbron, Susan Hennessy, Carolee Hildenbrandt, Rhenaye Hornsby, Timothy Hosking, Ming-I Huang, Raymond Jasen, Carmen Jimenez, Andrew Karp, Amir Kassam, Adrienne Kivelson, Bob Kodadek, Saul Kupferberg, Carol Leaf, Stephanie Lee, Anne Lewent, Judith Lewent, Steve Lewent, James Liao, Jeri Lim, Meiling Liu, Stephanie Long, Martha Ma, Frank Macchio, Rob Mackay, Sandra Mann, Pamela Marquez, Steve Marston, William McClure, Steven Mecca, Cynthia Merkle, Chi Mo, Lee Nash, Sandra Nash, Rochelle Nechin, Albert Niu, TeHsing Niu, The Ong Family Foundation, Jessica Peña, Kimberly Phelan, Mary and Oscar Pollock, Ryan Powers, Qi Shu Fang Peking Opera Association, Richard Quatrano, Mira Rubens, Teresa Salles, Jeffrey Schneider, Roslyn Schwersenz, Tina Seligman, Dominique Sellers, Alice Sharp, Thomas Simmons, Mike Sperendi & Jan Schneider, Sheila Sweeney, Jean Tatge, Marsha Toma, Veronica Tsang, WAC Lighting, Tai-nin Wang, Jill Ward, Daryl Ware, David and Elsie Werber, Robert and Karla Wishnick, Edwina and Eldwin Wong, Lucy Wong, Jon Yanofsky, Mimi Yeung.
Flushing Town Hall is a not for profit organization which receives major support from the National Endowment for the Arts; New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature; New York State Assembly Member Ron Kim; The City of New York, Mayor Bill de Blasio; New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, Commissioner Gonzalo Casals; Queens Borough President Donovan Richards; The New York City Council, Speaker Corey Johnson, and Council Members Costa Constantinides, Daniel Dromm, Barry Grodenchik, Peter Koo, Karen Koslowitz, Paul A. Vallone, and Jimmy Van Bramer; and the Howard Gilman Foundation, the Fan Fox and Leslie R. Samuels Foundation, and the Booth Ferris Foundation.
Support for our programs is also provided by Acrobuffos/Seth Bloom & Christina Gelsone, Angela An, Robin Bell-Stevens, Viviana M. Benitez, Dongjiang Bi, Cathay Bank, Douglass Chan, Amy Mak Chan, Calvin W. Chan, Sharon Chen, Ginger Chinn, Dr. Hsing-Lih Chou/New York Institute of Culture and the Arts, Con Edison, Crossings TV, Exploring the Metropolis, Kuang-Yu Fong/Chinese Theatre Works, Barbara Garii, Matthew Goldner, Howard Graf & Kathy Donovan, Guru Krupa Foundation, Lily Han, Heather Harrison, Belinda Pilin Hsu, Alice & Steve Huang, Hung Pin Hung, Investors Foundation, Raymond D. Jasen, the Jim Henson Foundation, Ellen Kodadek, the Laura B. Vogler Foundation, Nelson Lee/Flushing Bank, Janet T. Leow, Anne Lewent, James S. Liao, Emily Lin/Lin & Loveall Foundation, Louis Armstrong Educational Foundation, Frank Macchio, Materials for the Arts, William McClure/Queens College, Mets Foundation, Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation, Jassy Z. Min, New York Chinese Chorus, Northwell Health, TeHsing Niu, Carlos Ortiz, Queens Art Education Center/Arthur Liu, Richard Quantaro, Queens Courier, Resorts World, Camillo Reyes, RuDance/Asian American Dance Sport Corp., Dominique Sellers, Helen Shieh, Richard Siu, Curtis Smith, Mike Sperendi & Jan Schneider, Taipei Cultural Center in New York, Michael Tang, Veronica Tsang, Tai & Tony Wang/Glow Foundation, Jay Wegman, Constance Wingate, Lucy Wong, Anna Wu, Minwen Yang, Hank Yeh, Sandy Yeh, Shane Yeh, and Angela Qi Zhang.
We have done our best to recognize donations correctly, but should your recognition be incorrect, please contact Jessica Peña, Director of Development, at email@example.com.
About Flushing Town Hall
Flushing Town Hall (FTH), a Smithsonian affiliate, presents multi-disciplinary global arts that engage and educate the global communities of Queens and New York City, in order to foster mutual appreciation. As advocates of arts equity since 1979, we support local, immigrant, national, and international artists, developing partnerships and collaborations that enhance our efforts. As a member of New York City’s Cultural Institutions Group (CIG), we serve to restore, manage and program the historic 1862 landmark on behalf of the City of New York. FTH celebrates the history of Queens as the home of Jazz, by presenting the finest in Jazz performance. We are committed to arts education and hands-on learning, for the arts-curious, arts enthusiasts, and professional artists. We serve one of the most diverse communities in the world and strive to uphold the legacy of inclusiveness that has defined our community since the Flushing Remonstrance of 1657.
Flushing Town Hall acknowledges that we are on the traditional land of the Matinecock People, one of the original tribes of New York, and the first people of Flushing, Queens. The Matinecock continue to live and work on this land to this day. Flushing Town Hall honors their elders who have stewarded this land throughout generations.
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, while our venue remains temporarily closed in accordance with social distancing guidelines, we are proudly presenting performances, exhibitions, panel discussions, and educational activities online through our virtual initiatives, FTH at Home! and Global Arts for Global Kids.
For more information:
(718) 463-7700 x222
137-35 Northern Blvd. Flushing, NY 11354