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JUNE 6, 2022


DANCERS 4 SUICIDE AWARENESS


Let’s face it. The industry is still recovering from all that’s happened over the past two years. It’s been a difficult time for many dancers. The industry is on a path to fully recover, but some of the familiar dance landscape has changed … It can be a confusing time.

Maybe it’s a good day to remember we’re a community of creatives with a unique way to speak out on important issues. And in the past, we’ve tackled many challenging topics.

Today, we’re reminded of the time when Robert Schultz, choreographer and friend of A4D, was moved by a performance by Linkin Park’s Chester Bennington that inspired Robert to create a video employing the expression that transcends words … DANCE.

Robert created the piece months before Bennington’s death by suicide. Heartbroken in the aftermath, Robert turned to Facebook to share his video hoping to make a difference.

Robert’s video encourages others to reach out when life seems hopeless; ‘Linkin Park was a voice and many really never discuss the topic of suicide. I feel as an artist we have a platform not only to entertain, but to bring awareness through our art.’

And while there are so many good things happening now on this side of the pandemic, we encourage you to watch the video and maybe share it with someone who is hurting. Be sure to take a moment to read Robert’s message in the credits:

Let’s be kind to every single soul.
This video is for all those that feel alone or feel like they’re not enough.

We are here for you and you are enough.

Words are so powerful, so let’s be completely aware of how we speak to others. We can truly change the world one soul at a time.


National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
1-800-273-8255


VISIT A4D’S DANCERS 4 SUICIDE AWARENESS & WATCH THE VIDEO >

The article includes resources for help. Please share with a friend.

SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE AUDITIONS ROUND 3 PLUS MATTHEW MORRISON DEPARTS AS A JUDGE
First, the big news. Matthew Morrison has resigned as a judge on So You Think You Can Dance. In his announcement, he characterized the need to resign as a ‘protocol infraction’ that would prevent him from being impartial. Morrison will continue to be seen in the taped auditions until the live shows begin. No replacement has been named at this time. As for Week 3 there was no shortage of talent. Here are a few of the dancers who advanced to the auditions round: The show opened with the very intense Thiago Pacheco doing a Contemporary piece with impressive and unexpected flips. He had an impressive turn sequence that had the judges yelling out mid-performance. Camila Schwartz returned after competing on the SYTYCD Next Generation and she’s ready to fight. Camila auditioned with a spicy Latin number. Armando ‘Decoy’ Muñoz performed a Hip Hop routine. He shared how he would fight his way out of trouble by dancing and it has been an escape for him. He hopes to show the world and his son that he can be somebody. The standout performance of the episode came from Waverly Fredericks whose mother had an amazing dance career dancing for Biggie, Tupac, and LL Cool J. He wondered how he got so lucky to have her as his mom. Waverly’s Contemporary audition was somehow other-worldly. At 6 ft 2 in, he moved with grace and ease and made a memorable impression. That wraps the auditions round and now 42 dancers have advanced to the choreography round until the Top 12 dancers are determined and the live shows commence on June 15.


ENCORES! INTO THE WOODS TO HAVE BROADWAY TRANSFER THIS SUMMER
The starry Encores! staging of Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine’s Into the Woods is coming to Broadway. The production, which ran at New York City Center for two weeks in May, will bow at Broadway’s St. James Theatre beginning on June 28 and will play a limited eight-week run. Lear deBessonet directs. The production is dedicated in honor of the late Sondheim. Joining the starry company will be Tony winner Patina Miller as the Witch, Tony nominee Brian d’Arcy James as The Baker, Tony nominee Joshua Henry as Rapunzel’s Prince, Tony nominee Phillipa Soo as Cinderella. Heather Headley, Neil Patrick Harris, Jordan Donica and Denée Benton, who appeared in the Encores! production, are not part of the Broadway company. Several members of the Encores! production will reprise their performance on Broadway including Sara Bareilles as the Baker’s Wife, Gavin Creel as Wolf/Cinderella’s Prince, Julia Lester as Little Red Riding Hood, Cole Thompson as Jack, Annie Golden as Cinderella’s Mother/Grandmother/Giant’s wife, Ta’Nika Gibson as Lucinda, Brooke Ishibashi as Florinda, Kennedy Kanagawa as Milky White, David Patrick Kelly as Narrator/Mysterious Man, Albert Guerzon as Cinderella’s Father and David Turner as Steward. Jason Forbach, Mary Kate Moore, and Cameron Johnson also return as swings. Into the Woods will feature choreography by Lorin Latarro and music direction by Encores! Music Director Rob Berman. This marks the third revival of Into the Woods and its first time back on Broadway in 20 years.

STRANGER THINGS STAR GATEN MATARAZZO TO JOIN DEAR EVAN HANSEN ON BROADWAY
Stranger Things star Gaten Matarazzo will return to Broadway as Jared Kleinman in Dear Evan Hansen on July 19, replacing Jared Goldsmith. Ann Sanders joins as Cynthia Murphy with Dear Evan Hansen tour stars Noah Kieserman and Ciara Alyse Harris also joining the Broadway production as Connor Murphy and Alana Beck. Known as Dustin on Stranger Things, Matarazzo made his Broadway debut in 2011 in Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, alongside Dear Evan Hansen’s Jessica Phillips. Ann Sanders first joined Broadway’s Dear Evan Hansen in 2019 for a limited run. She is currently part of the The Music Man ensemble. Dear Evan Hansen features a book by Steven Levenson, a score by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, and direction by Michael Greif.

PEARL KHWEZI JOINS BROADWAY’S THE LION KING AS NALA
Pearl Khwezi assumed the role of Nala in the Broadway production of The Lion King on May 24 at the Minskoff Theatre. Khwezi, a native of Durban, South Africa, originally joined The Lion King in the Madrid company in 2016. She was in the Broadway ensemble in 2018, covering the principal roles of Rafiki and Nala. The cast includes Brandon A. McCall as Simba, Stephen Carlile as Scar, L. Steven Taylor as Mufasa, Tshidi Manye as Rafiki, Cameron Pow as Zazu, Ben Jeffrey as Pumbaa, and Fred Berman as Timon. Based on the Disney animated film and featuring direction and design by Julie Taymor, The Lion King follows the story of young Simba who takes to heart his royal destiny following the death of his father, Mufasa.

CELTIC ILLUSION ANNOUNCES LIMITED RUN AT OFF BROADWAY’S NEW WORLD STAGES

Celtic Illusion, an Irish dance and magic stage show, is coming to off-Broadway’s New World Stages this summer from June 30 to September 11. Lord of the Dance star Anthony Street created, choreographed, and stars in the stage show. Fusing contemporary Irish Dance with magic and grand illusions, Celtic Illusion features a cast of champion and internationally acclaimed dancers, with performers from Riverdance and Lord of the Dance. The dancers’ thunderous rhythm fills the stage in perfect unison. This production features a new soundtrack composed by Angela Little, Steve Skinner, and Michael Londra. Since its premiere in 2011, Celtic Illusion has played to sold-out audiences across Australia, Canada, and the U.S.

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Rachel Zegler, who recently recevied critical acclaim for her performance as Maria in Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story, will star as Lucy Gray Baird in Lionsgate’s highly anticipated Hunger Games prequel film, The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes

CHIBUEZE IHOUMA JOINS NATIONAL TOUR OF HADESTOWN
Chibueze Ihuoma will join the national touring production of Hadestown on June 14 at the Orpheum Theatre in San Francisco replacing Nicholas Barasch. Ihuoma is currently a member of the Hadestown ensemble as a Worker. He also serves as an understudy to Orpheus. He has been with the touring production since its launch in October 2021. He leads a cast that includes Morgan Siobhan Green as Eurydice, Tony winner Levi Kreis as Hermes, Kimberly Marable as Persephone, and Olivier nominee Kevyn Morrow as Hades. Hadestown is written by Anaïs Mitchell and directed by Rachel Chavkin. It opened on Broadway on April 17, 2019 at the Walter Kerr Theatre and tells the story of two intertwining mythic tales. Hadestown won eight 2019 Tony Awards, including Best Musical.

ANTHONY NORMAK TO LEAD THE NATIONAL TOUR OF DEAR EVAN HANSEN
Casting has been announced for year four of the Dear Evan Hansen national tour kicking off in Boise, Idaho on June 21. Anthony Norman will play the title role. He made his Broadway debut in the ensemble of The Prom and has appeared on tour in Newsies. His screen credits include Mare of Easttown, Chicago Med, and Newsies Live. The cast will also include Coleen Sexton as Heidi Hansen, Lili Thomas as Cynthia Murphy, Pablo Laucerica as Jared Kleinman, and Micaela Lamas as Alana Beck. Dear Evan Hansen features a book by Steven Levenson, a score by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, and direction by Michael Greif. The Broadway production, which won the Tony Award for Best Musical in 2017, is playing at the Music Box Theatre.

NEW CASTING FOR WEST END’S TINA - THE TINA TURNER MUSICAL
New faces will be joining the cast of Tina - The Tina Turner Musical at West End’s Aldwych Theatre. Aisha Jawando and new cast member Elesha Paul Moses will share the role of Tina Turner beginning June 29, with Caleb Roberts joining to play Ike Turner. Other new cast members include Paula Kay as Zelma, Charis Alexandra as Alline Bullock, George Jennings as Roger Davies, Kelly Hampson as Rhonda Graam, Gregory Haney as Richard Bullock, Cordell Mosteller as Raymond Hill, and Chris Grahamson as Terry Britten. Irene Myrtle Forrester continues as Tina’s Grandmother and Joseph Richardson continues as Erwin Bach. Tina - The Tina Turner Musical is now playing at Broadway’s Lunt-Fontanne Theatre and will launch a national tour this fall.

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Kenita R. Miller, 2022 Tony nominee for her performance in for colored girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow is enuf, and husband Justin Hicks have welcomed their first child. Nova Pearl was born on May 26…

 
     
 
       
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