|Cleo King, NaTasha Yvette Williams & More Join Broadway Cast of CHICKEN & BISCUITS; Performances Begin Sept 23|
|Posted by: Official_Press_Release 12:24 pm EDT 07/16/21|
|FULL CAST ANNOUNCED FOR
THE BROADWAY PRODUCTION OF
CHICKEN & BISCUITS
CLEO KING, ALANA RAQUEL BOWERS, EBONY MARSHALL-OLIVER,
AIGNER MIZZELLE, DEVERE ROGERS,
AND NATASHA YVETTE WILLIAMS
JOIN TONY AWARD® NOMINEE NORM LEWIS
& DRAMA DESK® WINNER MICHAEL URIE
IN THE NEW BROADWAY COMEDY BY DOUGLAS LYONS
MARKING EIGHTEEN BROADWAY DEBUTS AMONGST THE CAST, CREATIVE & PRODUCING TEAM
First Preview September 23, 2021
Opening Night October 10, 2021
Limited Engagement Through January 2, 2022
At Circle in the Square Theatre
(NEW YORK, NY) Producers Pamela Ross, Hunter Arnold, E. Clayton Cornelious and Leah Michalos are delighted to announce the full Broadway cast of CHICKEN & BISCUITS, the new comedy play by Douglas Lyons making its Broadway premiere this fall at Circle in the Square Theatre (235 West 50th Street.)
Joining the previously-announced Tony Award® nominee Norm Lewis (Porgy and Bess, Da 5 Bloods) as Reginald Mabry and Drama Desk Award® winner Michael Urie (Torch Song, "Ugly Betty") as Logan Leibowitz, are Cleo King ("Mike & Molly," "Deadwood") in her Broadway debut as Baneatta Mabry, Broadway veteran NaTasha Yvette Williams (Waitress, Porgy and Bess) as Brianna Jenkins, and Devere Rogers (Up Here, "OK Boomer") in his Broadway debut as Kenny Mabry. Reprising their roles from the play's world premiere at Queens Theatre, and making their Broadway stage debuts , are Ebony Marshall-Oliver (Merry Wives of Windsor and Ain't No Mo' at Public Theater) as Beverly Jenkins, Aigner Mizzelleas La'trice Franklin, and Alana Raquel Bowers (What to Send Up When it Goes Down) as Simone Mabry. Joining the company as understudies are Dean Acree (Words, Razors and the Wounded), Jennifer Fouché (Sistas: The Musical) as the Baneatta Mabry standby, Michael Genet (The Prom), Miles G Jackson (Endlings) and Camille Upshaw ("That Damn Michael Che").
This dynamic ensemble cast leads a raucous family comedy so full of laughter and love, it'll leave you begging for seconds. The Jenkins family is coming together to celebrate the life of their father-hopefully without killing each other! But any hopes for a peaceful reunion unravel when a family secret shows up at the funeral. CHICKEN & BISCUITS had its world premiere on February 28, 2020 at Queens Theatre, but the engagement was cut short less than two weeks later, when the theater industry suspended operations due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The play begins previews on Broadway Thursday, September 23, 2021, with an Opening Night of Sunday, October 10, 2021, for a limited engagement through Sunday, January 2, 2022. Tickets are on sale now at Telecharge.com/212-239-6200.
Directed by Zhailon Levingston (Associate Director, Tina: The Tina Turner Musical), who becomes the youngest black director in Broadway history when he makes his debut this fall at age 27, the Chicken & Biscuits creative team also includes Scenic Designer Lawrence E. Moten III (Assoc., What the Constitution Means to Me, Hadestown), Tony Award®-nominated Costume Designer Dede Ayite (Slave Play, American Son), Lighting Designer Adam Honoré (Assoc., Derren Brown: Secret), and Sound Designer Twi McCallum (Assoc., Pride & Prejudice at Long Wharf Theatre).
The play marks eighteen Broadway debuts amongst the company, creative, and producing team. In addition to the aforementioned debuts of Levingston and nine cast members, Douglas Lyons and E. Clayton Cornelious - known to Broadway audiences for their onstage roles in several hit Broadway musicals - make their debuts as playwright and lead producer, respectively, alongside producing newcomers Pamela Ross and Leah Michalos. Designers Moten, Honoré and McCallum, and Casting Director Erica A. Hart, also make their Broadway debuts with the play. Production Stage Management is by lark hackshaw.
Tickets & Performance Schedule
Tickets for the Broadway production of CHICKEN & BISCUITS are available now from $49.50, and can be purchased at www.Telecharge.com, 212-239-6200 (outside NY metro area: 800-432-7250), or in person beginning August 26 at Circle in the Square Theatre Box Office on 50th Street between Broadway and Eighth Avenue in NYC. The regular playing schedule for CHICKEN & BISCUITS is: Tuesdays at 7:00PM, Wednesdays at 2:00PM & 7:00PM, Thursdays at 7:00PM, Fridays at 8:00pm, Saturdays at 2:00PM & 8:00PM, and Sundays at 3:00PM. The evening preview performances on Sept 23rd, 28th, 29th and 30th will begin at 8:00pm.
Buy with Confidence: Buy tickets for any performance through January 2, and you can either refund or exchange your tickets into any other date until two hours before the performance. The Circle in the Square Theatre is committed to providing healthy and safe facilities for audiences, performers, and staff. Based on CDC and state guidelines at the time of performance, protocols may include mask enforcement, increased cleaning and ventilation/filtration enhancements, documentation of vaccination, or negative test verification, and more. These are subject to change. Ticketholders who do not comply with venue policies cannot be admitted.
Douglas Lyons (Playwright) is also an actor, writer, director, composer, and teacher. Writing - TV: Fraggle Rock (Apple TV). Theater: Polkadots (Off Broadway Alliance Winner Best Family Show, Atlantic Theater Company), Beau (Adirondack Theater Festival), Five Points (world premiere Theater Latte Da) now in development with Hamilton's Andy Blankenbuehler, Fatigue with Jodi Piccoult, Pete(Her)Pan and more. Acting - Broadway: Beautiful (Original Cast) and The Book of Mormon. Tours: Rent, Dreamgirls and The Book of Mormon 1st National. Douglas is the founder of The Next Wave Initiative, a scholarship program dedicated to supporting the future of Black Theater artists. @Chocolatehipster
Zhailon Levingston (Director) is a Louisiana-raised storyteller, director, and activist. He is the Director of Industry Initiatives for the Broadway Advocacy Coalition. His directing credits include: "Neptune" (Dixon Place, Provincetown theatre), "The Years That Went Wrong" (Lark, MCC), "The Exonerated" (Columbia Law School), "Chariot Part 2" (Soho Rep., for The Movement Theatre Company), "Mother of Pearl" (LaGuardia Performing Arts Center). He is the co-director of "Reconstruction" with Tony Award-winner Rachel Chavkin. Zhailon is the resident director at "Tina: The Tina Turner Musical" on Broadway and the associate director of "Hadestown" in South Korea.
Cleo King(Baneatta Mabry) Triple threat Cleo King is a St. Louis native that now resides in Los Angeles with her family. She's an NAACP Image award winner for her work in the one woman show Turning Points directed by Bill Duke. This summer, you can hear her in the new Netflix animated series "Hoops," where she plays Principal Opal. On the small screen she recurs on "Lone Star: 911" and recently recurred on "Grey's Anatomy" which included working on the 300th episode. Other television credits include her role as the wise-cracking Grandma on the hit CBS sitcom "Mike & Molly," now in syndication. Other memorable roles include "A Series of Unfortunate Events," "Deadwood," "American Koko" and "Sons of Anarchy." On the film side, she's had memorable roles working alongside some of Hollywood's biggest stars. The HANGOVER dir. by Todd Phillips, PINEAPPLE EXPRESS with Seth Rogan dir. by Judd Apatow, TRANSFORMERS IV with Mark Wahlberg dir. by Michael Bay - Exec Producer Steven Spielberg, playing Kate Winslett's boss in THE LIFE OF DAVID GALE. MAGOLIA, with Tom Cruise, dir. by Paul Thomas Anderson. JUST BEFORE I GO dir. by Courteney Cox. And as TSA Supervisor Dailsy Bell in VALENTINE'S DAY with Ashton Kutcher, as Jamie Foxx's sister in the movie DREAMGIRLS, dir. by Bill Condon and in DOGVILLE with Nicole Kidman. Her next film role will be in Ride the Eagle opposite Susan Sarandon and Jake Johnson.
Cleo King is a philanthropist with a special interest in the needs of children. She is actively involved with associations such as Raise A Child (helping families adopt children), she is one of their national spokes persons. Additionally, Cleo is very proud to be a national spokesperson for Penny Lane as well. Bringing families together. In 2016 Cleo spoke at the White house on adoption, along with her family. Well-rounded, talented and grateful to always be working in an industry she loves, Cleo King is one queen worth getting to know.
Norm Lewis (Reginald Mabry) can currently be seen starring in the SAG, Critics Choice, and NAACP Image Award-nominated Netflix film Da 5 Bloods by Spike Lee, and in the groundbreaking FX series, "Pose." He was previously seen in the NBC television special, "Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert," alongside John Legend, Sara Bareilles, and Alice Cooper. He recently appeared in the Broadway revival of Once on This Island and as Sweeney Todd in the Off-Broadway production of Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street at the Barrow Street Theatre, receiving the AUDELCO Award for his performance. In 2014, he made history as The Phantom of the Opera's first African American Phantom on Broadway.
He has been seen on PBS in the "Live From Lincoln Center" productions of "Showboat" with Vanessa Williams, "Norm Lewis: Who Am I?", and "New Year's Eve: A Gershwin Celebration with Diane Reeves," as well as "American Voices with Renée Fleming" and the PBS Special "First You Dream - The Music of Kander & Ebb." He can be seen recurring in the VH1 series, "Daytime Divas," also alongside Vanessa Williams. His additional television credits include "Mrs. America," "Better Things," "The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt," "Bull," "Chicago Med," "Gotham," "The Blacklist," and "Blue Bloods," as well as in his recurring role as Senator Edison Davis on the hit drama "Scandal."
Mr. Lewis is a proud founding member of Black Theatre United, an organization which stands together to help protect Black people, Black talent and Black lives of all shapes and orientations in theatre and communities across the country. He received Tony, Drama Desk, Drama League, and Outer Critics Circle award nominations for his performance as Porgy in the Broadway production of The Gershwins' Porgy & Bess. Other Broadway credits include Sondheim on Sondheim, The Little Mermaid, Les Misérables, Chicago, Amour, The Wild Party, Side Show, Miss Saigon, and The Who's Tommy. In London's West End, he has appeared as Javert in Les Misérables and "Les Misérables: The 25th Anniversary Concert," which aired on PBS.
Off-Broadway, Mr. Lewis has performed in Dessa Rose (Drama Desk nomination, AUDELCO Award), Shakespeare in the Park's The Tempest, The Two Gentlemen of Verona (Drama League nomination), Captains Courageous, and A New Brain. His regional credits include Porgy in The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess (A.R.T.), Ragtime, Dreamgirls (with Jennifer Holliday), First You Dream, Sweeney Todd, and The Fantasticks.
His additional film credits include Magnum Opus, Winter's Tale, Sex and the City 2, Confidences, and Preaching to the Choir. Norm's albums "The Norm Lewis Christmas Album" & "This is The Life" can be found on Amazon.com as well as cdbaby.com.
Michael Urie (Logan Leibowitz) can currently be seen hosting the new Discovery+/HGTV competition show "Clipped" and in the new series "The Bite!", created by Michelle and Robert King. He recently wrapped shooting on the Netflix film, Single All The Way, that will stream this coming holiday season.
On stage, he was most recently seen in back to back New York theatre productions beginning with the Public Theatre's revival of Tony Kushner's A Bright Room Called Day, followed by the Broadway premiere of Bess Wohl's Grand Horizons. Prior to that, he starred in the Tony Award-nominated Broadway revival of Harvey Fierstein Torch Song, following his critically acclaimed performance in the off-Broadway production at Second Stage, earning Lucille Lortel Award and Drama League Award nominations. Michael originated the role of Alex More in Jonathan Tolins' Buyer & Cellar Off-Broadway, on tour, and in London, for which he received the Drama Desk Award, Clarence Derwent Award, the Lucille Lortel Award, LA Drama Critics Award and nominations for the Drama League and Outer Critics Circle Awards. More New York theatre credits include: How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying (Broadway), The Government Inspector (Red Bull, Drama League, OCC nominations), Shows For Days (LCT), Homos, Or Everyone In America (Obie Award), The Cherry Orchard (CSC), Angels in America (Signature), The Temperamentals (Lucille Lortel, Drama Desk and Theatre World Awards; Drama League nomination), The Revenger's Tragedy (Red Bull), and Another Vermeer (HB Playwrights). Regionally, Urie has worked for The Kennedy Center, Shakespeare Theatre Company (Wash. DC), Two River, The Old Globe, Vineyard Playhouse, South Coast Rep, Seattle Rep, Folger Shakespeare, Barrington Stage, Hyde Park (Austin), and The Blank (L.A.).
Film: He's Way More Famous Than You (also directed), Thank You for Judging (co-director/exec. producer), The Extinction Of Fireflies, Beverly Hills Chihuahua, WTC View, Jeremy Fink And The Meaning of Life, The Decoy Bride, Petunia, Such Good People, The Hyperglot (director), and Grantham & Rose (exec. producer). TV: "Modern Family," "Younger," "The Good Fight," "The Good Wife," "Hot In Cleveland," "Workaholics," "Partners," and Marc St. James on "Ugly Betty." He hosted four seasons of Logo's "Cocktails And Classics." Web series: "What's Your Emergency" (director). Training: Juilliard.
Alana Raquel Bowers (Simone Mabry) is a Baltimore-born, New York-based actor, dancer, and singer. Off-Broadway credits include "What To Send Up When It Goes Down" by Aleshea Harris at A.R.T./New York Theater (NY), Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company (DC), American Repertory Theater (MA) and the Public Theater (NY), respectively. She was also featured in the Tribeca Film Festival in 2019 in the film "After Class" starring Justin Long & Lynn Cohen. Alana was recently seen on "FBI: Most Wanted" on CBS. She has been involved with "Chicken and Biscuits" since 2018.
Aigner Mizzelle ( La'trice Franklin), making her Broadway debut in Chicken & Biscuits, is a graduate from NYU Tisch's Playwrights Horizons Theater school with a BFA in Drama. She is a NJ/NYC based theatre and movement artist, teaching artist, activist, actor, writer, and choreographer. She originated La'Trice Off- Broadway and is thrilled to be reprising the role at Circle in The Square. She has been a part of the theater scene since before graduation making appearances in ArsNova's ANTFEST, The Public's Under the Radar Festival, Joe's Pub, and The Prelude Arts Festival. Her notable credits include assistant directing nicHi Douglas' Where Love Lies Fallow, multiple workshops of César Alvarez' NOISE, and Pig Iron Theatre Company's Zero Cost House zoom edition. Theater is reflection, reflection is confrontation, confrontation is healing. She has been blessed with an opportunity to play, reflect, and heal.
Ebony Marshall-Oliver(Beverly Jenkins) Broadway Debut! Off Broadway: Merry Wives (Ensemble - Public Theater, Saheem Ali Dir.) Ain't No Mo' (Passenger 4 Stevie Walker Webb Dir.) Seussical (Sour Kangaroo- TheatreWorksUSA, Marcia Milgrom Dodge Dir.). Regional: Chicken & Biscuits (Beverly Jenkins- Queens Theatre, Zhailon Levingston Dir.), Sister Act (Delores- EverBlue Arts, Joseph Spieldener Dir.), Dreamgirls (Ensemble-Dallas Theater Center, Joel Ferrell Dir), Memphis (Felicia Theatre 3, Dallas Bruce Coleman Dir.), Raisin (Lena Younger- Astoria PAC, Dev Bondarin Dir.), The Color Purple (Celie- Akin Babatunde Dir.), In Real Life, Ain't Misbehavin', Neat, Pretty Fire all at Jubilee Theatre; Film: Sunday Brunch (Evie Paige- Joseph Craig Dir), One Week In Heaven (Deb- Joseph Craig Dir.), A Tangled Web(Georgie Kane-Joseph Craig Dir.)
Devere Rogers (Kenny Mabry) graduated with a BFA in Theatre from NYU's Tisch School of the Arts, where he studied musical theatre, hip-hop theatre, experimental theatre, and film and television. Devere's education also led to his participation in several Broadway workshops, which opened doorways to working off-Broadway with notable directors like Kenny Leon and Alex Timber. Devere performed in Timber's latest play ROBBER BRIDEGROOM, which was seen at the Roundabout's main off-Broadway venue. Devere can be seen in a great supporting role opposite of Dave Bautista in the STX feature film MY SPY. He recently booked the series regular role of HBO Max's, OK BOOMER. He also landed the lead role in Brian Gallivan's NBC pilot, FRIENDS-IN-LAW, which unfortunately didn't go. His short, FOR FLOW, ran exclusively on HBO and Cinemax. Alongside acting, Devere wrote and produced a short film titled YING AND YANG, which was an official selection and award winner at over 15 different film festivals internationally in 2013. Devere's talents can also be seen in CRAZY EX-GIRLFRIEND, GREY'S ANATOMY, WILL & GRACE, as well as SHERMAN'S SHOWCASE.
NaTasha Yvette Williams (Brianna Jenkins) Broadway: Waitress ( Becky), Chicago (Mama Morton), A Night With Janis Joplin (Aretha, Joplinaire), The Gershwin's Porgy and Bess (Mariah), The Color Purple (Sofia). You may have seen her on PBS in Lincoln Center's Showboat (Queenie) with The NY Philharmonic. Featured Vocalist/Concerts: Carnegie Hall (Irving Berlin), Avery Fisher Hall (Ragtime), Indianapolis Symphony, Baltimore Symphony, Naples Philharmonic, Ottawa Symphony, just to name a few. TV Credits include: Mrs. Adamu on "FBI," Esther on "New Amsterdam," Juror Florence on "The Good Fight," Topaz on "Orange is the New Black," as well as appearances on "Dash and Lilly," "Madam Secretary," "NOS4A2," and as Pearl in "Godfather of Harlem," starring Forrest Whitaker. Look for her in the upcoming Historical Thriller, "Alice," starring Keke Palmer and Common. NaTasha is an entertainment force and a founding member of Black Theatre United, committed to protecting black people, black talent, and black lives, empowering each community through activism in the pursuit of justice and equality for the betterment of all humanity.
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