Talkin' Broadway
Talkin' Broadway


Brian Stokes Mitchell is back on Broadway! The multi-talented actor, composer, keyboardist and website writer is starring in Ragtime as Coalhouse Walker Jr. What a role it is too! And to think he didn't even have to audition for the part. Known for his work on Broadway in David Merrick's Oh, Kay, replacing Gregory Hines as Jelly in Jelly's Last Jam but perhaps best known in the role of Valentin in Kiss of the Spider Woman opposite Chita Rivera and Vanessa Williams, he was offered the part of Coalhouse from the very beginning.

The beginning, for Ragtime, was in Toronto in the first production. After that triumph he moved on to the Los Angeles company and now he is in New York with the Broadway cast at the Ford Center which opens this Sunday.

I've seen the show twice in Los Angeles and all I can tell you is that he's done the role so often that every spoken word, every move he makes, every note he sings adds up to a tour de force performance in a once in a lifetime role.

In addition to his work in the theater, and I have only listed a few of his credits, he has worked extensively on television, most notably, Roots, the Next Generation and Trapper John, M.D. where he picked up an NAACP Image Award.

In his spare time, Stokes works on his website, and it's worth a visit where he talks about the recording of the Ragtime concept C.D. and other studio sessions. In addition, there are interviews, a gallery and other Mitchell happenings. The site it designed by Daniel Will-Harris. Pay a visit if you'd like to get to know this extraordinary performer a little better.

Stokes, of course, will be making the Original Broadway Cast double C.D. of the show, but in addition to that, you can hear him on "Cabaret Noel: A Broadway Cares Christmas", Michael Frank's Abandoned Garden, Queenie Pie, and Kiss of the Spider Woman (with Vanessa Williams).

We, at Talkin' Broadway, wish him the best in the Broadway run of the show that we think will be very lucky for him come the first Sunday in June.

Tidbits: While we're on the Ragtime kick, what better way to visit the show than to send Christina D'Angelo to the Ford Center, V.I.P. no less. You can read all about it in today's Christina's World where it's always a virtual trip on the Great White Way, cocktails and dinner included!

As you know, we embrace certain shows that we love around here. First, it was Ragtime in L.A., then it was Side Show followed by Steve Schachlin's show, The Last Session. Now, we're back to Ragtime in New York. However, there's a musical on the horizon that is in its embryo stage. It's an adaptation from a play and the lyricist/composer met the playwright right here on Talkin' Broadway and they are almost ready for a workshop. Remember these two words, Dearest Teacher

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