WHO's WHO IN THE CAST & CREATIVE TEAM
ENSEMBLE FOR THE WIZ
Robert Curry (Tin Man) is a native of Detroit, Michigan, was born on September 3, 1984 to Delisa and Robert Curry. At the age of two, his family moved to Augsburg, Germany. As a child, Robert spent most of his time in the church, since his father was a pastor. He expanded his musical background by directing the choir and participating in various vocal competitions.When Rob was 11, his parents got a divorce. This left him with the decision to either stay in Germany with his father, or go to Detroit with his mother and sister. He chose a new life in Detroit. The adjustment from life in Germany to the Detroit lifestyle was a drastic change for him. However, Rob started to understand and adapt to life in Detroit. One of the skills he took with him to Detroit was his love of music. Instead of the gospel and Christian music, Rob became interested in the world of Hip Hop; something he had not experienced in Germany. It was official, he had now stepped into the world of Hip- Hop and R&B. It wasn’t long before he found himself working with the legendary country singer, Kenny Rogers. With Kenny, he participated in an Annual Christmas concert, held in Detroit for two years. During a performance, a player from the Detroit Tigers thought Rob should perform the National Anthem at the opening game of the Tiger’s season. Mr. Curry made history by being the youngest African American male to perform the National Anthem at the opening game of the season. In 2007, Robert Curry joined MTV's Making the Band with the formation of Day26 which is an American male R&B music group formed in August 2007 by Sean "P-Diddy" Combs selection at the end of MTV's Making the Band 4.
T. Coyote Lee (Dorothy) with a powerful and melodic soprano voice the 25 year old vocalist Coyote Lee takes audiences on a vocal high. Standing today as a bright vibrant African American vocalist and actress in Harlem NY, where she performs with Ray Chew and the Crew. In the last year she's performed with the David Letterman Choir lead by Lady Peacheana, behind Stevie Wonder and Patti Labelle.
Mils "M.J." James (Scarecrow) is Pittsburgh P.A. native by way of Washington D.C. Currently resides in Brooklyn New York. Where he has spent the last 15 years. The product of The Pittsburgh High School of the creative and Performing Arts And Point Park College. His career started at the age of 12 when he was introduced to Dr. Vernell A. Lillie. Founding Artistic Director of the Kuntu Rep. Theatre. And was cast in a show called “Black Pittsburgers” written by Rob Penny. Since then This Singer, Actor, Dancer. has Performed on stages across the world, with credits including. “Jelly’s last Jam” directed by Timothy Ware. “Ramp To Paradise" with Walter Rutledge and the Thelma Hill Perfroming Arts. Tony Award winner George Faison’s “The Last Interview” “For All My Girls” Directed by Marishka S. Phillips, “Invisble Life” Javon Johnson, )," Legend of the Venus Hottentot" with Jahari Mayfeild (Emoves/Harlem Stage) "Going the Distance"(Smithsonian Discovery theatre Raquis Petree), "Ma Rainey's Black Bottom" (Pittsburgh Playwrites theatre), "Into The Woods" (Howard Rep.) "The Wiz" Directed by Tony award winner and national recording star Billy Porter. "Do Lord Remember Me" Directed by Eileen J. Morris.(New Horizon Theatre). "Being Beautiful" Directed by Reggie Kelley(Karamu House) National of tour of " Lord I'm Coming Home" with Sherman Hemsley and Gabreille Dennis (of the "Game).
Barry L. Parker (The Wiz) specializes in Gospel, R&B, Jazz and Blues. He is no stranger to the stage, having been featured in Broadway shows such as, “Smokey Joe's Café,” “Aint Misbehaving,” “Black Nativity”, “The Wiz,”and “Mama, I Want to Sing” – and you better believe he can sing – to laying powerful Top 40 Pop sounds with renowned artists such as, Josh Groban, Tchami, Celine Dion, Alicia Keys, Mariah Carey, John Mayer, Patti LaBelle, Jennifer Hudson, Quincy Jones III and mega producer, David Foster, to just name a few, Barry has done it all.
Michelle Barber Hutcherson's (Addaperle) career in the performing arts dates back to high school in Brooklyn, NY. She has traveled to the United Kingdom, Trinidad & Tobago, and many other countries, spreading the gospel of Christ in song. Michelle is one vocalist who expresses her love for God and His people through songs of Victory, Worship, and Praise. Born to be noisy Michelle Barber Hutcherson was born July 4th, 1968. Both of her parents were singers so it was only natural for her to sing too, but Michelle had plans to be a secretary like her mom, but the future would prove that to not be the case. Michelle started at the Family Baptist Church in the Bronx, N.Y. with the Sunshine choir and then on to the young adult choir. Under the direction of Prof Anthony G. Evans a soprano was discovered. Michelle has sang with various choirs and groups such as the Harlem Gospel Choir, Earth Wind & Fire, Sia, Florence and The Machines, Yolanda Adams, Pattie LaBelle, Fantasia, Gerald Levert, Josh Groban, and Mavis Staples. Michelle has also appeared on: America's Got Talent, Saturday Night Live, The David Letterman Show, Stephen Colbert Report, Jimmy Kimmel Show, VH1 Unplugged and many shows on international TV.
Tiona Hall (Evillene) Recent performances include the musicals Hairspray and Crowns, Rumors, Black & Blue, and some film work. Choirs: Harlem Gospel Choir, current: East Coast Inspirational Singers. She is honored to work with this amazingly talented cast and crew and is humbled by the sacrifices of their wonderful families so they could “come out and play”!
MIKE ALLEN (LION) has said that he is blessed to have been born and raised in New York City, because in this city along with the love and support of his family has helped MIKE pursue his greatest passion, singing. Since the age of seven, singing has been a fundamental part of Mike Vocalz life, and he has taken every opportunity to demonstrate his gift. In showcases, gospel tours, church, and family gatherings. MIKE had the encouragement of his loved ones to sing and comes from a family background of singers such as the legendary Drifters and neo-soul group Solo. “When you have a support system like your family behind you, you are given the strength to forge a road through which you can pursue your goals with confidence.”
Mike Vocalz gift of song was recognized and appreciated by his high school music teacher, Ms. Chantel Wright of the Songs of Solomon choir. While there, his music teacher encouraged him to sing, and worked on Mike Vocalz vocal technique, while introducing him to a wide variety of repertoire including gospel, opera, classical, jazz, rhythm and blues, and Broadway show tunes. MIKE also studied music theory, music history, and drama.
Mike Vocalz tenure at the Songs of Solomon academy led to appearances as a background vocalist on national television with Ruben Studdard, Fantasia Barrino, and Elton John (At The world famous Radio City Music Hall). MIKE believes that the Songs of Solomon experience was an excellent introduction to the demands of the entertainment field. It was a very positive experience for it taught him professionalism, how to accept criticism, and when to believe in himself.
While working on his craft, MIKE earns a living as a Background Singer. MIKE has been recently featured singing backup for Jay-Z promotional tour the American Gangster soundtrack. MIKE has also spent his time perfecting his craft in music and performing. MIKE performs lead vocals, writes music, and performs in the theatrical industry for a variety of musical theater tours.
“Music is me through life, expression, song, and love. To be able to reach all people with my music and voice”
Angela Watson-Modeste (Glinda) Growing up in a household of vocalists, Angela Watson-Modeste took her singing talent for granted. “My family sings. Mostly gospel, in the church,” said Angela, who is from Houston, TX. “It wasn’t until I got to high school and found out from the choir director that I could actually make a living singing” that she considered a career in the arts, said Angela. She received a scholarship to study classical voice at Texas Christian University. She also acted in productions at Jubilee Theatre in Fort Worth. Eventually, she established her own theater company. The goal was to offer two plays and one musical each year. While Angela was hands-on with the company for its inaugural year, she moved to New York shortly afterward. She’s been living in Brooklyn the past 11 years. A recording artist with a label in Italy, Angela’s schedule includes touring, choir directing, cantoring at Church of St. Joseph in Harlem and Church of St. Francis on the Upper East Side, and serving as worship leader at her church in Astoria. And, of course, being in the cast of “Scenes and Songs from Fannie Lou” at Yale University, playing the role of Laura, a friend of voting rights activist Fannie Lou Hamer. The show centers on the voting rights struggle of Mrs. Hamer, a real-life person, and other fictional characters in her community in the early 1960s. That fits right in with the kind of works Angela enjoys. While the creator of Fannie Lou musical is intent on taking the show to Broadway, Angela is poised to go right along with it. A career as a singer-actress was the ideal choice for her. “I love singing and acting together. To be able to express yourself – it’s two-fold,” she said. “It’s a release that gives me so much joy.”
Tramar Pettaway (Lord High Underling/Gatekeeper) was born and raised on Long Island. He started his music career at a very very early age when he was cast...in a professional opera where he worked with Opera of The Hamptons. He appeared in all of the school musicals being the principle ensemble member. In April of 2008 he sang back up for the late Godfather Of Gospel Music Elder Timothy Wright in Bridgehampton, New York. Tramar has shared the stage with many national artist including Apollo winner Dylan Jenet Collins, Apollo winner Tiffany Obi, Actress and Singer Dhonna Harris Goodale, singer/ rapper Lem Payne. Tramar has the pleasure and was graced with the opportunity to perform with Metro Opera Singer Earl Huie and jazz vocalist Laura Mann. Being asked to sing with those two was defiantly an "honor that shouldn't be taken lightly". In 2010 Tramar had the opportunity to sing with the Hot 8 Brass Band. Tramar is currently a student at Five Towns College studying for his BFA in Theatre Arts with a concentration in Musical Theatre which he is grateful. In 2017 Tramar was graced and blessed with the honor of doing the sermonic solo for Ambassador Susan Johnson Cook in Southampton, New York. Tramar is represented by Futura Enterprises and managed by Mr. Kalvin Stevens.
Artistic Director of New York Black Arts Festival
Dreamgirls (Fashion Institute of Technology, FIT Theater NYC), The Wiz (Oberia Dempsey Theater), Dr. Seuss' The Cat in the Hat ( Langston Hughes Auditorium), A Hip Hop Story (WSU Auditorium in Detroit MI, Artword Theater in Toronto ON, and NWU in Chicago IL), West Side Story (Chicago), MTI/Disney's The Jungle Book (Magic Johnson Theater Special Event), Thriller: The Michael Jackson Tribute Show (Dante Hall Theater of the Arts, Atlantic City, NJ).Special thanks to Geoffrey Holder, George Faison, Charlie Smalls, and William F. Brown for creating the classic we all know and love so much! Especially myself!
Brian Cunningham is a music mogul who has worked with various multi platinum & Grammy Award winning artists. He also writes music and theater and is currently working with BET & Viacom on season two of "My Current Situation.
Jason began dancing at The Harlem School of the Arts and the Martha Graham school in New York City. His primary training includes scholarships to The Alvin Ailey School and The Boston Conservatory. Among others he performed works by Martha Graham, Murray Louis, and Kevin Lega Jeff. Jason was also an esteemed member of the internationally renowned company Philadanco! Jason began to decorate his career goals with extensive television, film and theatrical credits including work with directors Diana Paulus ‘Invisible Thread’ Off-Broadway and Tony Award winning Bill T. Jones ‘FELA!’ Jason is currently the Contemporary Rehearsal Director for the acclaimed company of ‘Forces of Nature’ Dance Theater.
William Michael Allen
(Associate Producer/Social Media Design & Production)
William Michael Allen has a degree in multimedia and graphic design from the Art Institute of New York City he is currently Associate Producer at New York Black Arts and oversees audience development as well as social media campaigns.
Fashion and Costume Designer Steven Daniel was born in Trinidad & Tobago. Designer Steven Daniel a graduate of Fashion Institute Of Technology (NYC) where he received his Bachelors Degree in Fashion Design. Steven is a multi range designer designing everything from swimwear to couture. It is truly a test when you step outside the box and try different phases of designing. Currently I am the costume design supervisor at the American Academy Of Dramatic Arts (NYC). where I have been for the past 26 years, and handles costume design and construction for Broadway, Off-Broadway and regional theater productions.