Half Time‘s André De Shields, Donna McKechnie, Lillias White, Haven Burton, Matthew Sklar, Bob Martin, Nancy Ticotin, producer Dori Berinstein and co-producer Kimberlee Garris had a lovely reunion at Theatre Circle in celebration of the release of their Original Cast Recording and to sign CDs for fans on August 14, 2019. The Original Cast Recording is dedicated to the memory of the late Georgia Engel, who passed away in April 2019. The production of Half Time marked her final performance.
They were joined by Original NETSational Sr. Dancers Betsy Walkup and Deana Schwartz. Mr. De Shields strolled in after his matinee of Hadestown and as he was leaving for his evening performance, Ms. White arrived to the delight of adoring fans.
Released by The Sony Masterworks Broadway label on August 2, Half Time features music by Matthew Sklar, lyrics by Nell Benjamin, additional music by Ester Dean and some of the last songs written by Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning composer Marvin Hamlisch, who passed away during the show’s early gestation.
The album also features a who’s who of Broadway talent, including five-time Emmy Award-nominated actress Georgia Engel (“The Mary Tyler Moore Show,” “Everybody Loves Raymond”), Tony and Emmy Award winner Lillias White (The Life, “Sesame Street”), Tony and Drama Desk Award winner Donna McKechnie (A Chorus Line) and 2019 Tony Award winner and Emmy Award winner André De Shields (The Wiz, The Full Monty, Play On!, Ain’t Misbehavin’), who most recently won his Tony for his role in Hadestown.
Produced by Scott M. Riesett (Ain’t Too Proud, The Prom) and Matthew Sklar, the album features music from the Bob Martin and Chad Beguelin-written musical, which made its 2018 debut at Paper Mill Playhouse and tells the uplifting true story of ten New Jersey seniors with extraordinary dreams. Making its premiere is a fan-favorite number from the musical entitled “New Point of View.”
The cast also includes Haven Burton, Nkeki Obi-Melekwe, Nancy Ticotin, Madeleine Doherty, Tracy Jai Edwards, Mary Claire King, Lenora Nemetz, Kay Walbye, Alexander Aguilar, Ken Ard, Sydni Beaudoin, Tami Dahbura, Paula DeLuise, Gabriela Garcia, Talya Groves, Kathryn Kendall, Valton Jackson, Summerisa Bell Stevens, Garrett Turner and Gayle Turner.
Based on the motion picture Gotta Dance, directed, written and produced by Dori Berinstein, Half Time tells the incredible true story of ten determined dreamers who audition to dance at half time for a major basketball team., inspired by the true story of the New Jersey NETSational Seniors. They have three things in common: they love to dance, they have something to prove, and they are all over 60. Only after making the cut do they learn they won’t be dancing tap, salsa or swing-instead, they will bring down the house with a style that is entirely new to them: hip-hop. Take the uplifting journey with these dreamers-and the young coaches who inspire them along the way-as they battle self-doubt, stereotypes and even each other for a chance to bust a move at center court in front of 20,000 screaming fans. Together they remind us that in life, when the odds are stacked against you and the challenges seem too great to overcome, it’s not the end of the game-it’s Half Time.
Lia Chang is an actor, a multi-media content producer and co-founder of Bev’s Girl Films, making films that foster inclusion and diversity on both sides of the camera. Bev’s Girl Films’ debut short film, Hide and Seek was a top ten film in the Asian American Film Lab’s 2015 72 Hour Shootout Filmmaking Competition, and she received a Best Actress nomination. BGF collaborates with and produces multi-media content for artists, actors, designers, theatrical productions, composers, musicians and corporations. Lia is also an internationally published and exhibited photographer, a multi-platform journalist, and a publicist. Lia has appeared in the films Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon, Taxman and Hide and Seek. She is profiled in Jade Magazine and Playbill.com.
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