HADESTOWN Star André De Shields, Donna McKechnie, Ann Reinking, Michael Feingold, Michael Price, Emily Mann, Natasha Katz, Thomas Meehan Among 2019 Theater Hall of Fame Inductees

André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang

2019 Tony and Emmy Award winning actor André De Shields will be inducted to the Theater Hall of Fame on Monday, November 18 during the 49th Annual Theater Hall of Fame for Lifetime Achievement in the American Theater ceremony being held at the Gershwin Theatre at 7:00 P.M.

The Hadestown star is among the 2019 inductees which include his Half Time co-star Tony Award-winning actress Donna McKechnie (A Chorus Line), Tony Award-winning actress/choreographer Ann Reinking (Chicago), theater critic Michael Feingold, Goodspeed Musicals founder Michael Price, director/playwright Emily Mann (Gloria: A Life) and six-time Tony Award-winning lighting designer Natasha Katz (Frozen), with a posthumous induction to three-time Tony Award-winning book writer Thomas Meehan (Annie).

Donna McKechnie and André De Shields backstage at Paper Mill Playhouse’s opening night of HALF TIME. Photo by Lia Chang

Founded in 1970 by James M. Nederlander, Earl Blackwell, Gerard Oestriecher and L. Arnold Weissberger, the Theater Hall of Fame’s primary mission is to annually honor lifetime achievement in the American theatre. To be considered for the ballot, the theatre professional must have 25 years on Broadway and five major production credits or be an Off-Broadway or regional theatre founder or pioneer. The voters are United States theatre critics and drama editors.

Visit theaterhalloffame.org for more information.

André De Shields is the triple-crown winner of the 2019 theater awards season, having won the Outer Critics Circle, Drama Desk and Tony Awards as Best Featured Actor in a Musical for his unanimously critically acclaimed performance as Hermes, Messenger to the Gods, in Hadestown. The Actors’ Equity Foundation followed suit with the Richard Seff Award, which honors veteran stage actors’ best supporting performances of the year. Mr. De Shields will receive The York Theatre Company’s 2019 Oscar Hammerstein Award for Lifetime Achievement in Musical Theatre on November 11. Prior to his Tony Award win, Mr. De Shields was best known for his show-stopping performances in four legendary Broadway productions: The Wiz,Ain’t Misbehavin’ (Emmy Award), Play On! (Tony Nomination), and The Full Monty(Tony Nomination). In a career spanning fifty years, he has distinguished himself as an unparalleled actor, director, and educator, receiving in 2018 the 8th Annual Off Broadway Alliance Legend Award, and the 33rd Annual Bob Harrington Life Achievement Bistro Award. Among his other accolades are the 2009 National Black Theatre Festival’s Living Legend Award and the 2007 Village Voice Obie Award for Sustained Excellence of Performance. www.andredeshields.com

Lia Chang. Photo by Garth Kravits. Photo by Lia Chang

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 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.

All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2019 Lia Chang Multimedia. All rights reserved. All materials contained on this site are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of Lia Chang. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content. For permission, please contact Lia at liachangpr@gmail.com

Inside the HALF TIME Cast Album CD Signing with André De Shields, Donna McKechnie, Lillias White, Haven Burton, Matthew Sklar, Bob Martin, Nancy Ticotin and Producer Dori Berinstein

André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang

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.

Dori Berinstein, André De Shields and Georgia Engel at the opening night party of Paper Mill Playhouse’s production of HALF TIME on June 12, 2018. Photo by Lia Chang

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.

Seated: Nancy Ticotin, Haven Burton, Donna McKechnie. Standing: Original NETSational Sr. Dancers Betsy Walkup and Deana Schwartz, Bob Martin, Matthew Sklar, Dori Berinstein, André De Shields, Kimberlee Garris. Photo by Lia Chang

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.

Seated: Nancy Ticotin, Haven Burton, Donna McKechnie. Standing: Original NETSational Sr. Dancer Betsy Walkup Bob Martin, Producer Dori Berinstein, Matthew Sklar, Original NETSational Sr. Dancer Deana Schwartz. Photo by Lia Chang

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.

Lillias White and André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang

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.”

André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang

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.

Dori Berinstein and André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang

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.

Matthew Sklar, Nancy Ticotin, Haven Burton and Donna McKechnie. Photo by Lia Chang
Nancy Ticotin, Haven Burton and Donna McKechnie. Photo by Lia Chang
Bob Martin and Matthew Sklar show off their Lights of Broadway Show Card. Photo by Lia Chang
Producer Dori Berinstein with Original NETSational Sr. Dancers Betsy Walkup and Deana Schwartz. Photo by Lia Chang
Donna McKechnie. Photo by Lia Chang
Matthew Sklar and Nancy Ticotin. Photo by Lia Chang
André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang
Producer Dori Berinstein. Photo by Lia Chang

Bob Martin and Matthew Sklar. Photo by Lia Chang
André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang
André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang
Nancy Ticotin, Haven Burton, Producer Dori Berinstein and Donna McKechnie. Photo by Lia Chang
Bob Martin. Photo by Lia Chang
Matthew Sklar. Photo by Lia Chang
Nancy Ticotin. Photo by Lia Chang
Haven Burton and Donna McKechnie. Photo by Lia Chang
Donna McKechnie and André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang
Matthew Sklar, Nancy Ticotin and Donna McKechnie. Photo by Lia Chang
Nancy Ticotin and André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang
Bob Martin, André De Shields and Matthew Sklar. Photo by Lia Chang
Haven Burton and André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang
Lillias White. Photo by Lia Chang
Lillias White. Photo by Lia Chang
Taaj Jaharah and André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang
Lia Chang. Photo by Garth Kravits. Photo by Lia Chang

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.

All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2019 Lia Chang Multimedia. All rights reserved. All materials contained on this site are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of Lia Chang. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content. For permission, please contact Lia at liachangpr@gmail.com

André De Shields, Donna McKechnie, Lillias White, Haven Burton, Lori Tan Chinn, Matthew Sklar, Bob Martin and Nancy Ticotin Set for HALF TIME CD Signing at Theatre Circle on August 14

Half Time‘s André De Shields, Donna McKechnie, Lillias White, Haven Burton, Lori Tan Chinn, Matthew Sklar, Bob Martin and Nancy Ticotin will be at Theatre Circle, 268 West 44th Street on Wednesday, August 14, 2019, from 5:00 to 6:00 PM for a CD signing of the original cast album of Half Time the musical.

Only CD’s purchased at the event will be eligible for signing.

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.

Dori Berinstein, André De Shields and Georgia Engel. Photo by Lia Chang

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 Emmy Award winner André De Shields (The Wiz), who most recently won a Tony for his role in Hadestown. The Original Cast Recording is dedicated to the memory of the late Georgia Engel.

Georgia Engel, Tracy Jai Edwards, André De Shields, Haven Burton, Donna McKechnie, Nkeki Obi-Melekwe. Photo by Lia Chang

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 alongside today’s preorder is a fan-favorite number from the musical entitled “New Point of View.”

Opening night curtain call for HALF TIME. Photo by Lia Chang

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. Photo by Garth Kravits. Photo by Lia Chang

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.

All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2019 Lia Chang Multimedia. All rights reserved. All materials contained on this site are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of Lia Chang. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content. For permission, please contact Lia at liachangpr@gmail.com

Tony Award Winner André De Shields, Georgia Engel, Lillias White, Donna McKechnie, Lori Tan Chinn and More Featured on HALF TIME Original Cast Recording 

Sony Masterworks Broadway will release HALF TIME (ORIGINAL CAST RECORDING) on August 2nd, with music by Matthew Sklar, lyrics by Nell Benjamin and additional music by Marvin Hamlisch and Ester Dean.

Dori Berinstein, André De Shields and Georgia Engel. Photo by Lia Chang

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 alongside today’s preorder is a fan-favorite number from the musical entitled “New Point of View.”

Georgia Engel, Tracy Jai Edwards, André De Shields, Haven Burton, Donna McKechnie, Nkeki Obi-Melekwe. Photo by Lia Chang

The Half-Time (Original Cast Recording) features 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 Emmy Award winner André De Shields (The Wiz), who most recently won a Tony for his role in Hadestown and Lori Tan China (“Orange is the New Black”). The Original Cast Recording is dedicated to the memory of Georgia Engel.

Opening night curtain call for HALF TIME. Photo by Lia Chang

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 Bernstein, 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. Photo by Garth Kravits. Photo by Lia Chang

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.

All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2019 Lia Chang Multimedia. All rights reserved. All materials contained on this site are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of Lia Chang. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content. For permission, please contact Lia at liachangpr@gmail.com

Production Photos: André De Shields, Georgia Engel, Donna McKechnie, Lori Tan Chinn, Lillias White, Haven Burton and More in World Premiere of HALF TIME at Paper Mill Playhouse

Paper Mill Playhouse is presenting the East Coast premiere of Half Time, a new musical.

The cast features five-time Emmy nominee Georgia Engel (“The Mary Tyler Moore Show,” The Drowsy Chaperone) and Tony and Emmy Award winner Lillias White (The Life, “Sesame Street”) along with André De Shields (The Wiz, The Full Monty, Ain’t Misbehavin‘) and Tony award winner and Broadway legend Donna McKechnie (A Chorus Line) who with this all-star cast will tell the uplifting true story of ten New Jersey seniors with extraordinary dreams.

Garrett Turner, Georgia Engel (Dorothy/Dottie), Alexander Aguilar and Lori Tan Chinn (Mae); Photo by Jerry Dalia
Garrett Turner, Georgia Engel (Dorothy/Dottie), Alexander Aguilar and Lori Tan Chinn (Mae); Photo by Jerry Dalia

Half Time features a book by Bob Martin and Chad Beguelin, music by Matthew Sklar, lyrics by Nell Benjamin and additional music by Marvin Hamlisch and Ester Dean. Half Time is directed and choreographed by Tony Award winner Jerry Mitchell and co-choreographed by Nick Kenkel with music direction by Charlie Alterman. Half Time is based on the motion picture Gotta Dance, directed, written and produced by Dori Berinstein.

Mary Claire King (Jenny) , Donna McKechnie (Joanne) and Nkeki Obi-Melekwe (Kendra); Photo by Matthew Murphy
Mary Claire King (Jenny) , Donna McKechnie (Joanne) and Nkeki Obi-Melekwe (Kendra); Photo by Matthew Murphy

From the director/choreographer of Kinky Boots comes the incredible true story of ten determined dreamers who audition to dance at half time for a major basketball team. 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.

The cast of Half Time. Photo by Jerry Dahlia
The cast of Half Time. Photo by Jerry Dahlia

The principal cast features André De Shields as Ron, Georgia Engel as Dorothy/Dottie, Donna McKechnie as Joanne, Lillias White as Bea, who are joined by Haven Burton as Tara, Lori Tan Chinn as Mae, Nkeki Obi-Melekwe as Kendra, Nancy Ticotin as Camilla, Madeleine Doherty as Estelle, Tracy Jai Edwards as Alison Prager, Mary Claire King as Jenny, Lenora Nemetz as Fran, and Kay Walbye as Muriel.

Rounding out the cast are 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.

Georgia Engel (Dorothy/Dottie) and Andre De Shields (Ron); Photo by Jerry Dalia
Georgia Engel (Dorothy/Dottie) and Andre De Shields (Ron); Photo by Jerry Dalia

The creative team of Half Time reunites Mitchell with his Kinky Boots collaborators, including Tony Award winner David Rockwell (Scenic Design), Tony Award winner Gregg Barnes (Costume Design) and Tony Award winner Kenneth Posner (Lighting Design), along with Nick Kenkel (Co-Choreography), Randy Hansen (Sound Design), Jason Lee Courson (Projection Design), Drama Desk nominee Josh Marquette (Hair and Wig Design), Tony Award winner Larry Hochman(Orchestrations), and Telsey + Company(Casting). The Production Stage Manager is Jason Brouillard.

Andre De Shields (Ron); Photo by Jerry Dalia
Andre De Shields (Ron); Photo by Jerry Dalia

Tickets are on sale now starting at $34. Tickets may be purchased by calling 973.376.4343, at the Paper Mill Playhouse Box Office, or online at www.PaperMill.org.

Lillias White (Bea) and in background, Kay Walbye (Muriel); Photo by Matthew Murphy
Lillias White (Bea) and in background, Kay Walbye (Muriel); Photo by Matthew Murphy
Georgia Engel (Dorothy/Dottie); Photo by Jerry Dalia
Georgia Engel (Dorothy/Dottie); Photo by Jerry Dalia

Nkeki Obi-Melekwe (Kendra); Photo by Jerry Dalia

Nkeki Obi-Melekwe (Kendra); Photo by Jerry Dalia

Nancy Ticotin (Camilla); Photo by Jerry Dalia
Nancy Ticotin (Camilla); Photo by Jerry Dalia
Donna McKechnie (Joanne); Photo by Jerry Dalia
Donna McKechnie (Joanne); Photo by Jerry Dalia
Haven Burton (Tara); Photo by Matthew Murphy
Haven Burton (Tara); Photo by Matthew Murphy
Sydni Beaudoin, Lori Tan Chinn (Mae) and Garrett Turner; Photo by Jerry Dalia
Sydni Beaudoin, Lori Tan Chinn (Mae) and Garrett Turner; Photo by Jerry Dalia

 

 

 

 

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André De Shields, Georgia Engel, Donna McKechnie, Lori Tan Chinn, Lillias White, Haven Burton and More in World Premiere of HALF TIME at Paper Mill Playhouse

André De Shields and Lori Tan Chinn. Photo by Lia Chang

Paper Mill Playhouse is presenting the East Coast premiere of Half Time, a new musical, with book by Bob Martin and Chad Beguelin, music by Matthew Sklar, lyrics by Nell Benjamin and additional music by Marvin Hamlisch and Ester Dean. Half Time began previews on May 31, 2018 and will play a limited engagement through Sunday, July 1, 2018, at Paper Mill Playhouse (22 Brookside Drive) in Millburn, NJ. Opening night is set for June 12th.

André De Shields and Lori Tan Chinn. Photo by Lia Chang
André De Shields and Lori Tan Chinn. Photo by Lia Chang

Half Time is directed and choreographed by Tony Award winner Jerry Mitchell and co-choreographed by Nick Kenkel with music direction by Charlie Alterman. The cast features five-time Emmy nominee Georgia Engel (“The Mary Tyler Moore Show,” The Drowsy Chaperone) and Tony and Emmy Award winner Lillias White (The Life, “Sesame Street”) along with André De Shields (The Wiz, The Full Monty, Ain’t Misbehavin’) and Tony award winner and Broadway legend Donna McKechnie (A Chorus Line) who with this all-star cast will tell the uplifting true story of ten New Jersey seniors with extraordinary dreams. Half Time is based on the motion picture Gotta Dance, directed, written and produced by Dori Berinstein.

The cast of Half Time with director Jerry Mitchell. Photo Credit: Jerry Dalia
The cast of Half Time with director Jerry Mitchell. Photo Credit: Jerry Dalia

From the director/choreographer of Kinky Boots comes the incredible true story of ten determined dreamers who audition to dance at half time for a major basketball team. 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.

The principal cast features André De Shields as Ron, Georgia Engel as Dorothy/Dottie, Donna McKechnie as Joanne, Lillias White as Bea, who are joined by Haven Burton as Tara, Lori Tan Chinn as Mae, Nkeki Obi-Melekwe as Kendra, Nancy Ticotin as Camilla, Madeleine Doherty as Estelle, Tracy Jai Edwards as Alison Prager, Mary Claire Kingas Jenny, Lenora Nemetz as Fran, and Kay Walbye as Muriel.

Rounding out the cast are 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.

Half Time Video

“I am thrilled our new musical Half Time will be a part of the very exciting 2017-2018 Paper Mill season,” stated Tony Award-winning director and choreographer Jerry Mitchell. “Half Time celebrates the singular power of music and dance to unleash big emotions and bring people together. We can’t wait to share it with the amazing audiences at Paper Mill.”

“We are excited to welcome legends André De Shields, Georgia Engel, Donna McKechnie and Lillias White to Paper Mill Playhouse,” commented Mark S. Hoebee, Paper Mill Playhouse’s Producing Artistic Director. “This new musical, inspired by the documentary Gotta Dance, is a true New Jersey story that will be thrilling for audiences of any age.”

The creative team of Half Time reunites Mitchell with his Kinky Boots collaborators, including Tony Award winner David Rockwell (Scenic Design), Tony Award winner Gregg Barnes (Costume Design) and Tony Award winner Kenneth Posner (Lighting Design), along with Nick Kenkel (Co-Choreography), Randy Hansen (Sound Design), Jason Lee Courson (Projection Design), Drama Desk nominee Josh Marquette (Hair and Wig Design), Tony Award winner Larry Hochman (Orchestrations), and Telsey + Company(Casting). The Production Stage Manager is Jason Brouillard.Half Time will be performed at Paper Mill Playhouse eight times a week, Wednesday through Sunday. Performance schedule: Wednesday at 7:30pm, Thursday at 1:30pm and 7:30pm, Friday at 8:00pm, Saturday at 1:30pm and 8:00pm and Sunday at 1:30pm and 7:00pm.Tickets are on sale now starting at $34. Tickets may be purchased by calling 973.376.4343, at the Paper Mill Playhouse Box Office at 22 Brookside Drive in Millburn, or online at www.PaperMill.org. Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express accepted. Groups of 10 or more can receive up to a 40% discount on tickets and should call 973.315.1680. Students may order $23 rush tickets over the phone or in person at the Paper Mill Playhouse box office on the day of the performance. Paper Mill Playhouse’s 2017/2018 season is proudly sponsored by Investors Bank.

Donna McKechnie Joins André De Shields, Georgia Engel, Lillias White, Lori Tan Chinn and More in HALF TIME at Paper Mill SaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSave

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Donna McKechnie Joins André De Shields, Georgia Engel, Lillias White, Lori Tan Chinn and More in HALF TIME at Paper Mill 

The cast of Half Time with director Jerry Mitchell. Photo Credit: Jerry Dalia

Paper Mill Playhouse is presenting the East Coast premiere of Half Time, a new musical, with book by Bob Martin and Chad Beguelin, music by Matthew Sklar, lyrics by Nell Benjamin and additional music by Marvin Hamlisch and Ester Dean.

Cast and Creative Team of Half Time. Photo Credit: Jerry Dalia
Cast and Creative Team of Half Time. Photo Credit: Jerry Dalia

The newest addition to this stellar cast is Tony award winner and Broadway legend Donna McKechnie (A Chorus Line) who with this all-star cast will tell the uplifting true story of ten New Jersey seniors with extraordinary dreams.

Creative Team at Half Time. Photo Credit: Jerry Dalia
Creative Team at Half Time. Photo Credit: Jerry Dalia

Half Time begins performances Thursday, May 31, 2018, for a limited engagement through Sunday, July 1, 2018, at Paper Mill Playhouse. Half Time is produced in association with Dori Berinstein and Bill Damaschke.

The cast of Half Time with director Jerry Mitchell. Photo Credit: Jerry Dalia
The cast of Half Time with director Jerry Mitchell. Photo Credit: Jerry Dalia

Half Time will be directed and choreographed by Tony Award winner Jerry Mitchell and co-choreographed by Nick Kenkel with music direction by Charlie Alterman. The cast features previously announced five-time Emmy nominee Georgia Engel (“The Mary Tyler Moore Show,” The Drowsy Chaperone) and Tony and Emmy Award winner Lillias White (The Life, “Sesame Street”) along with André De Shields (The Wiz, The Full Monty, Ain’t Misbehavin’). Half Time is based on the motion picture “Gotta Dance”, directed, written and produced by Dori Berinstein.

From the director/choreographer of Kinky Boots comes the incredible true story of ten determined dreamers who audition to dance at half time for a major basketball team. 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.

The principal cast features André De Shields as Ron, Georgia Engel as Dorothy/Dottie, Donna McKechnie as Joanne, Lillias White as Bea, who will be joined by Haven Burton as Tara, Lori Tan Chinn as Mae, Nkeki Obi-Melekwe as Kendra, Nancy Ticotin as Camilla, Madeleine Doherty as Estelle, Tracy Jai Edwards as Alison Prager, Mary Claire King as Jenny, Lenora Nemetz as Fran, and Kay Walbye as Muriel.

Rounding out the cast are 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.

The creative team of Half Time reunites Mitchell with his Kinky Boots collaborators, including Tony Award winner David Rockwell (Scenic Design), Tony Award winner Gregg Barnes (Costume Design) and Tony Award winner Kenneth Posner (Lighting Design), along with Nick Kenkel (Co-Choreography), Randy Hansen (Sound Design), Jason Lee Courson (Projection Design), Drama Desk nominee Josh Marquette (Hair and Wig Design), Tony Award winner Larry Hochman (Orchestrations),and Telsey + Company (Casting). The Production Stage Manager is Jason Brouillard.

Tickets are on sale now starting at $34. Tickets may be purchased by calling 973.376.4343, at the Paper Mill Playhouse Box Office or online at www.PaperMill.org. Groups of 10 or more can receive up to a 40% discount on tickets and should call 973.315.1680. Students may order $23 rush tickets over the phone or in person at the Paper Mill Playhouse box office on the day of the performance.

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