In Celebration of the Creator
Black Stars on Broadway
By Dale Shields
Black Stars of The Great White Way – A Chapman Roberts Concept started out as a seed, a dream, an idea and manifested as a historical event at the legendary Carnegie Hall in New York City. The dream came to Broadway’s first Black “Phantom of The Opera,” “Porgy and Bess,” “Scandal” TV star and TONY nominee Norm Lewis who revealed his vision about doing a concert with all of the Black Men on Broadway at Carnegie Hall to Chapman Roberts on that fateful October day in Times Square.
“This was history in the making, and the stage was set for the National Black Theatre Festival, Carnegie Hall Anniversary production of The Black Stars of The Great White Way” – Ramona Maben – The Harlem Times
“With a compelling blend of music, dance, theatre, and poetry, an ambiance was created that was deeply spiritual. The connection between members of the audience and those on stage had a warm, family reunion-like tone that permeated throughout a usually austere Carnegie hall for nearly three hours. The history-making celebration, produced by Chapman Roberts, Norm Lewis, and David Horace Greer was brilliantly conceived and executed” – Peter Bailey – 2015 National Black Theatre Festival Living Legend Award Honoree
Black Stars of the Great White Way
Chapman Roberts debuted in the original Broadway cast of Hair. His subsequent stage appearances included feature roles, on and off Broadway, in Salvation, Hello Dolly (Pearl Bailey and Cab Calloway), Jesus Christ Superstar (Ben Vereen), and as El Gallo in The Fantasticks. He has recorded with legendary artists like Gregory Hines, Horace Silver, Weather Report, and B.B. King (Grammy). Mr. Roberts critically acclaimed vocal arrangements can be heard on eight original Broadway and West End cast albums of shows that garnered 25 Tony nominations.is a 1969 Off-Broadway rock musical with music, lyrics, and book by Peter Link & C.C. Courtney. It opened on September 24, 1969, at the Jan Hus Playhouse and ending on April 19, 1970, after 239 performances. “The original cast consisted of Yolande Bavan (Ranee), Peter Link (Farley), C.C. Courtney (Monday), Joe Morton (Mark), Boni Enten (Boo), Annie Rachel (Dierdre), Marta Heflin (Betty Lou), and Chapman Roberts (Leroy). Notable actors to join the cast were Barry Bostwick (replaced Courtney), and Bette Midler.”