Congratulations to George Wolfe (who went to a Rosenwald school) and his new musical, Shuffle Along for their Drama Desk Awards wins on June 5th! The production won awards for “Outstanding Musical”, “Outstanding Choreography” (Savion Glover), “Outstanding Costume Design for a Musical” (Ann Roth), and “Outstanding Wig and Hair Design” (Mia M. Neal)! We wish the production the best as it heads into the Tony Awards next week!
On June 1st, Julius Rosenwald was inducted into the Hall of Fame at the National Museum of American Jewish History in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. A gala was held for the induction at Gotham Hall. Alongside Rosenwald’s induction, the efforts of several “modern-day Rosenwalds” were acknowledged, celebrating Paramount Pictures CEO Sherry Lansing and Harlem Educational Activities Fund founder Daniel Rose being among them. The Rosenwald trailer was also screened at the event.
A new exhibit entitled, “Invisible Man: Gordon Parks and Ralph Ellison in Harlem”, has opened at the Art Institute in Chicago and will run through August 28th. The exhibit features the project, “Harlem is Nowhere”, which features black and white vignettes photographed by Parks juxtaposed with excerpts of Ellison’s, Invisible Man in order to depict the terrible living conditions of African Americans in 1948’s Harlem.
The Tony Awards will be broadcast on June 12th from the Beacon Theater in New York City. Among those talented people nominated is the Rosenwald film’s very own George Wolfe. Wolfe, who graduated from a Rosenwald school in Kentucky, has been nominated for the categories “Best Book of a Musical” and “Best Direction of a Musical” for his work on the new Broadway show, Shuffle Along, Or The Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed. The show itself has also been nominated for best musical and tells a story of the production of the original 1921 show, Shuffle Along, and it’s effect on Broadway and race relations. The production stars 6-time-Tony-award-winning actress Audra McDonald with Brian Stokes Mitchell and Billy Porter, and has been nominated for a total of ten Tony Awards including “Scenic Design”, “Costume Design”, and “Lighting Design”. The show has previously won the New York Drama Critics Circle Award for “Best Musical”. Those wishing to see the show should consider doing so as soon as possible if they wish to see it with Audra McDonald (who should’ve been nominated for “Best Leading Actress”), as she plans to leave the show in August due to a pregnancy.
The Ciesla Foundation wishes good luck to George! You will be able to see more of him in the special features of the upcoming Rosenwald DVD.