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.
On May 16th, Chanan Weissman made his first public remarks as the new White House Jewish Liasison before introducing a screening of Rosenwald at the White House to celebrate Jewish American Heritage Month. After the film, he welcomed Valerie Jarrett, Senior Advisor to President Obama, who commented on the film and her ties to the story before introducing a panel discussion with director Aviva Kempner, Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom David Saperstein, and Hilary Shelton, Director to the NAACP’s Washington Bureau and Senior Vice President for Advocacy. The panel was moderated by Samuel Freedman, columnist for The New York Times and a professor at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.
On May 2nd, Aviva attended the Toledo Jewish Film Festival for a special presentation of Rosenwald. The screening was accompanied by a reception with the Jewish Federation of Greater Toledo’s Chief Executive Officer Joel Marcovitch, Mayor of the City of Toledo Paula Hicks-Hudson, and Kay Miller all in attendance.