BROADWAY AT THE DRIVE-IN ANNOUNCES CAST FOR CINEMERSIVE “THE BLUES BROTHERS” OPENING THURSDAY, MAY 27, 2021 AT RADIAL PARK AT HALLETS POINT PLAY
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, PLEASE
CHARITY ANGEL DAWSON
NICK RASHAD BURROUGHS
BRIAN CHARLES JOHNSON
ANTOINE L. SMITH
TO LEAD CAST OF
BROADWAY AT THE DRIVE-IN’S
SPRING PRODUCTION OF THE ICONIC FAN-FAVORITE FILM
“THE BLUES BROTHERS”
LIVE AT THE CINEMERSIVE EXPERIENCE
AT HALLETTS POINT PLAY
OPENING NIGHT SET FOR
THURSDAY, MAY 27, 2021
AT 7:00 PM ET
TICKETS NOW ON SALE!
New York, NY (April 20, 2021) – Radial Park Founder and CEO Jeremy Shepard (Stark Production Group), along with producing partner Marco Shalma (Round Seven Media), today announced the cast for this Spring’s iconic, blockbuster, fan-favorite film, The Blues Brothers, the latest “Broadway at the Drive-In” cinemersive experience at Radial Park as it continues its residency at Halletts Point Play, graciously provided by the Durst Organization.
Leading the company of The Blues Brothers are Broadway’s Charity Angel Dawson (Mrs. Doubtfire, Waitress) as Mrs. Murphy, Nick Rashad Burroughs (Radial Park’s Purple Rain, Kinky Boots) as Reverend Cleophus James, F. Michael Haynie (Wicked, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory) as Elwood Blues, Brian Charles Johnson (Spring Awakening, American Idiot) as “Joliet” Jake Blues, and Antoine L. Smith (Carousel, The Color Purple) as Ray. Additionally, The Blues Brothers will feature Ladonna Burns and Anne Fraser Thomas as the Blues Sistas.
The Blues Brothers, directed by Kristine Bendul and Waldemar Quinones-Villanueva, featuring a live band and theatrical performances seamless timed in-sync with the movie in a one-of-a-kind hybrid mashup, will officially open Thursday, May 27, 2021 at 7:00 PM ET and continue every Friday and Saturday evening at 8:00 PM ET through Saturday, June 26.
Tickets for The Blues Brothers are now on sale at radialpark.com
Radial Park’s cinemersive experience, “Broadway at the Drive-In,” officially opened October 1, 2020 with Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Phantom of the Opera on the big screen along with live specially interwoven musical numbers from Phantom alums Derrick Davis and Ali Ewoldt alongside a live 11-piece orchestra. The series continued with Purple Rain featuring Aaron Marcellus, Nick Rashad Burroughs and Lenesha “Sister” Randolph and closed out 2020 with Selena, starring two-time Tony Award nominee Eva Noblezada singing hits from the films in front of live bands.
Radial Park is led by Executive Producer Jeremy Shepard and an eclectic steering committee and creative team that includes two-time Tony Award and three-time Emmy Award winner Dale Badway (Artistic Producer of cinemersive content), Marco Shalma (Media Relations, Marketing, Producer), Vanjah Boikai (Associate Producer), Emily Marshall (Musical Director), Michael Garner (Operations), and John Jeremy Norman (Special Events and Strategic Advisor).
Guests can enjoy the interactive, theatrical show from the safety of their own vehicles or via reserved picnic tables spaced appropriately for social distancing for those who prefer biking, walking, or taking the ferry to Halletts Point Play. Whether attending in a car or without, each ticket secures a 16’ by 16’ demarcated space which accommodates up to five adults, in compliance with current local, state, and Federal guidance.
Beverages and movie theater-style snacks are available for purchase, alongside a selection of food trucks offering Mexican, Southern Style, and All-American options.
As directed by local, state, and Federal authorities, Radial Park will continue to implement strict health and safety protocols including temperature checks at arrival via touchless thermometers, and color-coded wristbands which nonverbally communicate individual preference for a spectrum of strict or very strict social distancing practices.
In addition to their marquee program, “Broadway at the Drive-In,” Radial Park will present a robust slate of programming including “Sound Up New York,” a music festival series bringing together established and up-and-coming artists, “Sunday-Funday,” a partnership with Masc Hospitality to curate an open-air foodie experience celebrating New York’s finest brews & grub with live entertainment and activities, and “The Big Screen,” a collaboration with studios and film festivals from the Tri-state area to bring back lush theatrical releases and to support the local filmmaking community.
The Durst Organization will underwrite 20 tickets (per showing) for the Astoria Houses residents. A portion of the proceeds from tickets sales will benefit Friends of Halletts Point, a community non-profit organization that enhances the infrastructure, transportation connections, community programming and beautification of the Halletts Point peninsula.
Radial Park is the world’s first truly Cinemersive experience – an interactive, theatrical playground designed as “Broadway At The Drive-in™” in the vacuum of COVID-19 and beyond. Enjoy our proprietary, expressive, top-notch hybrid big screen-live shows, performed, produced, directed, and choreographed by some of Broadway’s greatest talent, and overlooking the incredible Manhattan Skyline. Join the thousands of theatre fans in a celebration of a true show of NYC ingenuity, resilience, and excellence while supporting the art community and public safety. Radial Park contains 100 socially-distance vehicle spots which are replaced by picnic tables and retro boomboxes when weather permits.
Halletts Point Play is a new 50,000 square-foot open-air cultural, recreational and events venue located at 27-50 1st Street on the Astoria, Queens The space showcases the emerging arts and cultural district in Astoria and provides dramatic views of the Manhattan Skyline and the East River. Steps from the Astoria Ferry Stop with direct connections from the Upper East Side, Midtown, Lower Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens and Roosevelt Island and is just a short walk from the subway and steps away from Citi Bike. The destination opened summer of 2019 and hosts artistic and family-friendly events.
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CHARITY ANGEL DAWSON (Mrs. Murphy) is a graduate of the American Musical and Dramatic Academy and before the shutdown she was playing the role of Wanda Sellner in Mrs. Doubtfire on Broadway. Some of her favorite credits include Waitress (Becky), the Broadway revival of Side Show (Fortune Teller) and the Off-Broadway production of Disaster (Lavora). Tours: Dreamgirls (Effie White), The Color Purple (Darlene). Regional: Ain’t Misbehavin’ at Portland Center Stage, Kiss Me Kate at Hartford Stage Company (Hattie), The Wiz (Evillene) and West Side Story (Rosalia). 1 Corinthians 13:4-8
NICK RASHAD BURROUGHS (Reverend Cleophus James) is a singer/songwriter last seen in the original Broadway cast of Tina, the Tina Turner Musical. He has also been seen on Broadway in Kinky Boots, King Kong and on the 1st National Tour of Something Rotten and received a Broadway World Award for his portrayal of Judas in Jesus Christ Superstar. Nick recently released his debut single & music video “Tonight” on all streaming platforms & YouTube and recorded the single “Ordinary Day” on Todrick Hall’s #1 pop album “Forbidden.” Other credits include James Brown in Nick Rashad Burroughs is James Brown Live at the Apollo Music Cafe, CJ in The Get Down Netflix, Shrek the Musical (Donkey). Instagram @Nickrburroughs
MICHAEL HAYNIE (Elwood Blues) is currently playing Olaf in the North American Tour of Frozen. Broadway: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,Wicked, Holler If Ya Hear Me. Off-Broadway:Carrie (MCC), Dogfight (Second Stage) and others. Regional: Quasimodo in The Hunchback of Notre Dame (Ogunquit), Found (PTC), The Heart of Rock & Roll (Old Globe) and others. Television: “Jesus Christ Superstar Live” (NBC), “Peter Pan LIVE!” (NBC). Film: Not Fade Away. @fmichaelhaynie
BRIAN CHARLES JOHNSON (“Joliet” Jake Blues) is an original Broadway cast member of both Spring Awakening and American Idiot. His film and television credits include The Wolf of Wall Street; Admission; Doomsdays; The Kitchen; “Law & Order: SVU;” “Gotham;” “Master of None;” “Sex, Drugs, and Rock & Roll;” and “Chicago Fire”. Proud Buffalonian, and member of AEA and SAG-AFTRA. Go Bills!
ANTOINE L. SMITH (Ray) is an Emmy Award winner who was last seen on Broadway in the Tony and Grammy Award-nominated Best Revival of a Musical, Carousel as (Timony/Billy Bigelow u/s). Other Broadway credits include the 2016 Tony and Grammy-winning Best Revival of a Musical The Color Purple (Grady / Harpo u/s), Miss Saigon (Shultz / John u/s), and Memphis (Wailin’ Joe). Tours include Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella and CATS. Other theater credits include the award-winning all Black production of OKLAHOMA (Curly)at the Denver Center for The Performing Arts, Les Misérables (Javert); RENT (Tom Collins), Big River (Jim), and Ragtime (Booker T. Washington). Antoine will next be seen on Broadway in MJ The Musical. @antoinelsmith32
LADONNA BURNS (Blues Sista). Off-Broadway: Unraveled (Anna Day). National Tours: Rent (Seasons of Love Soloist, Joanne U/S), Seussical: The Musical (Sour Kangaroo). International: Grease (Teen Angel/Miss Lynch). New York: Follies (Stella Deems), White Girl in Danger (Nell), James Rado’s Supersoldier (Mama). Regional: The Wizard of Oz (Queen Jitterbug), Godspell, Smokey Joe’s Café (BJ), All Shook Up (Sylvia), Beehive (Aretha), Ain’t Misbehavin (Armelia). Concerts: 40th Anniversary of Eubie, 40th Anniversary of Working, The Black-ups.
ANNE FRASEr THOMAS (Blues Sista). Regional credits: Man of La Mancha (Aldonza) Capital Rep., Vox Lumiere; Hunchback (Evil Diva) International Tour, The Grinch (Mama Who) Old Globe, Miss Saigon (Gigi) Sacramento Music Circus, Les Misérables (Fantine) Moonlight, Jesus Christ Superstar (Mary Magdalene)Warner Grand, A Little Night Music (Mrs. Nordstrom )Performance Riverside, Aladdin (Nar.) Disney, Kismet(Lalume) Candlelight Pav. Television/Film: “America’s Got Talent,” Journeyman, Tuesday. NY Workshops: Hercules, Randy Newman’s Faust, Supersoldiar, Allegiance, Prince of Egypt, From Here to Eternity, Tears of Heaven.
Kristine Bendul (Director) is a New York City based director, choreographer and multi-disciplinary artist. As a performer Kristine has appeared in seven Broadway shows including Roger’s and Hammerstein’s Cinderella, in which she was the assistant choreographer and partnering consultant, five productions in the prestigious City Center Encores series, and in Lerner and Loewe’s Camelot. Over the years, Kristine has created original works for Broadway Cares Equity Fights AIDS’ highly profiled annual events Gypsy of the Year, Easter Bonnet and Broadway Bares Fire Island. In 2018 she created a world premiere piece for the annual benefit Dancers For Good supporting Bebe Newirth’s Dancers’ Resource. Kristine has been a guest choreographer for Broadway Barkada’s annual dance concert Lumipad, Jennifer Jancuska’s BC Beat and she has also directed and choreographed for immersive theater, musical showcase, music video and several social ballroom dance congresses. Kristine wrote, directed and co-choreographed “The Color Iz” at the iconic Stonewall Inn honoring the 50th year anniversary of the Stonewall riots which led to the gay rights movement. The Color Iz was the first project produced by Trān-sēnd’Dæns: A Multi-Media Production and Talent Management Group which Kristine co-founded with Abdiel Jacobsen and Brian Rubiano. To assist during the pandemic, Kristine offered a livestream reimagining of this production and gave 100% of the proceeds to the Stonewall Inn Gives Back Initiative (SIGBI). At the start of 2020, Kristine directed and choreographed a new work – Revival The Show – for the International College of Musical Theater. She was also the Associate Choreographer on the new musical The Remarkable Journey to Tianguo which was slated to run at Theatre Calgary in the spring of 2021 but was postponed due to COVID.
Waldemar Quinones-Villanueva (Director). Theatre Credits include West Side Story on Broadway and first national tour, Zorba at Encores City Center, Man Of La Mancha at Barrington Stage, Billy Elliot at Maltz Jupiter Theater, Priscilla Queen Of The Desert at Fiddlehead Theater. He has performed professionally with Ballet Concierto, Ballet Juvenil Puertorriqueño, Ballet San Juan, Ballet Hispanico of New York, Ballet Teatro Nacional de Puerto Rico, Staten Island Ballet, Metropolitan Opera Of New York, Houston Opera, Ópera de Puerto Rico. He has performed with popular artists Marc Anthony, Olga Tañon, La India, Celia Cruz and for Pope John Paul II. Television appearances include Law & Order: Criminal Intent, The Billboard Music Awards, Grammy Awards and Ms. Universe. His choreography has been featured on Objetivo Fama, Jodi McQueen Project and Nuestra Gente. Waldemar is a Cum Laude graduate from the University of Puerto Rico with a BS in Education.
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