PRESS RELEASE: Tony Award Winner Melba Moore Stars in Gospel Musical CROWNS February 2-6, 2011


Von Alexander – (904) 993-9570
Tony Award Winner Melba Moore Stars in Gospel Musical CROWNS February 2-6, 2011 -  at the Adrienne Arsht Center - Carnival Studio Theater in Miami, Florida
Jacksonville, FL – January 17, 2011 – Two of Miami’s most respected performing arts organizations are collaborating to bring gospel musical CROWNS to South Florida audiences during Black History Month 2011. The M Ensemble Company opens its 2010-2011 season with its debut performance at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County with the gospel musical CROWNS by Regina Taylor. Adapted from the book by Michael Cunningham and Craig Marberry, CROWNS runs from February 2-6, 2011 in the Adrienne Arsht Center’s Carnival Studio Theater.
Tickets are on sale now for $34 and may be purchased through the Adrienne Arsht Center box office by calling (305) 949-6722, or online at Discounted rates are available for groups of fifteen or more, and may be arranged by calling (786) 468-2326.
This special production of CROWNS coincides with M Ensemble Company’s 40th anniversary celebration and the Adrienne Arsht Center’s 5th Anniversary Season. CROWNS is a dynamic cast-driven production that highlights the important role that hats play in the South’s church-going culture, the endurance of black women, and the unconquerable urge for self-expression. Lively speeches, songs, dances, and dramatic action shape this touching story of one young woman’s journey and a community’s sacred history.  
The show will feature male and female vocalists/actors, including Tony Award-winning Broadway star MELBA MOORE and M Ensemble veteran actors Lela Elam, Christina Alexander and Yaya Brown. New to the M Ensemble stage are international jazz vocalist Paulette Dozier, Chiquila Brown and Donny Seward.
The production is directed by Miami’s own John Pryor, with Howard Moss, one of Miami’s leading jazz percussionist, serving as musical director. This production of CROWNS will also showcase homegrown talent, with emerging Miami choreographer Joshua Eason serving as choreographer and The Carnival Studio Theater will afford audiences an intimate, up-close experience that brings out the best in this timeless musical.
“What better way to usher in Black History Month 2011 than with a new collaboration with one of Florida’s longest-running African-American theater companies and a co-presentation of the gospel musical CROWNS,” said M. John Richard, President and CEO of the Adrienne Arsht Center. “South Florida’s dynamic church-going culture is a highlight of our community’s rich cultural landscape and we are excited to welcome M Ensemble’s audiences through our doors for this special presentation of CROWNS.”
CROWNS  is a moving and celebratory musical play in which hats become a springboard for an exploration of black history and identity as seen through the eyes of a young black woman who has come down South to stay with her grandmother after her brother is killed in Brooklyn, New York.  Hats are everywhere, in exquisite variety, and the characters use them to tell tales as they embrace the cultural significance and explore their independent identities. Showcasing rap, gospel music and dance, CROWNS is sure to become a South Florida audience favorite this February.
Melba Moore’s new single  LOVE IS  is currently #1 on the Billboard R&B Chart, she has been #1 for the last 3 weeks.  Ms. Moore continues her movement to spread LOVE.  Even though she has a #1 single, Ms. Moore had her label  remix the song with  excerpts from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s 1967 speech, “Time to Break the Silence” and from President Barack Obama’s 2008 acceptance speech on election night. The single will be given out FREE on her website:   “It is  ever apparent that we are living in turbulent times so it is for that reason that I have chosen the theme of “Love” because it is truly missing from our society and the principles behind it is so needed today.  She said “Love is the ultimate weapon against hate”. 
Ms. Moore is working on an autobiography with professor and former New York Times writer Mel Watkins detailing all of her achievements over the span of her career.  She is also in the studio working on a new album which will be released on her new label A’Moore Entertainment, which she shares with her daughter Charli Huggins. The album is being produced by Rahni Song and Dominic McFadden, son of the late Gene McFadden of McFadden and Whitehead. It will be released in the Summer 2011.
A three-time Grammy Award nominee and Tony Award-winning actress, MELBA MOORE began her career in 1967 as a member of the original cast of the musical Hair and went on to win the Tony for her portrayal as Lutiebelle in Purlie. She has also starred in the Broadway spectaculars Les Miserablés, Timbuktu!, Sweet Songs of the Soul, and Ain’t Misbehavin. MOORE is currently working on a new album that is set to release in early 2011.
Prices, artists, dates, times, and program are subject to change without notice.
The Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County is made possible by the public support of the Miami-Dade County Mayor and the Board of County Commissioners, the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs and the Cultural Affairs Council, the Miami-Dade County Tourist Development Council and the City of Miami Omni Community Redevelopment Agency. The Adrienne Arsht Center also receives generous support from local, state and national foundations, as well as private contributions to the Adrienne Arsht Center Foundation through corporate and individual giving, Visionary Society membership and the Encore Circle major gifts programs.
The Alexander Agency
Von Alexander
(904) 993-9570

In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.
Martin Luther King, Jr.

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