CBS will honor the enduring legacy of the late Rep. John Lewis August 4 at 10 PM with John Lewis: Celebrating a Hero. Hosted by Oprah Winfrey, Tyler Perry, Gayle King, and Brad Pitt, the special will take viewers on a journey into Lewis’ remarkable life, his work, and the principles that guided him: wisdom, courage, power, faith, and inspiration. Featuring performances and interviews that celebrate and honor Lewis’ contributions to the country, artists taking part include Tony winner Billy Porter, Oscar winner Jennifer Hudson, Yolanda Adams, Jon Batiste, Common, John Legend, Trevor Noah, and Wynonna.
"Lift Every Voice and Sing," James Weldon and J. Rosamond Johnson's song from the CB Murray musical Pearl—based on the life of Pearl Bailey—has been reimagined to support the Black Lives Matter Movement. Murray wrote and produced a video—with the help and support of Kecia Lewis, Jennie Harney-Fleming, DeWitt Fleming Jr., Tony winner Ben Harney, Thaddeus McCants, and Charles Czernecki—featuring the uplifting tune. Watch it here.
Provincetown Theater will present the third annual Provincetown American Playwright Award August 15 to Tony-nominated playwright Charles Busch (The Tale of the Allergist's Wife, The Divine Sister). Initiated by the theatre in 2018, the award is given to an American playwright whose work has long enriched, empowered, and expanded the depth and scope of the American experience on the world stage. Busch will be presented the award by last year’s recipient, Pulitzer Prize winner Paula Vogel. The virtual benefit, which begins at 5:30 PM ET, will be hosted by interior designer Ken Fulk and his husband Kurt Wootton, and will include a congratulatory line-up from such friends and colleagues as Linda Lavin, Michele Lee, Julie Halston, Alison Fraser, Jennifer Van Dyck, Taylor Mac, Ryan Landry, Daryl Roth, and Jinkx Monsoon. Virtual attendees can also expect a video walking tour of Fulk’s refurbishment of the historic Mary Heaton Vorse house in Provincetown. Visit ProvincetownTheater.org.
Et Alia, a femme-fronted and -focused arts alliance, launches July 31, offering free workshops, educational resources, and a virtual coworking community for female, femme, and non-binary artists. Initial offerings include a weekly writing cohort and weekly educative articles written by female and non-binary artists comprised of actors, writers, producers, musicians, and filmmakers of diverse backgrounds and experiences. Free online courses will follow in the fall, focusing on independent filmmaking, technical theatre, website building and graphic design, and audition prep. Visit EtAliaLLC.com.
Theater Breaking Through Barriers' second Virtual Playmakers' Intensive: Voices From the Great Experiment, scheduled for August 3–10, will feature eight original plays created by playwrights Fareeda Ahmed, Enrique Huili, Khalil LeSaldo, Monèt Noelle Marshall, Chris Phillips, Tatiana G. Rivera, Christopher Chan Roberson, and Jeff Tabnick. Rehearsed entirely on Zoom, there are two ways to stream—on YouTube nightly at 7:30 PM and on Facebook at 8:15 PM.
And, the film world has lost one of its most accomplished directors, Alan Parker, the two-time Oscar nominee whose films won 10 Academy Awards. Parker, whose movies included Midnight Express, The Commitments, and Fame, died July 31 in London at the age of 76 following a long illness. Also a three-time Golden Globe nominee, Parker is probably best known to theatre fans for his direction of the 1996 film version of Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice's Evita, which co-starred Madonna, Jonathan Pryce, and Antonio Banderas. Parker not only directed the movie musical, but he shared a screenwriting credit with librettist Rice and Oliver Stone. The film was nominated for five Academy Awards, winning for Best Original Song, Lloyd Webber and Rice's "You Must Love Me."