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Black Uhuru to do Broadway musical

Published:Monday | October 15, 2012 | 12:00 AM
Derrick 'Duckie' Simpson
Black Uhuru
Andrew Bees

Grammy Award-winning Black Uhuru is set to perform at the unprecedented 'Loving The Silent Tears', Broadway-style musical in Los Angeles, California.

Black Uhuru, led by founder Derrick 'Duckie' Simpson, with Andrew Bees and Kaye Starr will join a prestigious cast which includes two-time Grammy-winning artiste Jon Secada, and Grammy-winning icon Jody Watley.

Also appearing are Broadway stars: Tony winner Debbie Gravitte, Tony winner Kiril Kulish, Emmy winner and Tony nominee Liz Callaway, and Tony nominee Patti Cohenour, Arab singer Camellia Abou-Odah, Italian tenor Mark Janicello, Korean pop star Brian Joo, award-winning Israeli singer Liel Kolet, Irish soprano Katie McMahon, Korean singer Heather Park, award-winning Brazilian singer Fabiana Passoni, Persian superstar Siavash Shams, and Chinese platinum pop star Kay Tse.

The musical was created by two-time Oscar winner Al Kasha and directed by the Tony-nominated Vincent Paterson.

The first of its kind in theatre history, Loving the Silent Tears will take the audience on an elevating journey across six continents and 16 countries, to tell a compelling story about humanity's search for inner peace and happiness.

"Being invited to join this prestigious event solidifies that Black Uhuru are reggae ambassadors, we won the first Grammy Award and are excited that we were given this platform to show the world that we are trailblazers who paved the way for current reggae artistes. Being able to transition our musical skills from singing roots reggae into a Broadway-style musical is unprecedented, you must possess a certain type of skill and talent to be able to excel in this area," said Duckie Simpson.

Proud reggae ambassadors

"No other group from the Caribbean or throughout the world was invited to represent reggae. As unofficial reggae ambassadors, we will proudly represent our music and our Jamaican culture with sheer magnificence!"

Loving the Silent Tears promises the ingenious direction of Tony nominee Vincent Paterson (Michael Jackson's Bad and Madonna's Blond Ambition tours), lively dances choreographed by Emmy-winning Bonnie Story (High School Musical), the imaginative stagecraft of Emmy-winning set designer John Iacovelli (Peter Pan), and a vibrant display of costumes by award-winning designer Sharell Martin (Chicago).

With all elements in place to make for an absolutely thrilling musical theatre, the show was inspired by a poetry anthology titled 'Silent Tears', written years ago by world-renowned spiritual teacher, humanitarian and artiste Supreme Master Ching Hai.

Taking a unique approach, multiple eminent composers have come together to set Hai's soulful verses to soaring melodies. Those composers include six-time Grammy winner and two-time Oscar nominee Jorge Calandrelli (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon), two-time Oscar winner Al Kasha (The Poseidon Adventure), Emmy winner Doug Katsaros (Footloose), two-time Grammy winner and Oscar nominee Henry Krieger (Dreamgirls), Tony and Emmy winner Don Pippin (Oliver!), Grammy winner Nan Schwartz (Harry Potter), and Oscar and two-time Grammy winner David Shire (Saturday Night Fever).

With a superb cast and creative team, beautiful poetry as lyrics, and accompaniment by a 30-plus member dancing ensemble and a live orchestra, Loving the Silent Tears will be an unprecedented show of grand proportions and five-star production value.

The evening will commemorate the 19th anniversary of Supreme Master Ching Hai Day, honouring the values of philanthropy and peace. A pre-show art exhibition at the venue will feature Hai's uplifting creative works, with free admittance for all attendees.

The red carpet premiere of Loving the Silent Tears: A New Musical, will be held at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles on October 27. The red carpet arrivals begin at 3 p.m., and the show at 4 p.m.

In another landmark accomplishment, Black Uhuru recently performed at the Hard Rock Café in the Entertainment Capital of the World, Las Vegas, Nevada. They were presented with a Proclamation and Keys to the City of Las Vegas by Mayor Carolyn Goodman and City Council, in recognition of their contribution to the entertainment industry. This honour has never been bestowed on any other reggae entertainer or group in the 100-year history of the city. August 31 is now officially designated Black Uhuru Day in the city of Las Vegas.

Black Uhuru currently has a new project in the works, with a single set to be released in December and the album at the beginning of 2013. The group is on tour in the United States and will head to Europe in 2013 to coincide with the release of its new album.