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article imageAnthony Wayne discusses new productions in New York City Special

By Markos Papadatos     May 4, 2017 in Entertainment
New York - Anthony Wayne, co-creator of "Mighty Real: A Fabulous Sylvester Musical" and "An Evening With Phyllis Hyman" sat down and chatted with Digital Journal.
When asked how both productions came about, he said, "Both Mighty Real: A Fabulous Sylvester Musical and An Evening With Phyllis Hyman were conceived by Kendrell Bowman and myself from the need to celebrate and remember two incredible artists, as well as bring about awareness on social issues, such as mental health & HIV/AIDS. Mighty Real was a show that I really wanted to do after watching a documentary on Sylvester’s life on TVOne’s “Unsung”. I was inspired by his drive to not settle for the status quo and do what people said was politically correct in order for him to sell records. He lived his life loud and proud and after discussing the idea with Kendrell, we decided to put our minds together and make it happen. We created a Kickstarter and raised money from incredible supporters and friends who were able to help us on the journey to bring it all to life Off-Broadway in 2014, around the country in 2015 & 2016 and soon, hopefully, to Broadway. An Evening With Phyllis Hyman was a show that Kendrell always talked about and wanted to do. She, also, had a documentary episode on TVOne’s “Unsung,” so the impact of her music and the power of her story was the driving force to bring her to the stage. While we were in development with Mighty Real, we were honored to put our time, minds & money together to bring Ms. Hyman Off-Broadway in January 2017 to great reviews."
On May 20th, An Evening With Phyllis Hyman will play on the Gramercy Stage in New York. "You can expect a lot of amazing vocals, fun songs, beautiful costumes and a good time while experiencing the true portrait of a "Beautiful Diva" (Phyllis Hyman is brought to life by Jacqueline B. Arnold) who was so talented, yet so broken in yearning for the validation we can all relate to," he said.
On May 21st, Mighty Real: A Fabulous Sylvester Musical returns to NYC and brings the life of the first “Disco Queen” Sylvester. "People can expect a great night of singing, dancing in the aisles, flamboyant costumes and a flashback of memories from dance clubs like Studio 54 and The Limelight. Returning audiences will see new elements brought to this show as we prepare for Broadway. For both shows, The audience will walk away with the knowledge of finding the true strength within themselves to live their life to the fullest now, while they still have the time," he said.
Aside from co-creating the production, Wayne also starred in Mighty Real. "It’s truly a joy and an honor to star in this incredible show. When we first started this journey, I didn’t know what to expect. All I knew was that I wanted to be as true to the artist (Sylvester) as possible and bring the most honest essence of him to life. Since our first performance of the show, I have had many people share their amazing memories with me,telling me stories of their time with Sylvester. When it’s all over and I walk away from the theatre, I sometimes cry, knowing that I was the vessel God has chosen to bring this man back to life. I’m grateful for the opportunity to create new memories and look forward to seeing what other places this will take me and this incredible cast and band."
Regarding his plans for the future, he said, "Broadway is definitely in the future for Mighty Real, and I can also see Phyllis there as well. I look forward to opening night for both! I’m already wondering what I’ll wear. I can see our shows in London and other countries, as well as national tours. It’s all coming together soon and I look forward to seeing how many others will be inspired by these stories."
Each day I wake up in the morning and pray. "My goal is to do all I can to be the best I can and make the right decisions for myself, my team, and for the goal we’re trying to accomplish. When you are portraying someone else’s life, you have to continue to have a deep sense of self and I am consistently on that journey as well. That gives me the foundation to be true to myself and do all I can to be present in every single thing, especially when it comes to being on stage," he said.
For his fans in New York, he concluded, "Come see both shows and get your entire life! Go to my website right now and buy your tickets. This will sell out. See you all there and come ready to dance."
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