The Beverly Hills/Hollywood NAACP branch announce the complete list of honorees for the 21st Annual NAACP Theatre Awards. The newly married “Dancing With The Stars” actress Niecy Nash is set to host this year’s award show. The night will also feature a special performance tribute to Diahann Carroll from singer Freda Payne and Def Jam artist Abraham McDonald singing Phantom Of The Opera’s ‘Music Of the Night’. Several presenters appearing in the show include Vanessa L. Williams (ABC’s ‘Desperate Housewives’), Isaiah Washington (NBC’s ‘Law & Order: LA’), Harry Lennix (The Matrix Revolutions), Loretta Devine (Grey’s Anatomy), Billy Dee Williams (Star Wars), Stacey Dash (VH1’s ‘Single Ladies’), Brandy Norwood (R&B Singer) Meagan Good (Jumping the Broom), Laz Alonso (Jumping The Broom), George Wallace (Mr. Vegas), Jurnee Smollett (Friday Night Lights), Orlando Jones (Fences), and many more on Monday, August 29, 2011, 7 P.M., at the Director’s Guild of America in Los Angeles.
The following distinguished individuals will be honored with special awards at this year’s ceremony:
Diahann Carroll – The Lifetime Achievement Award is presented to an individual who whose theatrical contributions have been revolutionary, and whose efforts have “made a historic difference” in the entertainment profession. This year’s honoree is Diahann Carroll, who is currently on USA Network’s series White Collar as June. Diahann Carroll is a Tony Award winner, an Emmy and Grammy Nominee, a Golden Globe winner and a Best Actress Oscar-Award nominee. Her television nominations go back to 1963, and in 1968 Diahann Carroll became the first black actress in television history to star in her own series, “Julia” for NBC, which soared to the top of the Nielsen ratings and received an Emmy nomination in its first year on the air. She is an award-winning actress, a successful entrepreneur, and a devoted humanitarian.
Obba Babatundé – The Trailblazer Award is presented to an individual whose pioneering theatrical contributions have been outstanding and unique, and whose efforts have “blazed a trail” in the entertainment profession. This year’s honoree goes to an American actor of stage and screen known for his Emmy-nominated performance in the television movie Miss Evers’ Boys, a NAACP Image Award-nominated performance in the TV movie Introducing Dorothy Dandridge, and a Tony Award-nominated role for his performance as C.C. White in the original cast of the 1981 Broadway musical Dreamgirls. Other unforgettable stage performances include Harold Prince’s Grind and he originated the role of the legendary jazz artist “Ferdinand ‘Jelly Roll’ Morton” in the world premiere of Jelly’s Last Jam.
Raven-Symoné – The Spirit Award is presented to an individual who brings energy, tenacity, innovation, commitment, talent, and of course, spirit, to the theater scene. Actress, producer,singer, Raven-Symoné is one of Hollywood’s most talented young stars. Most recently, Raven is starring in the ABC family new comedy series’ “The Great State of Georgia.” Best known for her role in the Emmy nominated comedy series “That’s So Raven” for the Disney Channel. Her role as ‘Raven’ garnered three NAACP Image Awards and two primetime Emmy Awards. Raven has been seen at The 24 Hour Plays: Los Angeles at The Broad Stage in Santa Monica. Participating in the play “Father’s Day” as the daughter of Rosie Perez and Andre Royo from HBO’s The Wire. She has also performed on Broadway, singing with the ‘Boys Choir of Harlem’ as part of their 25th Anniversary celebration. Plus in 2009, Raven co-starred in ‘A Mother’s Pray’ a traveling gospel play.
Pamela Browner White – The President’s Award is presented to a corporation or an executive who has made a commitment to promote diversity and advancement of minorities in the community. This year’s honoree Pamela Browner White is known for serving as senior vice president, public affairs and government relations for the Philadelphia Eagles of the National Football League (NFL). During her tenure with the franchise she acted as the official spokesperson, managed day-to-day football and general media operations, community outreach, government relations and sponsorship programs for the team. Pamela Browner White also serves at the Chairperson of The Marian Anderson Award, which honors artists whose leadership on behalf of a humanitarian cause(s) or issue benefits society. Previous recipients include Bill Cosby, Maya Angelou, Richard Gere, Sidney Poitier, Oprah Winfrey, Quincy Jones, Elizabeth Taylor and many others.
The award show festivities will start at the Fourth Annual NAACP Theatre Festival starting on Friday, August 26, 2011, with “An Opening Theatrical Performance” event and concluding on Sunday, August 28, 2011. The festival will be held at the Los Angeles Theatre Center (514 South Spring Street, Los Angeles, CA 90013). Sponsors for the award show and festival includes Southern California Edison, Rent A Center, Verizon, 8th District Councilmember Bernard C. Parks, and Southwest Airlines. For NAACP Theatre Award Show and Festival tickets and special group discounts please visit www.bhwdnaacptheatreawards.com or call (323) 464-7616.
The prestigious star-studded gala is produced in an effort to honor thespians among the best in the field of entertainment. The award show and two-day festival provides a platform for thespians to express their craft and share their contributions with an audience of their peers, the community and other individuals who crave live theatre in Hollywood.