The show will be held on Monday, November 11, 2013, at the historical Saban Theatre in Beverly Hills, CA. This year’s Award honorees include Loretta Devine (Lifetime Achievement), Vanessa Williams (Trailblazer) and Peter Wise (Spirit) featuring performances by the cast of Smokey Joe’s Café directed and choreographed by Jeffery Polk, plus the “General of R&B” TANK. Each honoree has made significant impacts throughout the entertainment industry.
Lifetime Achievement honoree Ms. Loretta Devine has graced the entertainment industry with her vast talent and unforgettable roles for over 30 years. She is a multi-NAACP Image and EMMY award-winner, best known for her portrayal of Lorrell Robinson in the original award-winning Broadway musical Dreamgirls. Devine’s diverse theatre credits include HAIR, Purlie, Comin’ Uptown and Big Deal where she played the fiery portrayal of Lillian. Additional stage performances such as Colored Museum and Lady Day at Emerson Bar and Grill cemented Devine’s status as one of the most talented and versatile stage actresses. Among her dynamic television and silver screen credits are Grey’s Anatomy, Boston Public, Everybody Hates Chris, Doc McStuffins, Jumping the Broom, For Colored Girls Only, Crash, This Christmas, and Waiting to Exhale.
Vanessa Williams – Trailblazer honoree is a singer, actress, producer, recent best-selling Author and former Miss America who debuted on Broadway with Kiss of the Spider-Woman and appeared in Tony-nominated Into the Woods plus Sondheim on Sondheim. She is well-known for her three-time Emmy nominated performance as Wilhemina Slater in Ugly Betty, as well as her roles as Renee Perry in Desperate Housewives. Her many film credits include Soul Food, Shaft, and Hannah Montana: The Movie, along with numerous television movies and miniseries. As a recording artist, she has been nominated for 11 Grammy awards. Her many hits include “Save the Best For Last”, “The Right Stuff”, “Dreamin’,” “The Comfort Zone”, and Alan Menken/Stephen Schwartz’s Academy Award winning song “Colors of the Wind.” In April 2012, Vanessa and her mother Helen landed on the New York Times Best Seller list with their memoir, You Have No Idea: A Famous Daughter, Her No-Nonsense Mother, and How They Survived Pageants, Hollywood, Love, Loss (and Each Other).
Spirit Award honoree Peter Wise is known to many as “Mr. Casting”. Wise was responsible for comprising the Broadway cast of Smokey Joe’s Café, which was nominated for seven Tony Awards plus a Grammy for Best Musical Show Album and the revue still holds the title of the longest-running musical revue in Broadway history. Wise has cast a variety of Broadway productions, film and TV shows including, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof with notable award nominated actors such as James Earl Jones and the critically acclaimed production of “TWIST” with Debbie Allen. His television credits include Life is Not a Fairy Tale: The Fantasia Barrino Story, directed by Debbie Allen, for Lifetime Television and Unpredictable, a television variety special starring Jamie Foxx, for ABC in addition to several independent films.
The President’s Award honoree is Dr. Maxine M. Anderson-Chief of Surgery, St. Francis Medical Center. Jamaican-born Anderson comes from humble beginnings. Moving to the U.S. as a young child, she struggled with career decisions to become a doctor or an actress, so she became a surgical nurse and took acting classes in her spare time. Recognizing she was smarter than her acting talents, she pursed medical school through the UCLA/Charles Drew program and became a resident at Martin Luther King Jr. Trauma Center in Los Angeles, CA. She has won prestigious awards in the medical field, has traveled extensively throughout the world consistently working with charities teaching and introducing 3rd world countries the latest in medical technology. Anderson is currently the Chief of Surgery-St. Francis Medical Center in Lynwood, CA.
Dr. Michael Obeng will receive the Humanitarian Award. Born into poverty in Ghana, Africa, Dr. Obeng persevered over unimaginable obstacles and thrived against all odds to succeed professionally and personally. Obeng is a Harvard-trained, and Beverly Hills certified plastic surgeon with an intensive clientele of celebrities and prominent dignitaries. He is the former Chief of Plastic Surgery at the distinguished St. Elizabeth Boardman Health Center and among the rare, few surgeons in the world who have successfully reattached a limb. Dr. Obeng is an expert in complex restorative surgery and travels the world donating his surgical skills through his charity RESTORE which provides free reconstructive surgery to abused and battered women and children, and people with congenital and accidental deformities.
About The NAACP Theatre Awards:
The NACCP Theatre Awards is presented by the Beverly Hills/Hollywood NAACP Branch in partnership with the 8th District office of Councilmember Bernard C. Parks and co-chaired by Byron K. Reed, Senior Vice President of Wells Fargo-West Region Community Relations. Ron Hasson is Branch President and Tia Boyd is the Executive Producer for the NAACP Theatre Awards Show. The prestigious star-studded gala is produced for the purpose of honoring thespians among the best in the field of entertainment. The branch also celebrated a four-day theatre festival, which 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 celebrate live theatre in Los Angeles.
Lisa Humphrey, Premier Concepts