*PASADENA, CA –The West Coast premiere of The Pasadena Playhouse/Crossroads Theater Company’s production of FLY soared high at last weekend’s opening night.
FLY tells the story of the first African-American Army Air Corp fighters, known as the Tuskegee Airmen, who flew over the skies of Europe and North Africa during World War II.
Despite the rain, Trey Ellis and Ricardo Khan’s powerful play drew in a star-studded crowd including Angela Bassett, Vanessa Williams, Jason George, Dawnn Lewis, among others.
The night also welcomed six of the original Tuskegee Airmen Lt.-Col Theodore Lumpkins, Maj. Levi Thornhill, Reginald Ballard, Dr. Issac Walker, Rusty Burnes and Dr. Clifton Lee plus Joan Williams, the widow of Tuskegee Airman, Robert Williams.
Others in attendance included Tuskegee Airman L. A. Chapter President Dr. Nikki Ballou and Eddie White, son of another of the late original Tuskegee Airmen Vertner White, Jr. 45-F-TE 9/8/1945 2nd Lt, as listed on the official pilot registry of Tuskegee University.
Facing racial discrimination both at home and abroad, the Tuskegee Airmen bravely went on to fight their way into history eventually paving the way for integration in the U.S. armed forces under President Harry Truman in 1948 and the furthering of civil rights. With Hollywood’s current controversy about the lack of diversity and exclusion in media and films, The Pasadena Playhouse has exemplified the importance of equality by having both diverse casts and audiences for their productions.
Artistic Director of the Pasadena Playhouse, Sheldon Epps said, “It was truly thrilling to have several of the Tuskegee Airmen with us for the opening festivities. They truly represent living history, and as such, their presence in the very room where there story was being told onstage by our cast gave the performance even greater resonance and power. What a joy it was to have our audience rise to applaud both the production and the presence of these brave men.”
Calendar Listing for Fly
Dates: NOW – February 21
Playing Tuesday through Friday evenings at 8:00 p.m.
Schedule: Saturdays at 4:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m.; Sundays at 2:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. (No 7:00 p.m. performance Sunday, February 7)
Prices: $25.00 to $77.00 plus premium seating at $125.00
Use Code: EURWEB45 or EURWEB50 for special discount.
Venue: The Pasadena Playhouse, 39 South El Molino Avenue, Pasadena CA 91101
Tickets: Online sales and information: PasadenaPlayhouse.org
In Person: On non-performance dates, the Box Office is open Tuesday – Sunday from 1:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m. On performance dates, the Box Office is open Tuesday – Saturday from 1:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. and 1:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. Sunday
More Info: With a focus on hope, endurance, and accomplishment, FLY tells the story of the first African-American Army Air Corp fighters known as the Tuskegee Airmen who flew over the skies of Europe and North Africa during World War II. FLY is directed by Ricardo Khan, the Tony Award-winning co-founder and former artistic director of crossroads Theater Company, known as one of the nation’s foremost African-American theater companies, and choreographed by Hope Clarke. The cast features Brooks Brantly, Ross Cowan, Omar Edwards, Anthony J. Goes, Brandon Nagle, Desmond Newson, Damian Thompson and Terrell Wheeler. FLY plays now through February 21, 2016. Tickets are available by calling the Pasadena Playhouse at 626-356-7529, online 24 hours a day at www.PasadenaPlayhouse.org or by visiting The Pasadena Playhouse Box Office at 39 South El Molino Avenue, Pasadena CA 91101.