2001

Olympic Event

Stokes on carrying the Olympic torch, “I was asked to host the coming of the olympic torch into NYC on the 23rd of december. I was the MC for this grand event that was at Rockefeller center. we had past olympic stars onstage, Melba Moore sang with the Broadway gospel choir and lots of speeches. But the grand finale was welcoming Mayor Giuliani onstage as he was the last one to bring the torch into NYC and light the pyre they had set up there. It was beautiful although cold - it started to rain almost as soon as it started and there were technical snafus, but it was still beautiful.

However, the highlight of the day for me was not the event. A few days earlier they asked if I wanted to be one of the torchrunners. Of course I said yes. I ran out in Crown Heights, Brooklyn for my 2 blocks (yes 2 blocks is all it is and It goes by real fast!) I also kept my torch which is quite beautiful.

TV weekend

It’s a Stokes Weekend this weekend, with two new TV movies:

Saturday, 12/1/01, 8pm- Ruby’s Bucket of Blood on Showtime, with Angela Basset. Here’s a synopsis...

Sunday, 12/2/01 - 8pm, Call me Claus, with Whoopi Goldberg, Victor Garber, & Nigel Hawthorne, with new music by Garth Brooks (Stokes doesn’t sing them, more’s the pity). Additional showings: Sunday, December 2nd @ 10pm(ET)
Monday, December 3rd @ 12am(ET)
Saturday, December 8th @ 11:30am(ET)
Friday, December 14th @ 9pm(ET)
Saturday, December 15th @ 2pm(ET)
Sunday, December 16th @ 6pm(ET)
Monday, December 17th @ 8pm(ET)

Also, look for Stoke’s guest starring on Frasier. The episode is filming this week, and will appear later this season.


King Hedley IIJuly 1

King Hedley II is scheduled to close July 1. Stokes will be taking a long-needed vacation, then resumes work on his album.

June 2: Stokes at the Tonys

Stokes is set for tomorrow’s Tonys. For you fashionistas, he’ll be wearing a contemporary tuxedo by Donna Karan. His wife, Allyson, will be wearing another stunning design from Douglas Hannant.

Stokes will be presenting one of the awards this year on the PBS part of the show and performing a scene from 'King Hedley II" with his castmate Viola Davis who is also nominated this year for a Tony. 

For those of you who don't know "The Tony Awards - the first 10 Awards" will be presented on PBS at 8:00 eastern time (check your local listings) then will switch to CBS for the performer's awards. The award ends promptly at 11PM.

From Stokes: "Thank you so much for all of your congratulations and warm wishes. I am so happy to be going to Radio City once again, especially as an actor in a Play! I am most excited to be presenting and performing. Whether I win or not...who knows?? The real honor INDEED is to be nominated with such great performers and to be a part of such a great community. I hope you all enjoy the show!!" 

May 7: Tony Nomination

Stokes nominated for a Tony as Best actor in a play. King Hedley garners six nominations in all. Read more about it.

May 3: Award nominations

Stokes has been nominated for a Drama Desk Award for Best actor in a play for his performance in "King Hedley II".

This is the third time Stokes has been nominated for these awards. The first was for Ragtime. Last year he won both Awards for his performance as Fredric Graham in "Kiss Me Kate" in the category of "Best actor in a Musical." This is his first time to be nominated as an actor in a straight play.

 Other nominated company members are:

Viola Davis - "Tonya"
Charles Brown - "Elmore"
David Gallo - Set design

Stokes was also nominated for an Outer critics circle award for Best actor in a Play. Cast members Leslie Uggams and Viola Davis were also nominated.

King Hedley opened on Tuesday May 3, 2001

Hedley Press

  • AP: 'King Hedley II' Mesmerizing
  • USA TodayBrian Stokes Mitchell gives a powerhouse performance in the title role, capturing the hubris of a classic tragic hero while making the character utterly, shatteringly human.
  • New York Times: Mr. Mitchell, the charismatic star of the musicals "Ragtime" and "Kiss Me, Kate," uses his firm baritone beautifully to modulate Hedley's speeches of longing and resentment.
  • Talkin Broadway: Mitchell's vocal and physical presence make Hedley a towering, powerful figure. He seems to understand Hedley's emotions fully, and presents a more rounded, complete character than the script often does.
  • New York Post Interview: ...for now, Brian Stokes Mitchell is happy with his lot in "Hedley." It's good to be the King.

April 27: A Note from Stokes

Dear Stokes Folks:

As you may have heard/read I have been out of Hedley since the beginning of this week because of vocal problems (and I thought a non-musical would be easy!!).  I am feeling much better now and will be back in this Saturday and for the Sunday opening. All is going well and it is a terrific show that I am very proud to be a part of. My apologies for not being able to update the site very often, but this one has taken just about every moment of my free time.

The album is still on hold—I won’t know when I my voice will be pristine enough to record until we get a regular schedule underway. Opening a show is always the most stressful time—you are rehearsing every day and doing a performance at night. On your day off you are usually doing some kind of interviews (or seeing the voice Doc!) so there is not much time to recover. Then you open!!

It is one of the reasons I am never ecstatic about so many cast recordings—you always record them when you are at your most tired. I figure I have control over the solo album, so I want to wait until I am at my best.  Well, like I always say, It’s nice to have problems like this to complain about.

Thanks for all of your complimentary emails and kind words of encouragement. Hopefully when we get into a regular groove I will be able to send some more updates.

There have been some articles in the papers here (NY Times and NY Post and I believe this Sunday in the NY Newsday), but they have not been uploading them, so I have not been able to link to them. Let me know if you find them somewhere.

If you want more info on King Hedley, check out the website at www.kinghedley.com.

Thanks and I’ll see ya at the Theatre!!

May 2001

May 2: Hear Stokes on internet radio. Click here to listen on May 2nd.

April 2001

King Hedley to open on Broadway, April 10. See the official King Hedley web site now.

January 2001

Brian Stokes Mitchell Cast as King Hedley II; Bway Opening Now April 29. Read more about it.

Stokes & Santa
HOLLYWOOD (Variety) - It's never too early to plan for Christmas 2001. Garth Brooks and Whoopi Goldberg are teaming up for “Call Me Claus,'' a two-hour Yuletide musical set to air on cable's TNT in December.

Goldberg will star as a home shopping network producer who hires an actor to play Santa Claus, but the thespian actually turns out to be Santa himself. Nigel Hawthorne, Brian Stokes Mitchell and Victor Garber will co-star.

Brooks is expected to contribute music for the project. He and Goldberg will executive produce.


2000

December vacation
Change:
Stokes will be out of the show between
December 22th and January 4th.

Final performance date
Stokes last performance in Kiss Me Kate is set for January 28, 2000. He plans to finish his album, do some concert work and rest up.

In the works...
A July, 2001 concert at the Hollywood Bowl.

Hollywood Squares
The week of November 13, Stokes appears on Hollywood Squares on Broadway with Whoppie Goldberg, Rosie O'Donnell, Vanessa Williams, and more to benefit The Actors' Fund of America, a nonprofit organization founded in 1882 that provides for the social welfare of all entertainment professionals--designers, writers, sound technicians, musicians, dancers, administrators, directors, film editors, stagehands--as well as actors. Professionals in film, television, radio, theatre, dance and music all turn to The Actors' Fund in times of need.

Headquarters and The Aurora Residence are located in New York City, with regional offices in Los Angeles and Chicago. The Nursing Home and Assisted Living Care Facility are in Englewood, New Jersey. The Actors' Work Program has offices in New York and Los Angeles.

If you would like to learn more about the Actors Fund, please check out their website at www.actorsfund.org

Showtime Movie
Stokes shot a showtime movie in Toronto with Angela Bassett called "Ruby's Bucket of Blood".

Status of Stoke’s CD
The tracks for Stoke’s album are nearly completed. Final vocals are still to be recorded. Stokes says, “It is going slowly but it is going!”

Sunday, September 10, 12 noon: Internet simulcast
BROADWAY ON BROADWAY®, the annual free outdoor concert in Times Square that kicks off the new theatre season, will be simulcast for the first time ever on the web at www.earthcam.com/broadway/2000. Visitors from around the world will be able to log on and see this year’s extravaganza, which will offer numbers from almost every musical on Broadway with sneak peaks at several upcoming musicals.

BROADWAY ON BROADWAY® will take place Sunday, September 10, from 12 noon to 2pm (EST).

July 18
Stokes will be among several Broadway veterans performing at a memorial for the late Broadway producer, David Merrick. “A Celebration in Words and Music,” promises to include performances by Stokes, Karen Ziemba, Andrea McArdle, Brent Barrett, and Howard McGillin. St. James Theatre, 11 am.

July 9, 10, 11, 12
Stokes will be missing the shows from Sunday July 9 through Wednesday July 12th.

PBS, WED, JUL 05 8:00 PM
Great Streets [#101] Fifth Avenue with Brian Stokes Mitchell. In the initial episode, Broadway’s Brian Stokes Mitchell takes viewers on a tour of the street synonymous with success: Fifth Avenue. From Washington Square Park to the village of Harlem, Mitchell takes an insider's tour of the New York Public Library, the Conservancy Gardens and Harry Winston's jewelry studio.

This five-part series takes viewers on intimate walking tours of some of the world's most famous streets. Each episode uncovers the hidden characteristics and rich past of the thoroughfare, capturing the flavor and atmosphere of the personalities and places along the way. Interviews with experts and people on the street present both current and historical perspectives. Check your local listings for times in your area.

July 4th - Macy’s Fireworks

Stokes does a reading (recorded earlier) for the display.

July 4, KMK on NBC

The KMK segment (below) will air on the 4th of July on NBC at 9.

June 25th

The Sondheim Concert held at the Library of Congress a few weeks ago airs at 11AM this Sunday on NPR (National public radio)

Kiss Me Kate To Film Excerpts For TV June 29; Audiences Sought

Staying up late June 29 and looking for something theatrical to do? Kiss Me, Kate will be filming excerpts of their show for later broadcast June 29 at the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum in Manhattan. Filming will begin at 11:30 PM and end before 1 AM.

The entire cast will be present, most likely performing one of the big choral numbers such as "Too Darn Hot." Stars Brian Stokes Mitchell and Marin Mazzie are expected to attend.

Among the benefits for those participating in the live audience will be chances for all kinds of prizes from tickets to both shows, gift certificates to Macy's, tickets to Conan O'Brien, promo cds of the cast recordings, NBC tour tickets, NBC merchandise and Body Glove accessories.

To RSVP, e-mail kissmekate@broadwayvideo.com. Include your name, your phone number and how many guests you will be bringing. If you prefer to phone in your RSVP, call (212) 603-0602.


Stokes wins Tony for Best Performance by a Leading actor in a Musical!

Click here to see backstage photos from the press room.
 

Stokes and Mazzie by Hirshfeld - courtesy The New York TimesStokes wins Drama Desk award

05/14/00 - Kiss me Kate was the big winner at the Drama Desk awards, taking home six, including Best revival of a musical. Stokes won for Best Actor in a Musical, Michael Blakemore also won for Best direction of a musical. The show also received awards for Don Sebesky’s orchestrations, Martin Pakledinaz’s costume designs, and Robin Wagner’s lighting.

Read Stoke’s latest interview in Broadway.com.

Stokes nominated for Tony

05/08/00 - Kiss me Kate took the Tony lead with 12 nominations, including Best revival of a musical; Stokes for Best actor in a musical, Marin Mazzie for Best actress is a musical; Michael Blakemore for Best direction of a musical; Michael Berresse, Michael Mulheren, and Lee Wilkof for Best featured actor in a musical; Robin Wager for Scenic design; Martin Pakledinaz for Costume design; Peter Kaczorowski for Lighting design; Kathleen Marshall for Choreography; Don Sebesky for Orchestrations. The awards are presented June 4th, at Radio City Music Hall.

Stokes to perform at April 24th Benefit

Stokes will perform at a benefit for the Dramatists Guild, ''Broadway to Be,'' on April 24 at the Hudson Theatre. The evening will be hosted by Dame Edna, and James Lapine will direct six composers, each accompanying one of his favorite stars in a song from a future musical. Selections include:

  • Stephen Flaherty and Brian Stokes Mitchell, with a song from ''The Glorious Ones'' (lyrics by Lynn Ahrens)
  • Stephen Sondheim and Bernadette Peters, with a song from ''Wise Guys''
  • William Finn and Elaine Stritch, with a song from ''Royal Family of Broadway''
  • Adam Guettel and Kristin Chenoweth, with a song from ''Light in the Piazza''
  • Marvin Hamlisch and Craig Carnelia, with a song from ''Sweet Smell of Success''
  • John Kander and Barbara Cook, with a song from ''The Visit'' (lyrics by Fred Ebb)

For ticket information call (212) 685-1095.

The reviews are in!

See the Kiss Me Kate web site

Millennium on the Mall: Stokes was one of four Broadway stars to perform in the CBS millennium show, Hosted by Will Smith and presided over by President Clinton and Hillary Clinton. This musical event also included the premiere of a short film from Steven Spielberg, The Unfinished Journey. America's Millenium aired on December 31 from 10:00 p.m. to 1:00 a.m.

Stokes vacation: Stokes was on vacation from Kiss Me Kate from Jan. 17 to the 27th, 2000.

Read the Parade and Time Magazine interviews

Kiss me Kate cast recording

The cast recording was made the week of November 22nd and was released in January, 2000.

Thursday, Feb. 10 - -The cast members of Kiss Me, Kate made an appearance at the Virgin Megastore in Times Square at West 45th Street and Broadway.

Macy’s Parade
The cast performed “Another Openin’, Another Show,” in the Macy’s Thankgiving-Day parade

November 17th
Brian Stokes Mitchell and Marin Mazzie dedicated a section of West 45th St. as ''Cole Porter Way,'' on Wednesday, November 17, at 5:15 p.m. This dedication took place at 45th and Eighth Avenue, near the Martin Beck Theater, where ''Kiss Me Kate'' is playing. 

Date to be announced: PBS will air a five part miniseries next season called "Great Streets." The show takes viewers on strolls down some of the most intriguing boulevards and avenues of the world. Names and places include: Brian Stokes Mitchell on New York's Fifth Avenue, Nathan Lane in Venice, Halle Berry along the Champs Elysee in Paris, and Randy Newman on Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles. Produced by Termite Art Productions.

“Kate” box office boffo

CASH ME, 'KATE'
By MICHAEL RIEDEL, New York Post

‘KISS Me, Kate" has come to hit it wealthily on Broadway. Fueled by across-the-board raves, the $6 million Cole Porter musical pulled in nearly $500,000 at the box office Friday (November 19, the day after opening night), an impressive take for a revival, industry sources said.

The show is the first bonafide smash -- critically and commercially -- of the 1999 Broadway season and is sure to be the odds-on favorite to win the Tony next year for Best Revival of a Musical.

"Sometimes you lose objectivity, but I have to confess I don't know how anybody could write a bad review about this show," said producer Roger Berlind.

The $500,000 take puts "Kiss Me, Kate" in league with the two other hit revivals of recent years -- "Guys and Dolls" in 1991, and "Chicago" in 1996.

"Dolls" took in $375,000 the day after it opened. Back then the top ticket price was $55. (The top ticket for "Kiss Me, Kate" is $81).

"Chicago," which had a top ticket price of $70, took in more than $500,000 the day after it debuted.

"Kiss Me, Kate," which stars Marin Mazzie and Brian Stokes Mitchell as two warring stage stars with outsized egos, opened with a $3.5 million advance-- respectable, certainly, but hardly astounding.

But during previews, strong word-of-mouth about the show began to spread through the theater industry and, apparently, to the general public as well.

During previews, "Kiss Me, Kate" went from selling around $40,000 worth of tickets a day to more than $100,000 a day. Last Wednesday, the day before the musical opened, the daily tally was $165,000, sources said.

Berlind, who declined to comment on specific numbers, said: "Indeed, [daily ticket sales] did go up during previews, and that was a sure sign to us that the word-of-mouth was strong."


1999

November 15th: interview in Parade Magazine

Stokes at the White House
September 1, 1999

8 p.m. Wednesday, September 1, in most areas of the United States, but check your local listings as time vary on many PBS stations.

“In Performance At The White House” on PBS. Brian Stokes Mitchell performed in "The Singer And The Song," along with Patti Lupone, Jennifer Holliday, and James Naughton. President Clinton and First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton welcomed Stokes to the White House (they had enjoyed his performance in Ragtime), and were more than gracious to him. He was happy to oblige them with this performance. 

Stokes in Times Square
9-12-99

If you were in the New York City area on Thursday, Sept. 12, you were in luck. A free mini-concert was presented again this year as part of the 8th annual “Broadway on Broadway” series at the open-air stage on 43rd Street at Broadway. Festivities began at noon and ran until 2 p.m.

Scheduled to appear: Brian Stokes Mitchell and Marin Mazzie of Kiss Me, Kate, Bernadette Peters and Tom Wopat of Annie Get Your Gun, James Carpinello and Paige Price of Saturday Night Fever, Kristin Chenoweth of Epic Proportions, and Jeremy Kushnier of Footloose. Ron Bohmer, Carolee Carmello and Marc Kudisch performing "The Riddle," from The Scarlet Pimpernel.

Barry Humphries, a.k.a. Dame Edna, was on tap for a little preview of her Royal Tour, and Judith Ivey of Voices in the Dark, along with Andrew McCarthy, Frank Wood, and Angelica Torn of Side Man were also on hand.

Performances were from the ensembles of new shows, Kiss Me Kate, Kat & the Kings, Swing, and Saturday Night Fever, along with casts from the long-running Cats, Les Miserables, The Phantom of the Opera, and Miss Saigon. Paul Gemignani conducted the American Theatre Orchestra in performing a medley of excerpts from famous musical.

Kiss Me Kate

Stokes dukes it out with Mazzie on Kiss Me Kate PosterStokes was cast as the lead in the new Broadway revival of Cole Porter's classic Kiss Me Kate, co-starring Marin Mazzie.

Previews started October 25, 1999, with opening night set for November 18th at the Martin Beck Theater.

To read more about the production, click here.

To visit the show’s web site, click here.

Broadway's 50 Greatest Stars

Recently, Stokes was voted among "Broadway's 50 Greatest Stars" by Talkin' Broadway's All That Chat forum. See the entire list at www.talkinbroadway.com

> to 2003-2003

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