Ben Vereen Still Has Some Magic To Do

With the Tony Awards only one day away…
The day all theaters lovers near and far have waiting for…
Ben Vereen is living proof that we all have a little Broadway in all of us. In his interview yesterday with Mo Rocca of CBS Sunday Morning with Charles Osgood, the Broadway veteran and Tony Award winner let us all in on a little secret …The arts can heal anything – and Everything.

Despite all his trials and tribulations, Ben Vereen’s multifaceted career speaks for itself, and spans over 40 years in the United States, Europe, Asia and the Caribbean.  Beyond the neon lights of Broadway, Ben Vereen’s acting credits continue to give us memorable roles that stand the test of time, such as the unforgettable Chicken George in Roots, and Louis Armstrong in Louis Armstrong – Chicago Style, and in more recent television shows, such as How I Met Your Mother and Hot in Cleveland.

Most recently, Ben Vereen appeared in the film “Time Out of Mind” with Richard Gere. Time Out of Mind is a film about a New York man force into homelessness and tries to reconnect with his estranged daughter. The film which was played at the New York Film Festival last year will be released in September. In addition, Ben Vereen recently appeared in the film “Top Five” with Chris Rock. Top Five is a film about a New York City comedian and film star, who has to confront his past and comedic career after doing an interview with a journalist. The film was screened in the Special Presentations section of the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival and was released on December 12, 2014. The lecture circuit has also become an integral part of Ben Vereen’s career, he is one of the Nation’s most requested speakers among audiences of all ages.

In addition, his philanthropy work includes “The Ben Vereen Awards Program” which gives talented high school musical theater students a chance to compete for the top prize of a $10,000 college scholarship. So what’s on the horizon for Ben Vereen?  Ben Vereen is busy developing his one-man show for Broadway, with an expected Broadway debut in 2016.

Without a doubt… Ben Vereen continues to leave his footprints in the sands of time and continues to captivate his audiences where ever he goes. Definitely leaving us all breathless…and yearning for more… of that special magic. I can’t think of a better way to celebrate Broadway Sunday morning, then to start it with the legendary, and everyone’s favorite spiritual enforcer… Ben Vereen.

Ben Vereen’s interview with Mo Rocca will broadcast Sunday, June 7 (9:00 AM, ET) on the CBS Television Network. The Tony Award will also be hosted by CBS on Sunday, June 7, live from Radio City Music Hall at 8 p.m. ET

Ben Vereen performing in the Broadway Show “Pippin”

About the singer, dancer, actor, and philanthropist Ben Vereen

A singer, dancer, and actor known for his dramatic performances in theater, Ben Vereen has performed on television, in films, and on stage. Born in Miami in 1946, Vereen credits most of his success to his mother. His father worked in a paint factory while his mother worked as a maid. His mother was born in Louisiana and would recount how the blues singers and jazz musicians would entertain the workers during lunch breaks on the plantation. His mother would sing the blues as she reminisced about the past, thus Ben Vereen’s interest in music was born. His first performance was a solo at the age of four in the Baptist church where his father was the deacon. Later, he joined a quartet at the church, a group that had women weeping in the aisles during their performances. It was these performances that led Vereen to believe he had a calling to be a singer. After graduating from the High School of Performing Arts with no openings in dance or theater, Vereen entered the Pentecostal Theological Seminary. After six months he realized he was not to be a seminarian and again pursued his theatrical career.
At the age of 18 Vereen made his New York debut in Prodigal Son. In 1969 he joined the cast of Hair and eventually played Judas in Jesus Christ Superstar, a role that earned him the Theatre World Award. He went on to perform in Pippin, earning a Tony Award. His film credits include Funny Lady and All That Jazz. Besides his unforgettable stage and screen performances, Vereen has also used his talents on television. He won an Emmy Award for his 1978 TV special Ben Vereen… His Roots. During the ’80s he made appearances on several TV series including Webster and the talent contests You Write the Songs and Your Momma Don’t Dance. In the sitcom Webster he played Webster’s (Emmanuel Lewis) uncle, and frequently danced and sang on the show. In the late ’80s Vereen was emotionally drained after the death of his daughter, and contemplated suicide. After receiving help for his emotional problems, he bounced back, performing once again on Broadway in Jelly’s Last Jam and on television in the USA series Silk Stalkings. Despite the many obstacles in his career, Ben Vereen has achieved success as a performer, singer, and actor, receiving both the American Guild of Variety Artists’ George M. Cohen Award and the NAACP’s Image Award.

About the Writer Nerisa Eugenia Waterman

Nerisa White Dress 1unnamed

Radio Co-Host for I-Netradio: (1) Author Interview and Book Review Series (2) Cooking with Nerisa (3) The Buddha Beat and (4) Current Affairs. I’m also a Foodie, Nichiren Buddhist, Fashionista, CookBook Reviewer, Book Blogger, Wine lover, and Coffee drinker who loves to travel the World. Check out my other blogs The Book Blog And Etc.Cooking and Fashion Blog…. And follow me on Goodreads.

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