News

'Eclipsed' Continues Making History With 6 Tony Award Nominations

Danai Gurira, Lupita Nyong’o and the cast and crew of 'Eclipsed' on Broadway are nominated for 6 Tony Awards.

The cast of Eclipsed: Saycon Sengbloh, Akosua Busia, Lupita Nyong’o, Zainab Jah and Pascale Armand on day 1 at the legendary Golden Theatre. (Photo: Alyssa Klein)


Eclipsed has been making history ever since it debuted on Broadway this year. Penned by Zimbabwean-American actress, playwright and star of The Walking Dead, Danai Gurira, it tells the story of five women during the Liberian civil war.

Now, the cast and crew of Eclipsed are up for six Tony Award nominations, including Best Play, Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Play (Lupita Nyong’o), Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Play (Pascale Armand and Saycon Sengbloh), Best Costume Design of a Play (Clint Ramos) and Best Direction of a Play (Liesl Tommy).

Gurira is the only woman writer nominated for Best Play, points out celebrity reporter and blogger Makho Ndlovu.

The 70th Annual Tony Awards are set to take place Sunday, June 12th, at the Beacon Theater in New York City. They’ll be televised on CBS. In related news, Hamilton made Tony Awards history with a record-breaking 16 nominations.

Best Play – Eclipsed by Danai Gurira

Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Play – Lupita Nyong’o

Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Play – Pascale Armand

Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Play – Saycon Sengbloh

Best Costume Design of a Play – Clint Ramos

Best Direction of a Play – Liesl Tommy

Eclipsed originally ran at the Yale Repertory Theater in 2009, with a promising Yale School of Drama student understudying for the principle role of the “Girl.” The student, of course, was Academy Award winner Lupita Nyong’o, who returned to the stage in September 2015, though this time as the lead in the Public Theater’s sold-out production of Eclipsed. Helmed by South African theater director Liesl Tommy, the off-Broadway show also featured brilliant performances by Pascale Armand, Akosua Busia, Zainab Jah and Saycon Sengbloh (who is herself Liberian).

All five women reprised their roles when producers Stephen Byrd and Alia Jones-Harvey brought Eclipsed to Broadway back in March.

Through the 10,000 Girls Campaign, the Eclipsed team has a goal of bringing 10,000 girls to see the show who otherwise might not have the opportunity to experience a Broadway production.

As of this past weekend, each performance of Eclipsed is dedicated to abducted girls around the world to help drive attention to initiatives like #BringBackOurGirls and #KnowHerName. Saturday’s performance was dedicated to Lydia Habila and Rejoice Musa, two of the 276 girls who were abducted from their school in Chibok, Nigeria on April 14th, 2014.

“Many of the abducted girls are living lives exactly like those you have just witnessed today on our stage,” said Eclipsed castmember Akosua Busia. “They are used as tools of war. Lydia Habila and Rejoice Musa. Know her name.”

popular
Still from YouTube

Watch the Music Video for Rema's New Single 'Beamer (Bad Boys)'

The buzzing Nigerian artists shares a catchy new banger.

Buzzing Nigerian artist Rema shares his first single and music video of the year "Beamer (Bad Boys)."

The track is the first single since the release of his 2019 EP Bad Commando. Produced by Rvssianm, the song features a sultry, drum-heavy beat and a catchy hook in which a chorus of female voices sing of their love for "bad boys."

The steely music video features several love interests and flashy cars as Rema moves through the city on an undisclosed mission. The video features crisp, scenic shots directed by Fxrbes.

Keep reading...
popular
The ornate gilded copper headgear, which features images of Jesus Christ and the Twelve Apostles, was unearthed after refugee-turned-Dutch-citizen Sirak Asfaw contacted Dutch 'art detective' Arthur Brand. (Photo by Jan HENNOP/AFP) (Photo by JAN HENNOP/AFP via Getty Images)

A Stolen 18th Century Ethiopian Crown Has Been Returned from The Netherlands

The crown had been hidden in a Dutch apartment for 20 years.

In one of the latest developments around art repatriation, a stolen 18th century Ethiopian crown that was discovered decades ago in the Netherlands, has been sent back home.

Sirak Asfaw, an Ethiopian who fled to The Netherlands in the '70s, first found the relic in the suitcase of a visitor in 1998, reports BBC Africa. He reportedly protected the item for two decades, before informing Dutch "art crime investigator" Arthur Brand and authorities about his discovery last year.

The crown is one of only 20 in existence and features intricate Biblical depictions of Jesus, God and the Holy Spirit. Historians believe it was given to the church by the warlord Welde Sellase several centuries ago.

Read: Bringing African Artifacts Home

Keep reading...
Photos
Photo: Sachyn Mital for The Town Hall.

This Is What Fatoumata Diawara's NYC Concert Looked Like

In photos: the Malian singer performed a stunning show at The Town Hall.

Fatoumata Diawara played a mesmerizing show in New York City over the weekend.

The Malian singer, songwriter, guitarist and actor had The Town Hall swaying to a selection of songs from her latest Grammy-nominated album, Fenfo, as well as other classic cuts.

Fatoumata was joined on the night by a four-piece backing band that followed her every word and guitar riff, as she showcased her special blend of traditional Malian music and striking Bambara vocal melodies with elements of modern rock, funk, R&B and afrobeat.

"I didn't want to sing in English or French because I wanted to respect my African heritage," Fatoumata has mentioned."But I wanted a modern sound because that's the world I live in. I'm a traditionalist, but I need to experiment, too. You can keep your roots and influences but communicate them in a different style."

Fatoumata's main message, one which she stated throughout the show, is one of hope for the future of Africa and of female empowerment. It's "about the world, peace, how Africa can be a better place, especially for women, because I am one, and I am a survivor," she says. "I want to encourage those who have lost hope."

Browse through pictures from her show at The Town Hall, which was opened by Guatemala's Gabby Moreno, below.

Keep reading...
popular
Photo by Issue Sanogo/AFP via Getty Images

Togolese President Wins Re-election to Secure Fourth Term in Office

President Faure Gnassingbé prepares for a fourth term in office following an election wrought with fraud allegations.

Togo's electoral commission has just released the preliminary results of the first round of the presidential election.

President Faure Gnassingbé reportedly secured 72 percent of the vote while his main opposition and former Prime Minister Agbeyome Kodjo who straddled behind with just 18 percent of the vote, according to Aljazeera.

Keep reading...

get okayafrica in your inbox

news.

popular.