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Broadway legend Brian Stokes Mitchell and his trio close 2010-11 Pulse season with Black History Month performance Feb. 17

February 01, 2011

Jaime Winne Alvarez

To close its 2010-11 season, Syracuse University’s Pulse Performing Arts Series will present a Black History Month performance by Broadway legend Brian Stokes Mitchell and the Brian Stokes Mitchell Trio on Thursday, Feb. 17, at 8 p.m. The event will take place in the Goldstein Auditorium of the Hildegarde and J. Myer Schine Student Center on the SU campus.

stokesTickets are $5 for students with an SU or SUNY-ESF I.D.; $16 for SU faculty, staff alumni, and Pulse Partners; and $20 for the general public. Parking is available in the Booth and University Avenue garages for $4; patrons must mention the Pulse performance to receive this rate. For ticket information, contact the Schine Box Office at (315) 443-4517. For more information on Pulse, e-mail or call 443-2718.

“It is quite exciting to have Brian Stokes Mitchell and his trio perform on campus during Black History Month,” says Sylvia T. Langford, associate vice president of student affairs for discovery and engagement. “The Pulse Performing Arts Series brings a variety of talented and diverse artists to our community, and Stokes is a true renaissance man. This will be a very special evening.”

Pulse, presented by SU’s Division of Student Affairs, provides SU undergraduates and, in turn, the Central New York community with out-of-classroom opportunities to attend and participate in programs, performances, exhibitions and events in the performing and visual arts.

Dubbed “The Last Leading Man” by The New York Times, Stokes has enjoyed a rich and varied career on Broadway and in television, film and recordings, along with appearances in the great American concert halls. Stokes has worked as an actor, singer, dancer, voice-over artist, author, arranger, orchestrator, conductor and record producer. A powerful baritone, he will perform a variety of song selections during his SU appearance.

His Broadway credits include Tony- and Helen Hayes award-nominated and winning performances in “Man of La Mancha,” “Kiss Me Kate” and “Ragtime,” among others. In 1998, he joined Helen Hayes, Sir John Gielgud, Alec Guinness and James Earl Jones by becoming recipient of the Distinguished Performance Award from the Drama League, the nation’s oldest theatrical honor, for “Ragtime.”

Television credits include memorable recurring roles as Hillary’s bungee-jumping newscaster boyfriend on “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” and obnoxious upstairs neighbor Cam Winston on “Frasier.” As a voice-over artist, Stokes has appeared on many animated TV shows. He has also appeared in several televised concert performances.

As a recording artist, Stokes has appeared on numerous cast albums and has guested with various artists. In 2007, he released a self-titled album as inaugural artist on the Playbill Records label. In addition to singing, Stokes produced the album and also wrote many of the arrangements and orchestrations.

As an author, Stokes wrote the forward to “At This Theatre” (Applause Books, 2002),contributed to “Hirschfeld’s Harlem” (Applause Books, 2003) and co-authored “Lights On Broadway: A Theatrical Tour from A to Z” (Blue Apple Books, 2009), a colorful theatrical primer for young people that includes a special debut recording of the song “I Was Here,” rewritten especially for the book. Stokes donated his portion of the royalties to benefit The Actors Fund, a human services organization that helps anyone in crisis who has made their living in show business or the performing arts, of which he has been president since 2004.

He performs weekly as both a soloist and guest star at concerts all over the United States, and this summer starred as Frank Butler with Patti Lupone in “Annie Get Your Gun” at Ravinia. He currently stars with LuPone, Laura Benanti, Sherie Rene Scott and Justin Guarini in the Lincoln Center Theater production of “Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown,” a musical adaptation of Pedro Almodóvar’s 1988 film of the same title.

In addition, Stokes works with numerous charitable organizations from the March of Dimes to the USO.

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