THE CAST

Click on an actor’s name to read their full bio.

Alicia Hall Moran
Alicia Hall Moran

ALICIA HALL MORAN (Bess)Mezzo-soprano Alicia Hall Moran is gaining international recognition for her technical virtuosity and brilliant interpretation of song. Embracing a broad musical repertoire, including classical and avant-garde, Jazz, and Broadway, she pushes the boundaries of music—in concerts, cabaret acts, and recitals noted for their flair, intelligence, and audacity.

Ms. Moran’s boldly original work transcends expectations while upholding the traditions of her ancestors and teachers—from her great uncle Hall Johnson, the legendary choral director, composer and interpreter of Negro Spiritual, to her esteemed vocal coaches, Shirley Verrett, Adele Addison, Hilda Harris, David Jones and Warren Wilson. Despite her classical training, Ms. Moran is not bound to the classical repertoire. In her critically-acclaimed performances, she creates dynamic and sensual musical worlds where the lyricism of Marvin Gaye and the high-drama of Puccini collide.

Moran assumes the role of Bess in the national company of after appearing as Bess in the Tony Award®-winning Broadway production.

Since 2010, Ms. Moran’s cabaret act, The Motown Project, has been thrilling audiences across all musical genres. As musicologist Guthrie Ramsey observes, “the idea of thinking about Motown recordings as a Schubertian song cycle winding through the stages and associated emotions of a love affair—from declamation, assurance, doubt, disappointment, to anger—[is] brilliant.”

Along with her husband, the pianist Jason Moran, she was artist in residence in the 2012 Whitney Biennial, curating BLEED, a five-day performance cycle that juxtaposed song, dance, poetry, lecture, diary, film, video, and journalism with a survey of the Morans’ past collaborations in the musical and visual arts. Writing in The New York Times, the critic Ben Ratliff deemed Bleed “extraordinary in breadth, depth, planning and execution; if you’d seen the Morans only as imposing musicians, it’s time to expand that view.”

Ms. Moran was an artist-in-residence at the Isabella Stuart Gardner Museum, and has been commissioned by Art Basel Miami. She co-authored and improvised vocal music for Bill T. Jone/Arnie Zane Dance Company’s award-winning Chapel/Chapter. Her column on classical music, Suite Sounds, appeared weekly in the New York Amsterdam News.

Nathaniel Stampley
Nathaniel Stampley

NATHANIEL STAMPLEY (Porgy). West End: The Lion King (Disney UK Ltd.). Broadway: The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess, The Color Purple, The Lion King. Tours: Ragtime. Off-Broadway/Regional: Fiorello!, and Lost in the Stars, NY City Center’s Encores!; The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess, the A.R.T.; Abyssinia, North Shore Music Theatre; Pacific Overtures, Chicago Shakespeare Theater; Strike Up the Band and One Touch of Venus, Auditorium Theatre’s Ovations! series; Violet, Once on This Island and Big River (Joseph Jefferson Award nomination), Apple Tree Theatre; Showboat, Sacramento Music Circus; The Skylight Opera Theater’s Harriet: The Woman Called Moses, El Capitan, Girl Crazy and The King and I; Abyssinia, North Shore Music Theatre; Show Boat, Sacramento Music Circus. He is a native of Milwaukee and a proud graduate of the University of Wisconsin. He has performed in a concert version of The Marriage of Figaro and Songs from Around the World with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra; American Favorites from Gershwin to Copland, Home for the Holidays concerts, and has recorded with the Elgin Symphony Orchestra (Naxos). He has been a guest artist with the UW-Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, the Milwaukee Youth Symphony Orchestra and toured internationally with the Madison Children’s Choir. He has performed in The Weill Music Institute concert series, Musical Explorers and in Link Up with the Orchestra of St. Luke’s at Carnegie Hall. Other concerts include Musical Introduction Series at 92ndSt Y, the El Paso Symphony Orchestra, and the Springfield Symphony Orchestra. In collaboration with Margaret Paek, Jason and Alicia Hall Moran he performed in the installation, Bleed at the Whitney Museum of Art. He directed 19 Secrets and Painted Red for Sacred Ground Productions.

Alvin Crawford
Alvin Crawford

ALVIN CRAWFORD (Crown) Broadway: The Lion King, Candide, Miss Saigon, The Buddy Holly Story. Off-Broadway/Regional: Pirates Of Penzance, Big River, A Raisin In The Sun, (Phylicia Rashad Dir.) Famous Orpheus, Martin Guerre, Street Scene. Film / TV: And So It Goes (2014 release), It Runs In The Family, Clarence, Pray For Me, South Pacific. Alvin is a graduate of The Juilliard School.

Kingsley Leggs
Kingsley Leggs

KINGSLEY LEGGS (Sporting Life). Broadway: Sister Act, The Color Purple, Miss Saigon. Touring: Sister Act, Ragtime, Miss Saigon, It Ain’t Nothing but the Blues. Regional: NCT, 5th Avenue, Goodman Theatre, Denver Center Theatre, Seattle Rep, Ford’s Theatre, Baltimore Centerstage, Geffen Playhouse, Laguna Payhouse, Milwaukee Skylight, Alliance Theatre, Marriotts Lincolnshire, The MUNY, St. Louis Black Rep. TV: “City of Angels,” “One Life to Live,” “Law and Order SVU.”

Sumayya Ali
Sumayya Ali

SUMAYYA ALI (Clara, u/s Bess) has been recognized for her remarkable artistic integrity and versatility. Blessed with a “heart wrenchingly tender yet powerful soprano,” her intentions are to use her voice to heal, speak truth and enlighten. Sumayya has illuminated stages on Broadway, as well as concert halls and opera houses throughout the world. In addition to her theatrical work, she has started to break into film. Ms. Ali made her film debut in Red Hook Summer directed by Spike Lee this past summer.

Most recently, Sumayya Ali was in the Tony Award®-winning Broadway revival of The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess. Last month she was featured in The Ragtime Concert at Lincoln Center’s Avery Fisher Hall and this month, she portrays Harriet Tubman in the new opera, Harriet Tubman: When I Crossed that Line to Freedom. In addition to these performances, Ms Ali stays focused as an avid songwriter, guest artist, recitalist and mentor.

Born in Lawrence, KS and partly raised in the Washington, DC area, Sumayya’s artistic gifts were largely cultivated at the Duke Ellington School of Arts. Sumayya Ali holds a bachelor’s degree from Spelman College in Atlanta, GA as well as a master’s degree in music from the New England Conservatory in Boston, MA. Immediately after graduation, Ms Ali secured contracts with Berkshire Opera, Sarasota Opera and Central City Opera and was declared a Boston district winner for the National Metropolitan Opera Competition.

She has danced and sung around the world with Step Afrika!, been featured as a Hollywood contestant on American Idol season 6, made her Broadway debut as the soprano soloist in the 2009 revival of Ragtime! and received several artistic grants and awards from opera companies. However, her greatest accomplishment is being mother to her most precious gem, Hasiba Zahara.

Denisha Ballew
Denisha Ballew

DENISHA BALLEW (Serena). Making her Kennedy Center debut in Joseph Baber’s contemporary opera, River of Time, singing Eliza in the powerful and moving finale, Denisha Ballew has a very exciting career ahead! Recently, the lyric soprano performed in Mozart’s Magic Flute singing the 1st lady in her Nashville Opera debut. Upon her recent move to New York City, Denisha had the opportunity to collaborate with Opera America in new piece entitled, TRUTH by Paula Kimper. The opera illuminates the life and legacy of Sojourner Truth.

In 2011, Denisha performed the role of Bess with the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra in their Classic Series of Porgy and Bess in concert. Other works performed with Knoxville Symphony Orchestra include: Rossini’s “I Will Give Thanks unto Thee” in a tribute concert to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. In 2009 she attended the American Institute of Musical Studies in Graz, Austria. There she had the privilege to work with renowned artists such as: Michele Crider, Gabrielle Lechner, and Andrea Huber. In addition to various master classes and recitals Denisha performed with the AIMS Festival Concert Orchestra singing pieces from Mozart’s Don Giovanni under the baton of Maestro Eduardo Muller. Denisha was a highlight in the American Spiritual Ensemble’s Spain Tour in 2006 and 2008. Moreover, the ambitious soprano was a featured soloist Knoxville Opera Concert where she performed pieces from Bernstein’s Candide Finale, arias from Massenet’s Manon, and Verdi’s La Traviata.

Ms. Ballew completed her masters at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville where she studied with soprano Marjorie Bennett Stephens. Within her studies she has performed: Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi(la Ciesca), Tituba in Richard Ward’s The Crucible, Zerlina in Mozart’s Don Giovanni and Lady Billows in Britten’s Albert Herring. Denisha Ballew is a 2nd place winner of the NATS (National Association of Teachers of Singing) competition. She is very excited about her first Broadway National Tour debut in The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess.

Dan Barnhill
Dan Barnhill

DAN BARNHILL (Detective) Broadway: The Gershwins’ Porgy & Bess. Other productions at Atlantic Theater Company, DC Fringe, The Drilling Company, Emerging Artists Theater Co., The Flea, Joe’s Pub, LCT3, NYC Fringe, PS 122 and others. Lots of small films; studio and touring work as a guitar player in a handful of punk/rock bands.

Danielle Lee Greaves
Danielle Lee Greaves

DANIELLE LEE GREAVES (Mariah). Broadway: A Streetcar Named Desire, Rent, Hairspray, Sunset Boulevard, Show Boat. New York: The Importance of Being Earnest, Two Gentlemen of Verona, Purlie. National Tours: The Lion King, Rent. Film: Growing Up (and Other Lies). Television: “Smash,” “The Big C,” “Rescue Me,” “Damages,” “Whoopi,” “100 Centre Street.” Other: Broadway Inspirational Voices.

David Hughey
David Hughey

DAVID HUGHEY (Jake). Soundtrack: 12 Years A Slave. Broadway: The Gershwins' Porgy And Bess. Regional: West Side Story, Into The Woods, Street Scene, The Wiz, Children Of Eden, Chess. Opera: Il Barbiere di Siviglia, La Boheme, Carmen. This performance is dedicated to my amazing parents, Calvin and Linda, for their undying love and support! www.davidhughey.com Follow me on Twitter! @MrDavidHughey

Vanjah Boikai
Vanjah Boikai

VANJAH BOIKAI (Swing, u/s Jake) studied opera at Ohio State. Touring debut; Regional: Barn Theater, Weathervane Playhouse, Opera Columbus. He sings with Condola Rashad’s band Condola and the Stoop Kids. He is thrilled to join this family and tell this classic story. Thanks to family, friends. For Mom and Dad Musu, Leroy Boikai.

Adrianna M. Cleveland
Adrianna M. Cleveland

ADRIANNA M. CLEVELAND (Woman of Catfish Row; u/s Clara, u/s Serena). Native of Pittsburgh, B. M. in voice from Baldwin-Wallace College. Trained by world famous Heldentenor Dr. Timothy Mussard and his wonderful wife, Annie Mussard. Currently a member of the Nouveau Noir Vocal Ensemble directed by Maestro David Jennings-Smith. Thankful for my family and my teachers for inspiring me.

Roosevelt André Credit
Roosevelt André Credit

ROOSEVELT ANDRÉ CREDIT (Fisherman). B’way: The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess, Show Boat (also national tour). Off-B’way: Marie Christine. Regional: The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess (A.R.T.), For the People (world premiere), Voice From Within (Apollo Theater), The White House Cantata (Alice Tully Hall), Bach Saint Matthew Passion with Corvallis Symphony Orch. Bass soloist at Saint Peter’s Church of Manhattan. Love to my family and friends!

Cicily Daniels
Cicily Daniels

CICILY DANIELS (Woman of Catfish Row, u/s Mariah). Broadway: Disney’s The Little Mermaid (Ursula u/s, Alana), All Shook Up (Sylvia u/s), Rent (Joanne u/s). National Tour: Caroline or Change (Washing Machine), TV & Film: “Boardwalk Empire” (Jazz Dancer), Ugly Betty (Zelda), Across the Universe. Yale University, B.A. Theater.

Dwelvan David
Dwelvan David

DWELVAN DAVID (The Crab Man, u/s Crown). First 1st National Tour. NY: Standby (NYMF 2013) Regional: Ain’t Misbehavin’, The Wiz, Caroline, or Change, Ragtime, Big River, Cats, Show Boat, The Nativity, Hot Mikado. Nominations: BTAA, Louie, Joseph Jefferson. BFA Millikin University. AEA Proud. Shalom Y’all! visit www.DwelvanDavid.com

Nkrumah Gatling
Nkrumah Gatling

NKRUMAH GATLING (Fisherman, u/s Jake) is thrilled to be joining the cast of The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess! Broadway: Hair. National Tours: Hair, Miss. Saigon. Regional: Band Geeks (Goodspeed), Miss. Saigon, Dreamgirls, Wonderful Life (TUTS). Many thanks and lots of love to Mom and my family!

Tamar Greene
Tamar Greene

TAMAR GREENE (Fisherman) is making his Broadway National Tour debut! Regional: RENT (Collins), The Wiz (The Wiz), Little Shop of Horrors (Audrey II). Opera: Buffalo Opera Unlimited, Rochester Lyric Opera, Oswego Opera. MM: Eastman School of Music. Much love to my family, friends, and fiancé Jen. www.TamarGreene.com

Nicole Adell Johnson
Nicole Adell Johnson

NICOLE ADELL JOHNSON (Woman of Catfish Row, Dance Captain). Baltimore native. Credits: The Lion King (Broadway, national tour), Companies: Lula Washington, Creative Outlet Dance Theater. Him and Us (film), Tannhauser (L.A. Opera). AEA Member. Thank you God, family and friends for your endless love and support.

James Earl Jones II
James Earl Jones II

JAMES EARL JONES II (Robbins, u/s Porgy). Regional: Shrek the Musical (Chicago Shakespeare Theater), Cymbeline (First Folio), Will you stand up? – Educating people about mental wellness (Erasing the Distance), Sweet Charity (Writers’ Theatre); Dreamgirls, Full Monty (Marriott Theater); Mr. Rickey Calls a Meeting (Lookingglass); Porgy & Bess (Court Theatre, Lyric Opera Chicago & SF Opera); The Wiz (Theater at the Center); Aida, Spamalot, Ragtime (Drury Lane Oakbrook Theater); A Civil War Christmas (Northlight Theatre); Annie get your Gun (Ravinia); 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (Broadway in Chicago & Mason Street Warehouse), Dessa Rose, Aspects of Love, I Pagliacci, On the Town, The Gondoliers, Patience, H.M.S. Pinafore & Pirates of Penzance. You can hear his voice on various commercials. Love & thanks to his family, friends, Sam/Stewart Talent & Telsey. For Semaje…

Quentin Oliver Lee
Quentin Oliver Lee

QUENTIN OLIVER LEE (Swing; u/s Porgy, Crown) has performed several roles on stage, including the title role of Gianni Schicchi, Sid in Albert Herring, and Belcore in L’elisir D’amore with the NAU Opera, as well as Giuseppe in The Gondoliers, Raimondo in Lucia di Lammermoor, and Pandolfe in Cendrillon with the New York Lyric Opera Theater. He has enjoyed many other performing opportunities, as a soloist in Handel’s Messiah with the Flagstaff Master Chorale, a guest soloist for the Sedona Opera Saloons, Soloist for the MLK Day celebration in Jax Beach, Florida, and as a performer at the Romanian Embassy in New York. Mr. Lee was named a Western Regional Finalist in both the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and the National Association of Teachers of Singers Artist Awards. Quentin was also named a Semi-Finalist in the Classical Singer National Auditions and New York Lyric Opera National Competition. Most recently Mr. Lee has joined the Opera Collective of New York and their association with the MTA Music Under New York.

In the winter of 2012 Quentin Lee received a Bachelors of Music in Vocal Performance from Northern Arizona University. While at NAU, Mr. Lee held a teaching position with the Flagstaff School of Music, was a member of the Cardinal Key Honor Society, Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia and soloist and chorister for the Shrine of the Ages choir, with whom he traveled to South Africa, Carnegie Hall New York, and several ACDA conferences. Quentin’s passion and enthusiasm for learning, acting, and singing inspire him to achieve the heights of his own personal artistry and share the gift of music with the world. He is very excited to be on this tour of The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess and wants to sincerely thank all those who have been supportive! www.quentinoliverlee.com

Cheryse McLeod Lewis
Cheryse McLeod Lewis

CHERYSE MCLEOD LEWIS (Swing, u/s Bess) is thrilled to join the National Broadway Tour of The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess. Commended for her “stunning vocal power” (Asheville Citizen Times) and “rich lyric mezzo sound” (Opera News Online), some of Ms. Lewis’ leading roles include the title role in Carmen (Asheville Lyric Opera; Capital Opera Raleigh); Rosina in Il barbiere di Siviglia (Mansfield Symphony; Asheville Lyric Opera); Hansel in Hansel and Gretel (Connecticut Opera; Greensboro Opera); The Mother in Amahl and the Night Visitors (Opera Carolina; Connecticut Opera); and Prince Orlofsky in Die Fledermaus (Vashon Opera, Greensboro Opera).

In concert, Ms. Lewis has performed as a soloist with Orchestra Seattle, Gettysburg Festival, Eastern Music Festival, Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra, Ballet Bellevue, Greensboro Symphony, New Britain Symphony, North Carolina Symphony, Mansfield Symphony, Piccolo Spoleto Festival, MOJA Festival, and Greensboro Oratorio Society.

Ms. Lewis is a graduate of Carnegie Mellon University (BFA in Voice Performance), The University of NC at Greensboro (MM in Voice Performance), and The AJ Fletcher Opera Institute of The University of NC School of the Arts (Professional Artist Certificate in Opera). A proud native of Greensboro, NC, Ms. Lewis is currently based in Seattle, WA. Debut Solo CD: Spirituals. www.CheryseMusic.com.

Sarita Rachelle Lilly
Sarita Rachelle Lilly

SARITA RACHELLE LILLY (The Strawberry Woman) is presently completing her DMA in Vocal Performance at Boston University. Sarita made her international opera debut in the title role of Suor Angelica in Urbania, Italy and later appeared on a concert held during the Salzburg Musik Festspiele. She has performed on Master classes for great voices such as Helen Donath, William Warfield, Simon Estes and Grace Bumbry. Sarita also holds a M.M. degree in Voice Performance from University of Miami, and a B.M. degree in Voice Performance from UNC-Greensboro. She has also studied at the Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria. Most recently, Sarita Lilly was noted for her ability to sing with soft lyricism and sassy humor by the Boston Globe for her performance in the 2013 New England premiere of Dead Man Walking (Sister Rose). BROADWAY: The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess (Swing). REGIONAL: The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess (ART). OPERA: Dead Man Walking (Sister Rose) (New England Premiere - BOC); The Merry Wives of Windsor (Mrs. Ford); INTERNATIONAL: Suor Angelica (Suor Angelica - Urbania, Italy). Sarita is ecstatic to be returning to The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess National Tour as The Strawberry Woman! Sarita is most grateful for the opportunity to be a part of telling this awesome story again! Much love to God and Eagles4!!!

Kent Overshown
Kent Overshown

KENT OVERSHOWN (Mingo, The Undertaker; u/s Porgy, u/s Sporting Life). Tour: Memphis (Wailin’ Joe, U/s Bobby, Delray, Gator). Regional: Casa Mañana, MUNY, Westchester Broadway Theatre. Endless thanks to friends and family without whose love and support he wouldn’t be here. Thanks to Telsey and Co and the phenomenal team at Harden-Curtis. Dad, this is for you! Go Blue!

Chauncey Packer
Chauncey Packer

CHAUNCEY PACKER (Honey Man, u/s Sportin’ Life) is excited to be performing in his first Broadway tour. Chauncey has been performing operatic roles across the US and Europe including roles in Porgy and Bess, Carmen, and La Boheme. He is featured on Decca’s Porgy & Bess recording and New World’s Treemonisha recording. Chauncey is originally from southern Alabama where he received his undergraduate degree from University of Mobile, completed his master’s degree in music from University of New Orleans, and pursued post-graduate studies at Louisiana State University. He would like to thank his family and friends for their loving steadfast support.

Lindsay Roberts
Lindsay Roberts

LINDSAY ROBERTS (Swing, u/s Clara). Broadway National Tours: Memphis (1st National, Felicia u/s). Off-Broadway/Regional: Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, Lost in the Stars (City Center Encores), Radio City Christmas Spectacular, Ragtime (Sarah), Festival of the Lion King (Nala). B.M. University of Maryland. All glory to God! www.lindsayroberts.com

Fred Rose
Fred Rose

FRED ROSE (Policeman, u/s Detective). Fred has appeared on Broadway in Cyrano de Bergerac (w/ Kevin Kline), Company (dir. John Doyle), Cabaret, (Studio 54) and Phantom, as well as in the pit orchestras (cello) of The Boy from Oz and Phantom. He is proud to be a part of this incredible production!

Soara-Joye Ross
Soara-Joye Ross

SOARA-JOYE ROSS (Woman of Catfish Row; u/s Bess, u/s Serena, u/s Mariah) is grateful to be a part of the incredible The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess! A native New Yorker, graduate from The American Musical & Dramatic Academy and J. Beckson Studios, this Type 1 Divabetic, classically trained songbird and student of vocal guru Jack Waddell, is known to "soar-joyfully" in every performance in pursuit of her dreams!

Soara has performed on Broadway in Les Miserables, the Revival and Dance of the Vampires. At Carnegie Hall she was in Jerry Springer: The Opera and originated the role of Annabel in Lincoln Center’s Dessa Rose (Cast Album Available). Off-Broadway Ms. Ross played "sexually voracious and outspoken but genuine and poignant SBF 2" in the two woman comedy Single Black Female directed by Colman Domingo at The Duke on 42nd and the "magnetic" Ros in NYMF’s 2010 Trav’lin the Musical. Soara was in the Roundabout Theatre Company’s Tin Pan Alley Rag and recently played the role of Mama Lila in the new musical Cross That River where "Ross draws tears from your eyes, elevates you out of your seat and convinces you there really is a better place for everyone. People’s bodies are still ringing with catharsis after her performance." For her riveting performance, Soara was garnered NYMF’s 2009’s "Best of Fest" Award for Outstanding Individual Performance. A workshop of Cross That River took place this summer at Theatre Aspen and 2 years prior at The O’Neill Theatre Center.

Ms. Ross has done a host of regional theatre, tours throughout the USA and abroad and recently made her solo cabaret debut in NYC at The Laurie Beechman Theatre! Some of her favorite credits include Aida (Colorado Theatre Guild: Leading Actress Nominee), Ragtime (Weston & Gateway), Summer of Love - Saige (Ogunquit- East Coast Premiere), From the Mississippi Delta (Triad Stage), Ain’t Misbehavin’ (Triad Stage & The Huntington), Tick Tick…Boom (The Alliance), Once on This Island (Bay Street, Mill Mountain), Divorce Party the Musical (World Premiere at The Kravis Center/Tour), Smokey Joe’s Café w/ Gladys Knight (US/Euro Tour). Her film & TV credits include: Garden State (Handi-World Cashier), Jackie (Accepted into 4 film festivals!) and The View. Much love to my mommies, Elaine, my very large family, friends, coach Willy D and Renee and crew at About Artists; “I wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for your love and support! Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart!" Http://Soara-JoyeRoss.com