Broadway Theaters Educate announces upcoming season

Chauncey Dunham and Gary Johnson are the creators of a company that exposes students to Broadway.

Some years ago, Gary Johnson, owner of Gary A. Johnson Company, and Chauncey Dunham, vice president of A Dante Production, started a new company, Broadway Theaters Educate (BTE).

A Dante Production, formerly headquartered in the District of Columbia area, and the Gary A. Johnson Company have become the showstoppers for productions in Palm Coast.

According to a news release, they embarked on the venture to educate young students deprived of exposure to live theater and culture, based on the lack of funding in the Maryland school system. BTE requested assistance from the Maryland school system, but the effort was flatly denied.

They infer that it’s ironic that funding to build correctional institutions flows freely across the country, but funds to provide youth in cultural graces is nonexistent. The BTE effort was something that Broadway representatives really endorsed, but the school system didn’t.

Notwithstanding, the following information is the start of a worthwhile effort and Broadway changes that are currently in the making.

BTE,  in partnership with  Group Sales Box Office, was originally established to keep the arts and cultural events alive by taking first-time theatergoers to Broadway – African-American youth, senior citizens, and veterans of the theater from the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia.

Due to overwhelming success, we are now taking groups from Philadelphia and Delaware to Broadway to capture the BTE experience – i.e.  “Sister Act,”  produced by Whoopi Goldberg.

New Broadway plans

“The Josephine Baker Story,” previously seen as a movie, will play Broadway in 12 to 19 months. Plan to attend the show.

The musical production, performed before sold-out audiences at the Asolo Repertory Theater in Sarasota, covers Baker’s stint as a star of the Folies Bergere in Paris between 1939 and 1945.

“A Piece of My Heart – The Bert Berns Story” debuted off-Broadway at the Irene Diamond Stage in 2014. Again, the production is on our list to see.

 The music and lyrics are works by Berns and a variety of co-writers. 

Berns wrote “Twist and Shout,” “Piece of My Heart,” “Hang on Sloopy,” “Cry Baby,” “I Want Candy,” “Here Comes the Night,” “Brown-Eyed Girl,”  and more. In total, Berns was involved with 51-chart records.

Rolling Stone  magazine called them, “One of the great untold stories of Rock & Roll.”  

His record label was Bang Records.  

There’s a documentary with the title, “Bang! The Bert Berns Story,” and a book titled, “Here Comes the Night: The Dark Soul of Bert Berns and The Dirty Business of Rhythm and Blues.”

More productions

Dunham wanted to recreate  “Dreamgirls,”  which thrilled Broadway and the rest of the nation in the 1980s.

A new production has just finished its run to glowing accolades in London, and will soon move to Broadway.  It will footprint the Dreamettes’ career, and is loosely based on the Supremes. The New York City opening will be announced during the 2019-2020 season.

The “Tina Turner” musical, coming to Broadway in the Fall of 2019, is currently playing the Aldwych Theater in London until December. The musical, a triumph, was extended due to rave reviews – and another production will open in Hamburg, Germany.

“Ain’t Too Proud,”  the story of  The Temptations, will preview Broadway Feb. 28 at the Imperial Theater, and March 1 will mark the opening. Here’s a chance to relive the glory of the young Temptations. Although it is a juke-box musical, the music of the mighty Motown group will bring you back.

The  Michael Jackson musical,  “Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough,” will premiere in Chicago before moving to Broadway.

Watch for Gary and Chauncey, and become re-energized!

Show to feature music of legends

The Ultimate Tribute Show will be staged at the Museum of Arts & Sciences.

It is A Dante Production taking place Feb. 23 at 352 South Nova Road, Daytona Beach.

Diana Lewis, Rich Verticelli, Lois Williams, and Carmen Harrell will have integral roles performing the music of Aretha Franklin, Frank Sinatra, Donna Summers and Whitney Houston.

They will be accompanied by A Touch of Class Orchestra.

Working the show as the master of ceremony will be Dancing Ajay.

The tribute will begin 3 p.m. and will include networking, along with a silent art auction, beginning at 2 p.m., and a postshow meet and greet at the Stonewood Grill, 2150 LPGA Boulevard, Daytona Beach.

Tickets, available online at Eventbrite. com, are also available at the door for $25 per person.

For further details, call 800-443-1061, or logon at

Fraser to speak at AAEA event

Dr. George Fraser, internationally renowned speaker, chairman and CEO of FraserNet, Inc., will be the guest speaker at the African-American Entrepreneurs Association’s (AAEA) second annual Black History Month event.

A leader of a global networking, economic development movement for people of African descent, Dr. Fraser, an author, was featured on seven national magazine covers. He’s received over 350 awards and citations, including the President’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2016.

That’s Feb. 20, 6 to 9 p.m., at the African American Cultural Society, 4422 U. S. 1 North, Palm Coast.

For further details, call the AAEA at 386234-2014, or visit

Remembering Donald Matthews, past NAACP treasurer

Barbara Goss, acting president, Flagler County NAACP, denotes: It is with great sadness that I report the passing of our treasurer, Donald Matthews.

Donald transitioned from this life on the morning of Feb. 11.

Our sincere condolences go out to his wife (our president) Linda Sharpe-Matthews and the family.

We will always remember Donald’s humorous comments before delivering his treasurer’s report. He repeatedly said he was the “interim treasurer,” but continued to provide his invaluable services year after year.  Donald Matthews will be sorely missed by all who knew him.

His memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. March 9 at Mt. Calvary Baptist Church, the Rev. Edwin Coffie officiating. The address is 75 Pine Lakes Parkway, Palm Coast. A repast will follow.

In the meantime, we ask that you keep his wife and family in your prayers.


As always, remember our prayers for the sick, afflicted, the prodigal son, or daughter, and the bereaved.


Belated birthday wishes to Randolph Greene, Feb. 9; and Lillian Gaddis, Feb. 12.

Birthday wishes to Candace Price, Frank Quarterman, III, Feb. 14; Joseph Matthews, Feb. 17; “BJ” Jones, Lilieth Vaz, Feb. 18; Mamie Cauley, Feb. 19; and the Rev. Gillard S. Glover, Feb. 20.

Happy anniversary to Jim and Ruby Sims, Feb. 20.



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