Brian McKnight and Angie Stone to Lead LOVE LIES Tour
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by BWW News Desk
Two contemporary music giants - multi-platinum recording artist and 16-time Grammy nominee, Brian McKnight and the fiercely gifted, three-time Grammy nominee Angie Stone have signed on to play lead roles in the national tour of the award-winning musical, Hinton Battle's Love Lies. The play debuted last summer at the Midtown InterNational Theatre Festival, garnering nine MITF nominations and picking up several awards.
The signing of Mr. McKnight (Harrison Brown) and Ms. Stone (Victoria Davis), who recently joined TV One's hit reality series, R&B Divas rounds out an impressive cast that also features; actress Elise Neal (Kim Anderson), acclaimed for her performance in "Hustle and Flow", season one winner of BET's gospel music competition Sunday Best, Crystal Aikin (Mother Harrison), funny man and a regular on the StEve Harvey Morning Show, Kier Spates (Funeral Director), newcomer Amber A. Harris (reprising her role as Pam Jackson), and three-time Tony Award-winner Hinton Battle (Pastor Milkum).
The velvety smooth Mr. McKnight, whose new album, "More Than Words" is set to drop on opening day of the tour, is perfectly suited to the role of Harrison Brown, the object of much attention in this bawdy, high energy "dramedy". The musical centers on three women who arrive at a funeral, only to discover they were all engaged to the same dead man. In this story of love, lies and betrayal - sparks don't just fly - they explode as the ghost of the deceased watches on!
"I have the killer cast, Brian McKnight the ladies man, music royalty Angie Stone, Elise Neal an incredible actress and sexy, Crystal Aikin - what a voice, the hilariously funny Kier Spates a.k.a. Junior, and talented Amber A. Harris. They are going to knock these roles out of the park. It's going to be great fun to have these dynamic performers on board," said three-time Tony Award-winner Hinton Battle, who marks his debut as playwright, adding to his already richly layered career.
With casting complete and rehearsals starting almost immediately, the producers have announced the tour's kick-off dates at the historic Warner Theatre in Washington DC, April 1-7. Other markets include Miami, FL (Knight Center), Baltimore, MD (Lyric Theatre), Chicago, IL (Arie Crown Theatre), Atlanta, GA (Fox) and Birmingham, AL (Civic Center). Additional venues and markets will be announced in the coming weeks.
Hinton has created the Hinton Battle Love Lies gospel search, a key and unique ingredient that integrates local gospel choirs, chosen to perform on stage with the cast through an open audition process.
Another of the production's WOW factors, is the LED screen created by the European Production Company, Clonwerk, best known for the incorporation of the dynamic visual screens use for Beyonce's 2011, unforgettable Billboard Award's performance. Their leadership and innovation in the field of 3D Motion Graphics, Mapping technology and Live Action, will make it possible to transform the play's stage setting to reflect any locale necessary to the storyline. This integral piece of equipment enhances the production value of Hinton Battle's Love Lies.