THEIR FAVORITE THINGS: Tony Nominee and Phantom of the Opera Star Norm Lewis Shares His Theatregoing Experiences

By Andrew Gans
June 19, 2014

Tony nominee Norm Lewis, who is currently starring in the title role of Broadway's The Phantom of the Opera, will be part of The Black Stars of The Great White Way Broadway Reunion: Live The Dream June 23 at 8 PM in Carnegie Hall's Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage. In anticipation of the starry evening, the singing actor offered a detailed list of his favorite fellow black actors.

(Clicking on a name bolded in blue will take readers to that actor or show's entry in the Playbill Vault.)

Andre De Shields (The Wiz)

"Andre De Shields is by far one of the most charismatic performers I know, and what a great man!"



 Robert Guillaume (The Phantom of the Opera)


"Besides being such a class act, he is super talented. I first knew him from his TV days and was surprised to find out about all his major stage work!"


Sammy Davis, Jr. (A Man for All Seasons)


"He was someone I saw do everything and do all of it very well!"


  Harry Belafonte (Almanac)


"Harry Belafonte was not only this handsome leading man who was very talented but someone I saw fighting for rights that I now have the privilege to take advantage of."



  Sidney Poitier (A Raisin in the Sun)


"Sidney Portier is a man that I saw that looked like me and was well respected in this industry. A man of elegance!"



  Gregory Hines (Jelly's Last Jam)

"Gregory Hines is another man of all seasons. His idol was Sammy Davis Jr., and he, like Sammy, could do everything!



 Brian Stokes Mitchell (Ragtime)


"Brian Stokes Mitchell was someone that I knew from TV, and then I saw him sing on TV. I finally saw him live on stage and was blown away yet again. We are now friends, and I cherish our friendship!"

  Johnny Mathis


"Johnny Mathis is by far my favorite male singer! His laid-back stylings and very humble nature make him tops in my book! I never tried to imitate, but emulate him."



 Paul Robeson


"For not only his beautiful rich bass baritone, but for his connection to the world. And, also he was this Renaissance man! He was good at everything he did!"



  Denzel Washington (Fences)


"Denzel Washington is a man who has crossed color lines with his roles and made every character that he portrays, real or fictional, come to life again and again."

 There are so many black male performers who I've admired and continue to admire that I would love to put on this list! I celebrate all of them, Past, Present and Future!!!!