The 2020 Obie Awards, Celebrating the Best of Off-Broadway, Stream July 14 | Playbill

Awards The 2020 Obie Awards, Celebrating the Best of Off-Broadway, Stream July 14 Cole Escola hosts the virtual event, featuring Shaina Taub, Michael R. Jackson, Cynthia Erivo, and more.

The American Theatre Wing and The Village Voice present the 65th annual Obie Awards ceremony July 14, celebrating the best of Off- and Off-Off-Broadway in the past season cut short due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The virtual event will stream on YouTube beginning at 8 PM ET.

Cole Escola emcees the proceedings, which also include a performance by Shaina Taub, a reunion of alums from multiple productions of Merrily We Roll Along, an encore presentation from Fela! with Obie Award-winner Saycon Sengbloh and Sahr Ngaujah, and a performance of A Strange Loop’s “Memory Song” from composer Michael R. Jackson.

Prior to the event, Broadway alums N’Kenge, Saycon Sengbloh, LaChanze, and Celia Rose Gooding will lead a digital sing-a-long at 6 PM ET with Marie’s Crisis pianists Adam Michael Tilford and Kenney M. Green. Proceeds will support the Wing’s ongoing COVID-19 relief.

Among the presenters during the pre-recorded show are Cynthia Erivo, LaTanya Richardson Jackson, and Heidi Schreck.

This year’s Obie Awards were put on hold twice due to the health crisis and in support of the Black Lives Matter movement. The 2020 ceremony was initially slated to take place in-person May 18; those plans were scrapped in the wake of the health crisis, with the ceremony eventually moving online to June 4. As protests and rallies around the country demanded justice for Black lives lost at the hands of police, the Wing noted “it is not a time for celebration or diversion,” and postponed the event.

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