Gayle Turner: Be a Lion
Gayle Turner was nominated for the Colorado Theatre Guild's Henry Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Musical. The role was Geneva Lee Brown in "1940's Radio Hour", directed by Bev Newcomb Madden at the Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities. Turner has worked with musical director David Nehls and director Bill Castellino ("Smokey Joe's Cafe", "Abyssinia", "Little Shop of Horrors").
International audiences will remember her performances in the Richard Allen Center's production of "Black Nativity" in Rome, Italy (co-directed by Morgan Freeman). Turner's performing background includes theatre, television, concerts, recording, commercials, and special events. She is proud to have a recurring role as Officer Dominguez on NBC's "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit".
"The Wiz: The Super Soul Musical 'Wonderful Wizard of Oz'" is a musical with music and lyrics by Charlie Smalls (and others) and book by William F. Brown. It is a retelling of L. Frank Baum's novel "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz" (1900) in the context of contemporary African-American culture.
The 1975 Broadway production won 7 Tony Awards, including Best Musical. It was an early example of Broadway's mainstream acceptance of works with an all Black cast. Turner served as the understudy to Stephanie Mills in the role of Dorothy for three years.
A film adaptation of the same name was released in 1978, with Ted Ross and Mabel King reprising their roles, alongside Diana Ross, Michael Jackson, Nipsey Russell, Theresa Merritt, Thelma Carpenter, Lena Horne, and Richard Pryor. A live television production of the stage version, "The Wiz Live!", was broadcast on NBC on December 3, 2015.
On February 26, 2018, as part of the "Broadway at The Pierre" cabaret series in association with Broadway Sings for Pride, a concert was held at Two E Bar/Lounge — the sophisticated saloon located inside the New York City luxury hotel, The Pierre. The concert featured a performance by Turner, backed by pianist and musical director Chris Curcio.
Turner performed the song "Be a Lion" during the concert, where Shefik served as Videographer. "Be a Lion", is a song from the 1975 Broadway musical "The Wiz". It was later featured in the 1978 film version, performed by Diana Ross and Ted Ross.
- Videographer: Shefik
Last Updated: January 1, 2023