Arena Stage’s “Crowns” at Lincoln Theatre in DC

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Crowns is back in town, and with direction andchoreography by Kenneth Lee Roberson (Broadway’s Avenue Q, Arena’s Lady Day atEmerson’s Bar & Grill) and musical direction by Grammy nominee e’MarcusHarper, this soulful musical will be bigger than ever in the Lincoln Theatre.Arena favorites Marva Hicks (The Women of Brewster Place) and E. Faye Butler(Dinah Was, Ain’t Misbehavin’) are joined by Natasha Yvette Williams(Broadway’s The Color Purple), Mary Millben, Kara Tameika Watkins, Phillip Boykin (National Tour, ShowBoat) and Zurin Villanueva.

Crowns runs March 27, 2009 – April 26, 2009at ArenaStage at the Lincoln Theatre, Washington, DC. The press opening performance isThursday, April 2, 2009 at 8:00 p.m.

Showtimes: Fri 8pm, Sat 2pm & 8pm, Sun 2pm& 7:30pm (Ticket price range $55-$74) call (202) 488-3300 or

“Showboat” The Boston Globe

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Among the standouts is Ron Bohmer as the gambler Gaylord Ravenal, whose glorious tenor in “Where’s the Mate for Me?” and “Make Believe” creates a stunning contrast with Phillip Boykin’s impossibly rich bass in “Ol’ Man River.” Kern’s score demands operatic skill from the singers, which can be off-putting if it isn’t grounded in strong acting chops. But Bohmer, as the charming rake, and Boykin, as the stalwart representative of all African-Americans stuck doing the dirty work, give the characters much-needed depth.

Spectacular voices keep lengthy ‘Show Boat’ afloat at North ShoreBy Sally Applegate / North Shore Sunday

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This frequent use of “Ol’ Man River” is good news for the audience, because it means they get to hear plenty from the remarkable Phillip Boykin as Joe. Boykin, who played Joe in the national tour of “Show Boat,” receives a screaming, whistling, thunderous ovation from the NSMT opening night audience after his great performance of “Ol’ Man River,” and a roaring standing ovation at the curtain call after the show.

Loads of fun: ‘Ain’t Misbehavin” by Marsha Reiniers – Hernando Today

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Larger than life Phillip Lamar Boykin charms the crowd each time he opens his mouth to sing. Whether purring or roaring, his rich velvety voice, combined with a perpetual twinkle in his eye and a larger than life physical persona make him a force to be reckoned with. I mean, let’s face it folks. Anyone who can take a song entitled ‘Your Feet’s Too Big’ and tell a convincing story and keep the crowd hanging onto every word is a true professional.His ‘Honeysuckle Rose,’ showcases his vocal range well, and sung with newcomer Mareeko Finney, it was brilliant and perfectly enunciated. And of course, the opening night crowd couldn’t resist joining in on ‘I’m Gonna Sit Right Down and Write Myself a Letter.’ Later, Finney, looking stunning in red, slowed down the pace a bit with her lovely rendition of ‘Mean to Me.’Mimi Jimenez as the exuberant high soprano shows much dimension as she sings the flirtatious ‘Squeeze Me,’ and her duet with Boykin, ‘Two Sleepy People,’ was very touching. Reggie Whitehead, with his elastic dance moves, mesmerized the crowed in the reefer laced number, ‘The Viper’s Drag,’ and he and Boykin draw the crowd in with the silly song, ‘Fat and Greasy,’ a l939 hit!

“..’Ain’t Misbehavin’” by Barbara Fredricksen

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“Phillip Lamar Boykin shows what can be done with the human voice in Honeysuckle Rose. Boykin has toured the world as an opera and pop opera singer, and has an incredible vocal range, going from clear falsetto to basso profundo in one breath. But here, he also gets to show his considerable comedic talents, with roguish winks, mischievous eye-pops and stylish physical humor. Wow, what a performer.” “.. the comical Your Feet’s Too Big done larger-than-life by the incredible Boykin.” – St. Petersburg Times