Newark Library Hosts Glee Club, Salutes Two Black Playwrights

NEWARK — The Newark Public Library’s Black History Celebration continues this week with two events saluting black stars of stage and screen. Both will be held at the Main Library, 5 Washington Street.

On Saturday, Feb. 4, from noon to 3 p.m. the North Jersey Philharmonic Glee Club, one of the oldest male singing groups in the nation, will sing “The Sounds of Broadway” in Centennial Hall.

The Glee Club has a rich history of preserving the tradition of male choral singing. Founded in 1939, the group has shared the stage with Paul Robeson, Harry Belafonte, Smokey Robinson and Savion Glover.

On Wednesday, Feb. 8 from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., the plays of August Wilson and Lorraine Hansberry, two of America’s most renowned playwrights, will be screened on DVD in the 4th Floor Auditorium.

Hansberry’s famous “A Raisin in the Sun” continues to endure as a classic. Wilson is the author of the Pulitzer Prize winning plays “Fences” and “The Piano Lesson.”

The events are part of the Newark Public Library’s 2012 Black History celebration, a two-month series of events exploring the powerful and often overlooked history of black theatre, from Newark’s groundbreaking companies of the 1960s to Broadway stars like Ethel Waters and Lena Horne.

Entitled “We Wear the Mask: Black Theatre in Newark & Near, From 1700s to 2012,’’ the series features an exhibition of memorabilia and photos curated by Sandra L. West and displayed in the Main Library’s second floor galleries on view through March 24.

Funding for the Library’s Black History Month activities and exhibit has been provided by a grant from the PNC Foundation.

All programs are free and open to the public. For more information or to arrange a tour of the exhibits, call 1-973-733-5411. In case of inclement weather, please call 1-973-733-7800 to determine whether the library is open.

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