Few entertainers today are as accomplished as Ben Vereen. He won both a Tony Award and Drama Desk Award for “Pippin” and starred in such phenomenal musicals as “Jesus Christ Superstar,” “Fosse,” “Hair,” “Jelly’s Last Jam,” “Chicago,” “Wicked,” and “I’m Not Rappaport,” to name a few. He is remembered for films like “Sweet Charity” and “All That Jazz,” and became a household name in his Emmy winning role of Chicken George in the groundbreaking television series “Roots.”
Bryan Cranston chose Ben to co-star in the Amazon hit series “Sneaky Pete,” followed by guest spots in “Magnum P.I.” and “Bull,” for CBS, multiple episodes of Lee Daniel’s “Star,” for Fox, and the BET Series “Tales.” Ben starred with Richard Gere in “Time Out of Mind,” Chris Rock in “Top Five,” and was featured as Dr. Scott in the re-imagined “The Rocky Horror Picture Show,” for 20th Century Fox. He is currently working on his new Broadway show with music by Stephen Schwartz and continues to tour the country with his concert act, motivational lectures, and master classes. Ben performed a sold out run of eight shows at Jazz at Lincoln Center, as well as concerts in Phoenix, Toronto, Los Angeles, San Diego, Las Vegas, Pittsburgh, Indianapolis, and lectured at the world famous Tuskegee University for Black History Month. He has upcoming dates in 2021 in Las Vegas at the Star Trek Convention, in Chicago, and North Carolina to name a few.
Ben is a master teacher, working with acting students on the “authenticity of acting.” He has worked with students across the country and in Canada, including having one of his classes appear on Oprah’s “Where Are They Now?” He has also taught at many colleges and universities including, the University of Arizona, University of Las Vegas, University of Miami, Cornish College, San Diego State, and University of the Arts in Philadelphia, to name a few. He has taught for many years at the Broadway Theatre Project, which is a performing arts summer program, as well as CAPA in Pittsburgh, PA and the Las Vegas Academy, where high school students were hired by Ben to make their professional debut on stage during Ben’s concert.
Ben is an active member of Americans for the Arts, the largest advocacy group of the Arts in America. He went to Washington DC and spoke before Congress defending the National Endowment for the Arts against the proposed budget cuts. He also attended the Democratic National Convention where he spoke to various senators, congressmen, governors on the arts and education and later sang “What the World Needs Now,” on television in front of approximately 50,000 delegates.
For his humanitarian contributions, he received a number of awards including Israel’s Cultural and Humanitarian Awards, three NAACP Image Awards, an Eleanor Roosevelt Humanitarian Award and a Victory Award. He received honorary doctorates from the University of Arizona, Emerson College, St. Francis College, and Columbia College in Chicago. Medgar Evers College created the Ben Vereen Scholarship for the Performing Arts, and received an Achievement in Excellence Award from his alma mater, the High School of the Performing Arts. Ben was inducted in to The Theatre Hall of Fame, the Dance Hall of Fame, and received various Emmy and Golden globe nominations. In, New York City he received the Broadwayworld.com Cabaret Award for Best Celebrity Male Vocalist. Ben received the Career Achievement Award (Le Prix International Film Star Awards Organization). He is most proud of his ongoing work involving the Arts and Education, and providing the youth with arts programs across America. Last November, Ben received the Lifetime Achievement Award from The Gold Coast International Film Festival. Next year he will be awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award from The Broadway Beacon Awards.
Ben Vereen, actor, entertainer, activist, motivational speaker, true humanitarian. He is the undefinable Triumph of the Spirit.
“It’s always pleasant to spend time in the company of a survivor, a pro, and a performing prince. Ben Vereen is all three.”– The New York Times
“The class was STUNNING. Ben arrived, sat down, looked the kids in the eyes and opened up his heart. When he worked with two singers, he was able to move them to a completely new territory in emotionally connecting with the material. Their voices, minds and hearts soared and the audience of about 200 were in tears. Thank you again ever so much. A few of ours including some staff got to the show on Saturday night and raved. Thanks for bringing him into town!”– Greg Dowler-Coltman (class promoter)