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Brandon Victor Dixon (born September 23, 1981)[1] is an American actor, singer and theatrical producer. As an actor, he is known for Tony-nominated Broadway performances as Harpo in the 2005 musical The Color Purple and Eubie Blake in Shuffle Along, or, the Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed (2016). He originated both roles, as well as the leading role of Berry Gordy Jr. in Motown: The Musical (2013) on Broadway, which earned a Grammy nomination for Best Musical Theater Album. In 2016, Dixon assumed the role of Aaron Burr in the Broadway company of Hamilton. Off-Broadway as well as in London's West End, Dixon played the role of Hayward Patterson in The Scottsboro Boys.

Brandon Victor Dixon
Born (1981-09-23) September 23, 1981 (age 37)
ResidenceNew York City, New York, US
CitizenshipUnited States
Alma materSt. Albans School
Columbia University
OccupationActor, singer, producer
Years active2003–present
Notable credit(s)
The Color Purple
The Scottsboro Boys
Motown: The Musical
Shuffle Along
Hamilton
Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert!
Of Mice and Men
Hedwig and the Angry Inch
WebsiteBrandonVictorDixon.com

As a producer, Dixon's credits include Broadway revivals Of Mice and Men (2014) and Hedwig and the Angry Inch; the latter won the 2014 Tony Award and the Drama Desk Award for best revival of a musical.

In 2018, Dixon portrayed Judas Iscariot in NBC's live concert version of Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice's rock opera, Jesus Christ Superstar, for which he received a Primetime Emmy nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or Movie.

Contents

Early lifeEdit

Dixon was born in Gaithersburg, Maryland and attended the St. Albans School and Columbia University, where he graduated in 2003.[2][3] He attended the British American Drama Academy at Balliol College, Oxford, England, in mid-1999.[4]

Dixon has noted Ragtime was the "first ever show I saw."[5]

TheaterEdit

PerformingEdit

Early performancesEdit

In 2003, Dixon played Royal in the Encores! production of House of Flowers and adult Simba in the national touring company of The Lion King,[6] a role he landed immediately after graduating from Columbia.[3]

The Color PurpleEdit

In 2005, Dixon created the role of Harpo on Broadway in the musical The Color Purple, for which he was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in a Musical.[7] In The New York Times, theater critic Ben Brantley's review compared Dixon to castmates Felicia P. Fields and Elisabeth Withers-Mendes in the way the latter two "exude a sensual energy that you can feel the audience wants to luxuriate in. (The same impression is cut, in a sunnier vein, by Brandon Victor Dixon[...])".[8]

Dixon subsequently joined the show's touring company. In a 2009 review, The Boston Globe noted the men in the cast were given less to work than the show's women, but said Dixon's performance was nevertheless "lithe and amusing," played to "superb comedic effect."[9]

The Scottsboro BoysEdit

In 2010, Dixon originated the role of Haywood Patterson, in the Off-Broadway production of the musical The Scottsboro Boys, for which he was nominated for the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Actor in a Musical.[10] In a review for Variety, David Rooney said, "Haywood Patterson['s] fierce pride and refusal to die for a lie provides an affecting center to the show in Brandon Victor Dixon’s charismatic performance."[11] In the Times, Brantley said, "Brandon Victor Dixon gives the show a shot of soft-pedaled star power. His 11 o’clock number, an angry what-I-stand-for anthem, is especially affecting."[12]

In 2014, Dixon returned to the role of Haywood Patterson in London's West End production of The Scottsboro Boys.[13]

Other showsEdit

In 2011, Dixon portrayed Tom Collins in the Off-Broadway revival of Rent.[7]

Dixon created the role of Berry Gordy Jr., founder of the Motown record label, in the original Broadway production of Motown: The Musical, which Gordy wrote himself. The show opened at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre on April 14, 2013. His first leading role on Broadway,[14] critics described it as a "tough, sketchy assignment" in what they felt was a flawed show,[15][16][17][18] but Dixon nevertheless earned a nomination for a Drama League Award for Distinguished Performance.[19]

In 2016, Dixon appeared in the role of Eubie Blake in the musical Shuffle Along, or, the Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed on Broadway at the Music Box Theatre.[20] He was nominated for the Tony Award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical for his performance.[21]

HamiltonEdit

Dixon assumed the lead role of Aaron Burr in the Broadway company of Hamilton on August 23, 2016,[22] recruited in part by the role's originator, Leslie Odom, Jr., and selected over the role's three understudies when Dixon became available following the early close of Shuffle Along.[5] Previously Dixon had performed with Hamilton castmate Renée Elise Goldsberry in The Color Purple, as well as other members of the cast, including Christopher Jackson, Ephraim Sykes, and Sasha Hutchings, in workshops and festivals.[5] Dixon played the role of Burr through August 13, 2017.[23]

Reviewing the show in June 2017 for Deadline Hollywood, Jeremy Gerard said that Dixon and other replacements merited comparison with the original cast for the formers' development of distinct but no less compelling interpretations of their characters: "Hamilton’s nemesis, Aaron Burr, is played by the exceptionally fine Brandon Victor Dixon replacing Leslie Odom Jr. The latter was steel cloaked in suavity, while Dixon is more severe in the opening number, which gives us both Hamilton’s back story and the seeds of a rivalry that will only conclude in a duel on the New Jersey shore many decades later. Delivering what is, to my mind, the show’s most astonishing number, 'The Room Where It Happens,' Dixon’s another knockout."[24]

In November 2016, shortly after the U.S. presidential election, Republican Vice President-elect Mike Pence attended Hamilton and Dixon addressed him from the stage following the performance, thanking him for attending and stating: "We, sir—we—are the diverse America who are alarmed and anxious that your new administration will not protect us, our planet, our children, our parents, or defend us and uphold our inalienable rights. We truly hope that this show has inspired you to uphold our American values and to work on behalf of all of us."[25] This statement was jointly written by the cast, show creator Lin-Manuel Miranda, and producer Jeffrey Seller. Pence stated that he was not offended,[25] but President-elect Donald Trump demanded an apology for the "harassment" of Pence.[26]

ProducingEdit

in 2013, Dixon and Motown the Musical choreographer Warren Adams founded WalkRunFly Productions to support productions for young artists.[27] Through WalkRunFly Productions, he co-produced the 2014 Broadway productions of Of Mice and Men, which was nominated for the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Revival of a Play, and Hedwig and the Angry Inch, which won the Tony Award for Best Revival of a Musical as well as the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Revival of a Musical.[28]

As of January 2017, WalkRunFly has two more shows in development: a transfer to Broadway of Whorl Inside a Loop, a play by Dick Scanlan and Sherie Rene Scott set in a prison, and Trial of the Century, a musical about the Lindbergh baby kidnapping.[29]

TelevisionEdit

In addition to his theater work, Dixon began a recurring role on Starz series, Power, in 2017 as attorney Terry Silver. He has been promoted to a series regular as of the fifth season which aired in 2018.[30]

Dixon portrayed Judas Iscariot in the live televised concert production of Jesus Christ Superstar on April 1, 2018, Easter Sunday. Reviewing the show for New York magazine, Matt Zoller Seitz named Dixon as giving one of the “strongest performances” in what Zoller Seitz called "one of the most impressive things I’ve seen in the 20-plus years I’ve been writing about TV." He found Dixon and castmates John Legend, Sara Bareilles, Norm Lewis and Jin Ha “so superb, in terms of their acting as well as their singing, that they diminished other performers who might have been singled out as scene-stealers in lesser productions, such as Alice Cooper’s King Herod.”[31] In The New York Times, Noel Murray gave a similarly rave review, calling the production "a conceptual and artistic triumph" and Dixon its "powerful and charismatic" standout: "Given what 'Jesus Christ Superstar' ultimately says about idols and the people in their shadow, it is appropriate that this production was dominated by Dixon's portrayal of Judas."[32]

Dixon has also appeared on television in The Good Wife and in the 40th Annual Kennedy Center Honors.[33]

In 2019, Dixon appeared in another televised concert production, Fox’s Rent: Live as Tom Collins.[34]

Personal lifeEdit

Dixon lives in New York City.[6] In 2019, he delivered the Columbia College Class Day speech.[35]

Awards and nominationsEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Dixon, Brandon Victor (September 23, 2016). "Happy Birthday to my Birthday Buddy! @KKChiMo". Twitter. Retrieved 4 April 2018.
  2. ^ "Motown's Brandon Victor Dixon Remembers Break-Ups and Boyz II Men in High School", Broadway.com, September 9, 2013, accessed December 25, 2014
  3. ^ a b Ritzel, Rebecca (2016-06-10). "Maryland native is hoping second time's the charm at this year's Tony Awards". Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved 2018-04-03.
  4. ^ Wolf, Matt. "Brandon Victor Dixon on Coming Home to The Scottsboro Boys in London & His Side Gig as a B’way Producer", Broadway.com, October 8, 2014
  5. ^ a b c Morgan, Richard (August 18, 2016). "'Hamilton': New Aaron Burr, Brandon Victor Dixon, Prepares to Take His Shot". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2018-04-03.
  6. ^ a b "Bio". brandonvictordixon.com. Retrieved 2018-04-03.
  7. ^ a b "Brandon Victor Dixon Theatre Credits". Broadwayworld.com. Retrieved 2012-05-26.
  8. ^ Brantley, Ben (2005-12-02). "The Color Purple - Review - Theater". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2018-04-03.
  9. ^ Kennedy, Louise (2009-06-19). "A strong and spirited "Color Purple". Boston.com. Retrieved 2018-04-03.
  10. ^ Healy, Patrick (2010-04-29). "Brandon Victor Dixon to Play Ray Charles on Broadway - NYTimes.com". Artsbeat.blogs.nytimes.com. Retrieved 2012-05-26.
  11. ^ Rooney, David (2010-03-11). "The Scottsboro Boys". Variety. Retrieved 2018-04-03.
  12. ^ Brantley, Ben (2010-03-10). "Kander and Ebb Revisit an Infamous Case". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2018-04-03.
  13. ^ Gardner, Lyn. "The Scottsboro Boys review – a dazzling civil rights musical", The Guardian, October 20, 2014
  14. ^ Bonazzo, John (2016-06-03). "'Shuffle Along' Star Talks Tonys and Diversity". Observer. Retrieved 2018-04-03.
  15. ^ Jones, Chris. "Songs, not stories, get top billing in 'Motown'". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2018-04-04.
  16. ^ Isherwood, Charles (2013-04-14). "'Motown: The Musical,' Berry Gordy's Story". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2018-04-04.
  17. ^ Giltz, Michael (2013-04-18). "Theater: Motown: The Musical a Missed Opportunity". Huffington Post. Retrieved 2018-04-04.
  18. ^ Rooney, David (April 14, 2013). "'Motown: The Musical': Theater Review". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2018-04-04.
  19. ^ Evans, Suzy (23 April 2013). "2013 Drama League Awards Nominees Announced". Backstage.com. Retrieved 18 December 2014.
  20. ^ Purcell, Carey. "Brian Stokes Mitchell and Audra McDonald Will Reunite on Broadway in Shuffle Along, Billy Porter Joins Them", Playbill.com, August 9, 2015
  21. ^ "See Full List of 2016 Tony Award Nominations", Playbill, May 3, 2016
  22. ^ "New Burr, Sir: Brandon Victor Dixon Joins Hamilton Tonight | Playbill". Playbill. Retrieved 2016-08-24.
  23. ^ "Photo Flash: Brandon Victor Dixon Toasts Final Performance in Broadway's HAMILTON". BroadwayWorld.com. August 16, 2017. Retrieved 2018-04-03.
  24. ^ Gerard, Jeremy (2017-06-26). "Review: 'Hamilton's Revolution Still Shoots Fireworks Over Broadway". Deadline. Retrieved 2018-04-03.
  25. ^ a b Nelson, Eliot (21 November 2016). "Mike Pence's 'Hamilton' Recollection Conflicts With Donald Trump's Take". Huffington Post. Retrieved 21 November 2016.
  26. ^ Levine, Sam (20 November 2016). "Donald Trump Is Really Upset Mike Pence Got Booed At 'Hamilton'". Huffington Post. Retrieved 21 November 2016.
  27. ^ Rapp, Ilana (24 April 2014). "Grammy and Tony Award Nominated Brandon Victor Dixon is on Broadway in MOTOWN: The Musical". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 18 December 2014.
  28. ^ "WalkRunFly Productions". IBDB: the Internet Broadway Database. Retrieved December 25, 2014.
  29. ^ Cox, Gordon (2017-01-17). "'Hamilton' Star Brandon Victor Dixon Reflects on That Mike Pence Moment". Variety. Retrieved 2018-04-04.
  30. ^ Petski, Denise (2017-10-04). "'Power': Brandon Victor Dixon Upped To Series Regular For Season 5". Deadline. Retrieved 2018-04-03.
  31. ^ Seitz, Matt Zoller (April 2, 2018). "NBC's Jesus Christ Superstar Set a New Standard for Live Musicals". Vulture. New York Magazine. Retrieved 3 April 2018.
  32. ^ Murray, Noel (2018-04-02). "Review: In 'Jesus Christ Superstar,' an Old Story for (Yet Another) New Millennium". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2018-04-03.
  33. ^ Otterson, Joe (2018-02-22). "'Hamilton' Alum Brandon Victor Dixon Joins NBC's 'Jesus Christ Superstar Live'". Variety. Retrieved 2018-04-03.
  34. ^ Turchiano, Danielle (29 October 2018). "Tinashe, Kiersey Clemons Among Cast for Fox's Live Version of 'Rent'". Variety. Retrieved January 28, 2019.
  35. ^ College, Columbia (2019-05-21). "Behind the scenes: Deantini and Columbia College Class Day speaker Brandon Victor Dixon CC' 03. #myccjourneypic.twitter.com/hBKajSvb0H". @CC_Columbia. Retrieved 2019-05-21.

External linksEdit