Billy Porter, Tony and Grammy Award Winner, to Bring Broadway and Soul to Kean Stage on April 22


Experience Porter's take on iconic songs and stories from the Great White Way

UNION, N.J. – Tony and Grammy Award winner Billy Porter will perform an evening of Broadway songs and stories on Saturday, April 22 at Kean University

In his show, Broadway & Soul, at Kean Stage’s intimate Enlow Recital Hall, Porter will sing some of the most iconic songs ever performed on the Great White Way, including I Have Dreamed, Lady is a Tramp and Edelweiss.

“It will be my twist on traditional songs, honoring what came before us and creating a new way of hearing them,” said Porter.

In addition to his performance, Porter will be teaching a master class with students from Kean University’s Theatre Conservatory. It is his way of paying it forward to the next generation of stage performers. 

“Richard Rodgers was the hit maker of his day,” Porter said. “Back then, theater music was the popular music that was played on the radio. When rock and roll, R&B and pop music entered the picture, they took that distinction away from the theater artists.”

The Pittsburgh native and Carnegie Mellon graduate grew up singing in church and knew he was destined for a career in the arts, ever since he performed in his first middle school musical.

“It’s what I was chosen to do,” he said. “I had a passion for it, enough to keep me buoyant and forward moving.”

Porter first appeared on Broadway in Miss Saigon and subsequently had parts in Five Guys Named Moe, Grease and Smokey Joe’s Café. He is perhaps best known as the original Lola in Kinky Boots, a groundbreaking role that garnered him the 2013 Tony Award and Drama Desk Award for lead actor in a musical.

Kinky Boots really put me in the public eye in a way that I hadn’t been for the first 25 years of my career,” said Porter. “It opened up a lot of doors and allowed me to move on to the next level of my career.”

Most recently, Porter appeared on Broadway alongside Audra McDonald, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Joshua Henry and Brandon Victor Dixon in Shuffle Along, or the Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed. He is currently directing a production of the Pulitzer Prize-winning show, Topdog/Underdog, at Boston’s Huntington Theatre Company.

During his appearance at Kean Stage, Porter will perform songs from Kinky Boots as well as classics from his 2014 CD, Billy’s Back on Broadway, and his forthcoming CD, Billy Porter Presents: The Soul of Richard Rodgers, which will be released just about a week earlier, on April 14.

Billy Porter: Broadway and Soul will be performed at Kean University's Enlow Recital Hall, 215 North Avenue, Hillside, N.J., at 7:30 p.m.Saturday, April 22. Tickets are $45-65. Tickets can be purchased at the Kean Stage Box Office in Wilkins Theatre on the main campus, by phone at 908-737-SHOW (7469) or online at


Tony and Grammy Award winner Billy Porter will perform Broadway and Soul at Kean University’s Enlow Recital Hall on Saturday, April 22

Tony and Grammy Award winner Billy Porter will perform Broadway and Soul at Kean University’s Enlow Recital Hall on Saturday, April 22

Tony and Grammy Award winner Billy Porter will perform Broadway and Soul at Kean University’s Enlow Recital Hall on Saturday, April 22.

Founded in 1855, Kean University has become one of the largest metropolitan institutions of higher education in the region, with a richly diverse student, faculty and staff population. Kean continues to play a key role in the training of teachers and is a hub of educational, technological and cultural enrichment serving nearly 15,000 students. The University’s five undergraduate colleges offer more than 50 undergraduate degrees over a full range of academic subjects. The Nathan Weiss Graduate College offers four doctoral degree programs and more than 60 options for graduate study leading to master’s degrees, professional diplomas or certifications. With campuses in Union and Toms River, New Jersey, and Wenzhou, China, Kean University furthers its mission by providing an affordable and accessible world-class education. Visit

Kean Stage at Kean University educates, entertains and challenges audiences by presenting high-quality programs that reflect the diversity of the region and of the arts. These cultural offerings complement the intellectual life of the classroom for our students, increase opportunities for community engagement, and provide affordable access to the arts for New Jersey residents. Audiences of all ages are invited to enjoy a wide range of professional theatre, Broadway tours, dance performances, concerts, international films and family-friendly shows. In addition, Kean Stage encourages University students to attend events, and provides several options to explore the performing arts through master classes, workshops, lectures, employment opportunities as ushers, backstage technicians and box office staff. Visit ​​.



Press Contact: 

Steve Cochran
Manager of Kean Stage
Phone: (908) 737-4081
Fax: (908) 737-4636

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