via press release:
GMC TV PRESENTS WORLD PREMIERE ORIGINAL GOSPEL PLAY ‘SUGAR MOMMAS’
VANESSA WILLIAMS, TERRI J. VAUGHN, LAMMAN RUCKER AND
RACHEL TRUE LEAD AN ENSEMBLE CAST IN THE
HEART-WARMING GOSPEL MUSICAL COMEDY
PREMIERING SATURDAY, JANUARY 21st AT 7:00 PM ET
EXCLUSIVELY ON GMC
Featuring Grammy© Nominated Gospel Artist VaShawn Mitchell
ATLANTA, GA – January 13, 2012 – GMC TV, America’s favorite channel for uplifting music and family entertainment, presents the World Television Premiere of the original gospel play “Sugar Mommas,” starring Daytime Emmy© nominee Vanessa Williams (“Lincoln Heights,” “Soul Food”) and NAACP Image Award© winner Terri J. Vaughn (“,” Daddy’s Little Girls). “Sugar Mommas” premieres on GMC Saturday, January 21ST at 7:00 p.m. ET with encore broadcasts at 9:00 p.m. and 11:00 p.m. ET.
“Sugar Mommas” features a stellar cast including Daytime Emmy nominee Vanessa Williams (“Lincoln Heights,” “Soul Food”), NAACP Image Award winner Terri J. Vaughn (“,” Daddy’s Little Girls), Rachel True (“Half & Half”), Lamman Rucker (“ ,” Why Did I Get Married Too?), Tommy Ford (“Martin”) and the Grammy-nominated Gospel music sensation VaShawn Mitchell. “Sugar Mommas” is directed by Roger Melvin (“The Love You Save,” “She’s Still Not Our Sister”), and written by Cas Sigers (A Cross To Bear).
Inspiring, heart-warming and hilarious, “Sugar Mommas” centers on three 40-something women who start a bakery together to fulfill their own sweet desires to be independent women after motherhood, failed marriages and the loss of loved ones have left indelible marks on their lives. Together, their story is a celebration of womanhood, the good and the bad, as each learns new lessons about maturing, love and romance, and opportunity.
“Sugar Mommas” follows sisters Sheila (Vaughn) and Lynn (Williams), who have lived very different lives. Sheila is widowed and Lynn recently divorced with a daughter in college. With time on their hands and longing for something different, they decide to start a business together and, having always loved sweets, a bakery seems a natural choice for them. When they invite close friend Tommi (Rachel True) to join them as their specialty pie maker, their recipe for success is complete. But these three women’s personalities are as distinct as the cupcake flavors they invent: Lynn is sassy and bold; Sheila is sweet and enduring, often to her own detriment; and Tommi is extremely practical, and the day to day at “Sugar Mommas” becomes an often spicy mix. As old challenges, new loves and opportunities surface, these women embark on a journey of self-awareness, affirmation, and hope as they write the next chapter in their sweet lives.
“’Sugar Mommas’ is an exceptionally entertaining stage play that provides interesting character roles not only for female actors of color, but for female actors in an age bracket that the entertainment industry as a whole tends to under-represent,” said Leslie Chesloff, executive vice president of programming at GMC. “It’s a life stage that’s rich with possibilities for growth and learning, which this production celebrates—as do we at GMC.”
The GMC broadcast of “Sugar Mommas” is produced by Swirl Films’ Eric Tomosunas, who has produced and taped numerous stage plays and feature-length films for television and DVD including, “Love Me or Leave Me,” “The Ideal Husband,” Love for Sale,A Mother’s Prayer, and There’s a Stranger in My House.
“Sugar Mommas” is the sixth original gospel stage play to air in GMC’s hit series following the success of GMC productions “Love Me or Leave Me”, “The Ideal Husband”, “She’s Not Our Sister,” “The Love You Save,” and “She’s Still Not Our Sister.” GMC, which has more installments planned for 2012, is the only network producing the popular medium and bringing it to a broad television audience.
“We could not be more thrilled with the overwhelmingly positive response we’ve received for our gospel plays, which have become a cornerstone of our programming,” said GMC Vice Chairman Brad Siegel. “These heartwarming, funny and uplifting stories feature characters that are vibrant and real, and who face challenges many of us can identify with. It’s that ‘relatability factor’ that has made this stage play series so successful, and “Sugar Mommas” is no exception.”
GMC (www.watchGMCtv.com) is America’s favorite television channel for uplifting music and family entertainment. The Parents Television Council™ awarded its Entertainment Seal of Approval™ to GMC for being “an authentic family-friendly cable network.” In 2011, GMC was the second fastest growing ad supported cable network in total day households and A18-49. GMC can be seen in more than 51 million homes on various cable systems around the country, as well as DISH Network on channel 188, DIRECTV on channel 338 and Verizon FiOS on channel 224. Follow GMC TV on Facebook and Twitter at http://facebook.com/gmctv andhttp://twitter.com/gmctv.
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About the Cast
Vanessa Williams is one of the most respected and multi-faceted performers in entertainment today. Born in Brooklyn, New York, this actor, writer, director, and producer has become a main stay in Hollywood appearing in film and television. She made her film debut in 1991 in “New Jack City.” Williams appeared in “Law & Order,” “The Cosby Show,” “NYPD Blue,” and “Mother” playing opposite Lisa Kudrow and Albert Brooks. She garnered rave reviews for her performance in Steven Bochco's critically acclaimed television drama “Murder One” and “Chicago Hope” (earning her first NAACP Image Award nomination). Moreover, she played diverse roles in productions such as FOX’s original hit series “Melrose Place,” Showtime’s longest running drama series “Soul Food” for which she won a NAACP Image Award (five nominations total), “Flirting With Forty,” which received impressive ratings and another Image Award nomination. Vanessa also received a Daytime Emmy nomination for her extraordinary work in Our America - a Showtime original movie. On the big screen, she co-starred in Imagine That with Eddie Murphy and costars in the upcoming feature film, Redemption with Michael Madsen and Louis Gossett, Jr. Williams is the author of a collection of poetry and prose titled “Shine” which has appeared in national publications including Essence Magazine. “Shine” inspired her most recent theatre work, a one-woman play called “Feet On The Ceiling!” This coming of age story premiered at the 2011 National Black Theatre Festival to packed houses and rave reviews. As a filmmaker, she wrote, directed and produced the short film “Dense”, which aired on Showtime. She serves on the board of the Black Aids Institute, has directed many of her entertainment colleagues in PSAs for the organization and actively campaigns throughout Hollywood to contribute to the fight against HIV/AIDS. Williams was raised in New York City and currently resides in California.
Terri J. Vaughn
Three-time NAACP Image Award nominee Terri J. Vaughn has been a consistent presence on television for the last ten years. She currently is seen as a regular on Tyler Perry’s successful TBS sitcom “.” Her previous television credits include “The Steve Harvey Show,” and “All of Us,” along with numerous guest appearances on a variety of shows including “ER,” “Living Single,” and Showtime’s “Soul Food.” Vaughn’s feature film credits include Daddy’s Little Girls, Dirty Laundry, and 3 Can Play That Game. Vaughn is president of “Tree Sound Studios” an acting school she founded in Atlanta, GA and founder of the Take Wings Foundation, an organization in the San Francisco Bay Area committed to motivating, uplifting and inspiring young girls 13-18 years of age, growing up in at risk communities and foster care. The group supports young girls in ways to make them positive, productive and successful. Vaughn produced and starred in the feature length documentary “Angels Can’t Help But Laugh,” and most recently produced A Cross To Bear for GMC TV slated to premiere in February 2012. Terri J. Vaughn is a native of San Francisco, CA and currently makes her home in Atlanta, GA.
Rachel True is a native of New York City and has been entertaining audiences since the 1990s. Her television credits include starring roles on “The Drew Carey Show,” “Once and Again,” and “Half & Half.” Her television guest appearances include a variety of shows including “Noah’s Arc,” “Dawson’s Creek,” “Providence,” “Boston Common,” “Family Matters,” “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air,” “Beverly Hills, 90210,” and more. Her television film credits include Moment of Truth: Stalking Back, A Walton Wedding, The Apartment Complex, and Love Song. True’s feature film credits include The Perfect Holiday, New Best Friend, and The Killing of Wendy, among others. Rachel True is a native of New York City and currently resides in California.
NAACP Image Award nominee Lamman Rucker has been acting since the age of 10 and has performed in television, motion pictures and on stage. His television credits include Tyler Perry’s “Meet the Browns,” “Half & Half,” “” and “ .” His numerous television guest appearances include shows such as “Law & Order” and “All of Us” and roles in television movies in mini-series including “The Jacksons: The American Dream” and “The Temptations.” On Stage, Rucker received a 2002 Audelco nomination for his role in Euripides’ Media and most recently starred in “Black Angels Over Tuskeegee” a play produced by Black Gents of Hollywood, a Los Angeles based all black male theatre company of which Rucker is a founding member. A graduate of the illustrious Duke Ellington School of the Arts in Washington, DC, Rucker’s accomplishments also include a NFAA Presidential Scholarship in the Arts nomination and Drama & Musical Theatre training at Carnegie MellonUniversity. He went on to become a successful teacher, coach, mentor and youth advocate - acquiring a Masters of Science in Education in 2000 and then on to star in BET's award-winning HIV/AIDS film "Let's Talk" in 2006. His motion picture credits include Tyler Perry’s Why Did I Get Married?, Why Did I Get Married Too, the independent romantic comedy I'm Through With White Girls - The Inevitable Undoing of Jay Brooks, and the inspirational film The Greatest Song which he also produced. Mr. Rucker is an activist and spokesperson for several non-profit organizations and community action initiatives including A.H.E.A.D., Inc., Inner City Industry, BET's Rap-It-Up campaign, the Black AIDS Institute, The Magic Johnson Foundation and several grass-roots organizations across the country leading the way in uplifting families and mobilizing communities to encourage prevention, education and testing initiatives for HIV/AIDS and other issues. Lamman Rucker was born in Pittsburgh, PA and grew up inWashington, DC.
Best known for his role as “Tommy Strawn” in the hit television series “Martin” opposite Martin Lawrence, Tommy Ford has appeared in various roles in film and television since 1985. His television credits include “Martin,” “New York Undercover,” “The Parkers” and “Whose Got Jokes” along with numerous guest appearances on a variety of shows including “House,” “The Pretender,” “Judging Amy,” “The Proud Family,” and “The Jamie Foxx Show.” Tommy Ford is a native of Yonkers, NY and currently resides in Los Angeles, California.
Two time Grammy© nominee VaShawn Mitchell first made his mark in Gospel more than a decade ago. While still a teenager, he held prominent positions in the music departments of two of Chicago’s most prominent churches, St. Mark’s Baptist Church and Bishop Larry D. Trotter’s Sweet Holy Spirit Church. As the youngest Minister of Music in the latter church’s history, Mitchell successfully merged the contemporary themes he composed with the traditional choir vibe for which Sweet Holy Spirit Churchwas known. His efforts resulted in several top-selling choir recordings and spawned such memorable hits as “My Testimony” and “Trouble Don’t Last.” Mitchell has become a recognized songwriter, penning hits for several of Gospel’s most celebrated voices, including Smokie Norful, Vanessa Bell Armstrong, and Bishop Paul Morton and recently topped the nominees of the 27th Annual Stellar Awards with 11 nominations led by the strength of his hit single “Nobody Greater”. Mitchell garnered top Stellar Award nominations, including Artist of the Year, CD of the Year, Album of the Year, and Contemporary Male Vocalist of the Year. VaShawn Mitchell is a native of Chicago, Illinois.
About the Director
Roger Melvin is a versatile filmmaker with extensive television and feature film credits to his name. He has played key behind-the-scenes roles as well as directed and produced features and television films. His directing credits include the GMC TV original plays “She’s Still Not Our Sister,” “The Love You Save,” the documentary feature “Agree to Disagree,” and “He’s Mine Not Yours,” a feature which Melvin also produced.