The 57th Season of Town Hall continues today, with guest Ben Vereen. Vereen shot to Broadway stardom when he won the 1972 Tony Award for his starring role in Bob Fosse‘s Pippin. He became a famously versatile song-and-dance man, a stage star who appeared occasionally in feature films and television. His most famous roles on TV include African slave Chicken George in the
miniseries Roots (1977), Jeff Goldblum‘s partner in the 1980 cop show Tenspeed and Brownshoe (Vereen was Tenspeed) and the grumpy police captain in Silk Stalkings (1991-93). His feature films have included Funny Lady (1975, starring Barbra Streisand), All That Jazz (1979, by Fosse) and Idlewild (2006, starring Terrence Howard). In 1992 Vereen was accidentally hit by a car driven by music producer David Foster in Malibu, California. The injuries seemed career-threatening, but the next year Vereen made a
triumphal Broadway return in Jelly’s Last Jam. In the 1990s Vereen guest-starred on TV’s Star Trek: The Next Generation as the father of engineer Geordi LaForge, played by LeVar Burton. In Roots Vereen had played the grandson of another Burton character, Kunta Kinte. Next up for Town Hall is Candice DeLong, former FBI profiler and Jim Abbot, All-American Pitcher for Michigan.