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Ms. Brenda Braxton


About Me

Brenda Braxton was destined for the stage. While most of her classmates at the famed High School of Performing Arts dreamed that their talents would one day be recognized, a year after graduation, Brenda was cast in the hit Broadway show “Guys & Dolls.” Her real claim to fame was her performance in Broadway’s musical revue “Smokey Joe's Café” which earned her a Tony Award nomination, the NAACP Theater Award, the city of Chicago’s Jefferson Award and a Grammy Award for Best Cast Album. She went on to star as Velma Kelly in Broadway’s hit musical “Chicago” opposite Usher, BeBe Neuwirth, Rita Wilson and Brian McKnight. Her other Broadway credits include “Jelly’s Last Jam” with Gregory Hines and Savion Glover, “Cats,” “Legs Diamond” and the original production of “Dreamgirls” with Jennifer Holiday. Her TV credits include “Nurse Jackie,” “Smash,” and most recently “The Good Fight” Season 3 on CBS All Access. She was a guest performer on Fran Drescher’s 2019 Cancer Schmancer Dinner Cruise. In realizing the importance of giving back, Brenda founded a nonprofit organization called “Leading Ladies Just for Teens,” (LLJFT) which offers seminars geared toward empowering young girls to be the best they can be. Leading Ladies began in 1996 at the Virginia Theater with a series of seminars designed to encourage, challenge and inspire young girls to dream and set goals. For her work as the founder of LLJFT, Brenda received the Dr. Martin Luther King “Living the Dream” award given by New York’s Governor Pataki, the Josephine Baker Award from the National Council of Negro Women, and the Community Service award given by the National Association of Negro Business and Professional Women. In 2006 she launched a grooming parlor in Harlem called BBRAXTON; Exceptional Grooming for Exceptional Men, which offered grooming services for gentlemen. Brenda was the only woman honored with the “Men of Style Award,” presented by Gillette Fuzion. Currently closed, BBRAXTON provided grooming services to many Broadway show actors. There will be a relaunch in the near future. In 2015 Brenda launched Act 2… Now What?, seminar/workshops designed to give women over 50 that boost needed to get on with the new phase of their lives. The workshop is an ‘in your face’ sort of boot camp with life coaches (ex- Broadway showgirls) who don’t know the meaning of the words “I’m too old.” Brenda is also the author of “The Little Black Book of Backstage Etiquette,” an insight into what to expect and how to handle some of the common sense situations that might arise once you finally book a show.

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