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Kings of Harlem: The Story of the Harlem Rens

Guest Event

October 6, 2017 Mainstage
Tickets on Sale: August 1, 2017

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KINGS OF HARLEM, Layon Gray's acclaimed Off-Broadway play about the Harlem Rens Professional Basketball Team will appear at the Mattie Kelly Arts Center at Northwest Florida State College in Niceville on Friday, October 6, 2017 at 7:30 pm.

The Harlem Rems were a dominate All-African American Basketball team from the 20’s and 30’s. They made history by winning 112 games one season and losing only seven. They got their name from playing at the Renaissance Casino ballroom in Harlem, New York, where they amazed fans with their innovative and unique style of play. It was the first ballroom in New York that was owned and operated by African Americans. They toured the country competing against black and white teams, and in the process, compiled the most impressive winning streak in Basketball history. In 1963, the entire team was inducted into the Professional Basketball Hall of Fame.

Written and directed by Layon Gray, Kings of Harlem is a story that is seemingly lost to those who may not be familiar with this important piece of sports history. Mention the “Harlem Renaissance”, and those who know their history would be able to tell you about this vibrant period in New York’s black social and cultural life. But bring up the New York Renaissance - also known as the “Renaissance Big Five” or the “Rens” - and you’d be likely to stump anyone who isn’t steeped in basketball lore. What transforms Kings of Harlem from a simple history lesson into a compelling drama play are the scenes involving the team, the flesh-and-blood-humor, conflict and inspiring story brought to life by the actors’ vivid portrayal of the players and their determined coach.

Kings of Harlem won the Award for Best Play in Miami, FL (2017), Two New York Audelco Awards for Best Ensemble (2015) and Best Choreography (2015).

The local appearance on October 6, 2017 of Kings of Harlem is presented by DAL Consulting Group. Sponsorship opportunities are available to assist with bringing this historic event to the Emerald Coast. For sponsorship details, contact Dedria Lunderman at (850) 865-5069 or email

Single tickets sales for the October 6th evening performance will be available starting August 1, 2017 for $37.50 each. Ticket sales for Kings of Harlem are sold exclusively through the Mattie Kelly Arts Center Box Office by phone, web or in-person. Call (850) 729-6000 or toll free 1-888-838-ARTS (2767), or click here to purchase online.

The Mattie Kelly Arts Center is located at 100 College Boulevard, Niceville Florida on the main campus of Northwest Florida State College.

For more information about the play, please visit Kings of Harlem's official website. Kings of Harlem is produced Off-Broadway by The Layon Gray Experience.

For more information also see the DAL Consulting Facebook page

The Mattie Kelly Fine & Performing Arts Center is a non-profit entity of Northwest Florida State College. A portion of all Box Office proceeds support NWF State student scholarships.