By Walter Rutledge
A fun evening of music and the inspirational power of family was had by all at Sistas the Musical last Thursday. The musical is now running off-Broadway at the St. Luke Theatre (308 West 46th Street) on Thursday at 7 pm, and on Saturday and Sunday at 4:30pm. The musical is a one-act presentation and runs a very quick seventy-minutes without an intermission.
After the death of the family matriarch five female members of her family, sisters Roberta (Jennifer Fouche’), Gloria (Tracey Conyer Lee) and Simone (April Nixon) Simone’s daughter Tamika (Lexi Rhoades) and a Caucasian sister-in-law Heather (Amy Goldberger), meet in their grandmother’s attic. The women go through boxes and open trucks sharing memories of the grandmother’s life, her struggles and the struggles of women of color. In the process they affirm their own lives and the lives of women today.
Sistas enjoyed a successful run at the Midtown International Theater Festival 2011. The positive audience response resulted in sold out houses during the festival and encouraged the producers (three-time Tony Award winner Hinton Battle and Jenkay LLC.) to further develop the musical for a run off-Broadway. Aside from reminiscing, each woman has a story of her own to share. These range from sexual abuse to interracial marriage, from self-esteem and single parenting to losing a spouse. These affirmations are then reinforced through the song.
Sistas incorporates 38 songs many of them musical anthems of female empowerment. The songs are literally an American songbook from Bessie Smith and Billie Holiday to The Supremes and Beyoncé. Allowing the talented cast to effortlessly take us on a rollercoaster ride of emotions, while remaining thought-provoking, enlightening and upbeat. The music is the backdrop to a well-crafted script by playwright Dorothy Marcic and on target directing by Kenneth Ferrone.
One of the most gratifying aspects of the musical is that although it is an all female cast the musical does not bash men! This makes it a perfect date night. For more information and tickets visit www.sistasthemusical.com, www.telecharge.com or call 212 239-620. Group sales are available.
In Photo: 1) Jennifer Fouche’ (Roberta) Tracey Conyer Lee (Gloria) Lexi Rhoades (Tamika) and April Nixon (Simone) 2) Amy Goldberger (Heather), Nixon, Lee, Fouche’, Rhoades
Rus Rowland photographer