Category Archive for: ‘Lynn Ruth Miller’
Brighton Theatre presents…..
“Josephine Baker subverted racial stereotypes and had a huge influence on black performers,” said Faynia Williams, director of a showcase trailer of this production designed by Romany Mark Bruce. BLACK VENUS brings Baker, the first jazz superstar, face to face with Hermann Goering over dinner in occupied Paris. The action combines music, dance and dialogue with Brechtian style flashbacks and promises to mesmerize the audience by intertwining themes of love, food, sex and racism.
Baker grew up in St Louis, Missouri, living hand to mouth in the streets when she was 12, living in cardboard boxes and scavaging for food in garbage cans. Her street corner dancing attracted attention when she was 15 and her career expanded across the ocean to Paris. Indeed, she always said she had two loves: Paris and America. Her famous Banana Dance combined the rhythms of African Dance and contemporary jazz to create modern Continental Break Dancing. She was an activist on many fronts and worked for the French Resistance because of her many contacts in the world of the Axis. It was because of her undercover activities that Hermann Goering invited her to dinner. This play recaptures that momentous evening when the two met face to face.
BLACK VENUS was shortlisted for the 2013 Best New Play Award and given funding by the Arts Council of England. It will be presented for one night only, Josephine Baker Day, May 20 at 7pm and 9pm, at Concorde2, Madeira Drive, Brighton BN2 1EN . It will feature Anna Maria Nabirye as Josephine, Ross Gurney Randall as Goering with musical direction by Tom Phelan.
For more information: www.brightonfringe.org; 01273 917272