- Created on 23 April 2013
The musical theater version of the 1990s cult film "Sister Act" will bring singing nuns and gangsters to the Fox Theatre stage April 23-28.
The musical features original music by eight-time Oscar winner Alan Menken, who also wrote music for "Beauty and the Beast," "The Little Mermaid," and "Little Shop of Horrors."
Based on the movie that starred Academy Award-winner Whoopi Goldberg, the stage production of "Sister Act" follows Deloris Van Cartier, a lounge singer who witnesses a crime committed by her gangster boyfriend. Her life is turned topsy-turvy when the cops insist that Deloris the diva must go into a witness protection program at a convent, where she will pose as just another nun.
This forces her to give up a life of glitz and glamour for one of piousness and prayer. As a suspicious and often disapproving Mother Superior looks on, Deloris helps her fellow nuns find their voices and a sense of rhythm, while at the same time, she finds her sense of self.
The theater version of the show is a little different from the movie. While the movie was set in the 1990s in Reno, Nevada, the stage production is set in Philadelphia in the 1970s, giving it more sparkle and a disco feel.
The lead role of Deloris is played by Ta'rea Campbell, whose previous Broadway credits include "Leap of Faith," "The Book of Mormon," "The Lion King" (Nala), "Aida" and "Little Shop of Horrors." She also has performed regionally in "Caroline or Change" and internationally as the lead singer at the 2010 Calgary Stampede in Canada.
A native of Philadelphia and graduate of Marymount Manhattan College, Campbell was awarded the Gold Medal for Excellence in Acting after receiving her degree in theater.
The role of Curtis Jackson, Deloris' bad-boy boyfriend, is played by Kingsley Leggs, who has appeared on Broadway in "Miss Saigon" and "The Color Purple"as the original Mister. He has been in the touring shows of "Miss Saigon," "Ragtime," "It Ain't Nothing but the Blues" and "Forbidden Hollywood."
One of Curtis Jackson's "goons," who is helping him find Deloris, is his nephew TJ, played by Charles Barksdale, who has performed in musicals including "Dreamgirls," "Footloose," " Cinderella," "Damn Yankees," "Smokey Joe's Café," "Ain't Misbehavin'," "Big River," "Zombie Prom" and "Bye, Bye Birdie," among others.
Barksdale said the highlight of the musical is when Deloris stands alone on stage and belts out a song of self-revelation called "Sister Act," demonstrating the "power-house" talent of Ta'rea Campbell. "The song addresses the things she learned in the convent and shows her figuring out the next step," Barksdale said. "She's amazing."
While the TJ character is a villain, he offers a bundle of laughs for the audience, Barksdale said. "He's like a giant kid. He's really silly," Barksdale said. "He's all about comic timing and comic relief."
Unlike some of the darker and more brooding Broadway shows, like "Les Miserable" and "Phantom of the Opera," Barksdale said "Sister Act" will have the audience laughing out loud and will have them walking away with a sense of joy.
"The audience leaves this show feeling happy and feeling good," said Barksdale. "They'll still be dancing and still singing. It's a good feeling."
- Created on 16 April 2013
(CNN) -- Nearly everyone - even the representatives at the White House - have weighed in on Jay-Z's "Open Letter" to those criticizing his recent trip to Cuba.
Sen. Marco Rubio, for example, is just one of the latest.
But not everyone decided to respond with a song.
Cuban-American Pitbull has thrown his two cents into the conversation, defending Jay's excursion to the country with his wife, Beyonce, as part of their fifth wedding anniversary.
"Politicians love to hate you, but then they run away when it's time to debate you," the 32-year-old, born Armando Christian Perez, rhymes on the track. "Question of the night: Would they have messed with Mr. Carter if he was white?"
"One way or another, in Cuba is where they'll bury me," he continued. "Happy fifth year anniversary Jay and Bey, don't worry, it's on me."
- Created on 12 April 2013
Life just got real for Rick Ross. Reebok dropped the rapper over lyrics in one of his songs that suggestively supports rape, TMZ reports.
As NewsOne previously reported, Rick Ross has been taking serious heat for his rape lyrics in the song “U.O.E.N.O.” He tweeted pseudo apologies that only seemed to make his blunder worse.
One tweet read, “I d...
- Created on 12 April 2013
A day after Reebok ended its relationship with Rick Ross, the rapper acknowledged that his lyrics on Rocko’s song “U.O.E.N.O.” were “offensive.”
In a statement Friday, Ross said being a musician is “a great responsibility” and that his choice of words in the song “does not reflect my true h...
- Created on 09 April 2013
The “Queen of Soul” will return to her gospel roots to perform at the 30th Annual McDonald’s Gospelfest on May 11 in Newark, N.J.’s Prudential Center.
Aretha Franklin’s road to legendary stardom began at a young age at the pulpit of her father, the Rev. C.L. Franklin’s New Bethel Baptist Church. Considered a child prodigy whose musical skills were largely self-taught, Franklin came by her talent naturally as her mother, Barbara Siggers Franklin, was also a gospel singer.
She further flowered under the influence of gospel luminaries such as Clara Ward, Mahalia Jackson and the Rev. James Cleveland, whom she met while singing in her father’s traveling revival show.
Marquee gospel artists Donnie McClurkin, Hezekiah Walker, and Cissy Houston will also grace the Gospelfest stage, while Bishop T.D. Jakes will preach.
McDonald’s Gospelfest originated in 1983 under the auspices of the McDonald’s Corp. and the McDonald’s Tri-State Owner/Operator Association. Produced and directed by Emmy Award winning producer A. Curtis Farrow, the annual gospel music festival and talent competition features more than a thousand performers each year and has become known as one of the nation’s preeminent celebrations of the genre in all its expressions, including dance and poetry.
The event also raises funds to support education opportunities within local communities via scholarships.
Tickets can be purchased at the Prudential Center Box Office or through Ticketmaster by calling 800.745.3000, or at www.ticketmaster.com. For further information, call the McDonald’s Gospelfest Hotline at 973.643.6262. Competition will begin at 3 p.m.; the headliner performance will begin at 6 p.m.