By Audrey J. Bernard
Her name is Tymisha Harris and she’s driving theatergoers bananas starring in the sexy one woman’s play, JOSEPHINE a burlesque cabaret dream play based on the life of Josephine Baker running for a limited engagement through February 11 at the historic SoHo Playhouse, 15 Vandam Street, New York City. The show — which is intended for adult audiences due to its adult content and nudity — runs for 75 minutes with no intermission.
Check Out The ORIGINAL Josephine Baker’s Banana Dance
JOSEPHINE, a burlesque cabaret dream play combines cabaret, theatre and dance to tell the story of the iconic Josephine Baker, the first African American international superstar and one of the most remarkable figures of the 20th Century. The provocative play shatters stereotypes of race, gender roles and sexuality in this intimate, charming and haunting cabaret with a twist.
Harris is engaging as she tells her version of Baker and has the audience eating her bananas from beginning to end. She’s playful, she’s beautiful, she’s electrifying and she’s talented. The songs are sung with strength, purpose and conviction as Baker was fighting the good fight back then when most folks played the ostrich game – putting their heads in the sand to avoid unpleasant situations by refusing to acknowledge that they exist – like racism.
JOSEPHINE, a burlesque cabaret dream play is a tour de force which should not be missed! The play was winner of the prestigious “Production of the Year” Award, beating out 18 top international performances will get a full Off-Broadway run this January
Producer/Director/Co-Creator Michael Marinaccio notes: “In a period of profound division in America, we are excited to present the story of a woman who broke boundaries of race, gender, and sexuality in a time before America had begun coming to terms with the concept of diversity. We are thrilled to bring this story of one of the most impactful yet often overlooked figures of the 20th Century to New York City audiences.”
Under artistic director Darren Lee Cole, the SoHo Playhouse continues to serve the downtown theater community as an historic 199 seat Off Broadway venue. The Huron Club below is an intimate 55 seat cabaret and bar steeped in the history of Old New York.
JOSEPHINE, a burlesque cabaret dream play is produced by Dynamite Lunchbox and SoHo Playhouse. The creative team consists of Tod Kimbro (music direction); Tymisha Harris (choreography); Michael Marinaccio & Gregg Bellon (lighting design); Michael Marinaccio (scenic design); Ben Dupree & Lindsay Taylor (production stage manager); and Ben Dupree (light and sound operator). Joe Trentacosta is the press representative. (Photos courtesy JOSEPHINE production)
About Josephine Baker
JOSEPHINE, a burlesque cabaret dream play combines cabaret, theatre and dance to tell the story of the iconic Josephine Baker, the first African-American international superstar and one of the most remarkable figures of the 20th century. The show is intended for adult audiences, as it contains adult content and nudity. Josephine shatters stereotypes of race, gender roles and sexuality in this intimate, charming and haunting cabaret with a twist. Born in St. Louis in 1906, Josephine Baker achieved only moderate success in the United States, but became an international superstar after moving to France in the early ’20s. She starred alongside white romantic leading men in films in the ’30s, had multiple interracial marriages and homosexual relationships, and performed in men’s clothing before the term “drag” existed in the lexicon. Her adopted country of France gave her the opportunity to live freely without the racial oppression of her home nation, though she never stopped yearning for acceptance in America.
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About Tymisha Harris, Josephine/Choreographer/Costume Designer
Tymisha Harris (aka “Tush”) has been performing professionally for over 20 years. Her early credits include assistant choreographer and backup dancing for the ’90s pop group N*SYNC, backup dancer for LFO, multiple roles at Universal Studios Orlando, and a featured role in the hit movie series Bring It On. More recent endeavors include the national tour of Rock of Ages, a European tour with the innovative and world-renowned Pilobulus Dance Theater Company, and founding member and Assistant Director/Choreographer of the successful Orlando based troupe, VarieTease
About Michael Marinaccio, Director/Designer/Executive Producer
A BFA Theatre Performance graduate of the University of Central Florida, Michael has participated directly in hundreds of theatrical productions. As a collaborator, he has helped create over 20 original theatre pieces, and has produced and directed dozens of new works. He is currently employed as the Festival Producer of Orlando Fringe. Michael has been a successful Producer, Director, Actor and Teacher in Central Florida and b
About Tod Kimbro, Writer/Musical Director
Tod Kimbro has written over 25 plays and musicals since 1997, including My Illustrious Wasteland, which was presented Off-Broadway at the 2009 New York Musical Theatre Festival. His 2000 musical LOUD was nominated for the M Elizabeth Osborn Award, a national prize for emerging playwrights. Tod is also an accomplished pianist and singer, and has released two albums of original music.