Speakeysie News Desk 11/7/2019
Before Ella, Billie, Tina, or Beyonce there was Josephine Baker! Atlanta Fringe is partnering with Fulton County Arts & Culture to bring JOSEPHINE, a burlesque cabaret dream play to the Southwest Arts Center this weekend November 7-10, 2019. This touring production 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. In her lifetime Josephine shattered stereotypes of race, gender roles, and sexuality; this biographical musical brings the sultry songbird to life with charming and haunting verisimilitude.
Created by Tymisha Harris, Michael Marinaccio and Tod Kimbro of Orlanda, Fla., and performed by Harris, the show has been touring North America since its 2016 debut. During that time Josephine has sold out shows in more than 20 cities and accumulated dozens of five-star reviews and awards, including six ‘Best of Fest’ wins and six ‘Outstanding Performance’ recognitions. It was selected as the ‘Outstanding Production’ of the 2017 Soho Playhouse Fringe Encore series in New York City, and was awarded a limited off-Broadway run in 2018, where one reviewer called it “a perfect piece of theatre for the time we are currently in.” The production also just finished playing to sold-out houses at the 2019 Edinburgh Fringe Festival and several festivals across Canada.
Tymisha Harris: “I believe the time is long overdue for strong women of color to have their voices heard and their stories told. Playing Josephine Baker for the last three years has made me a better performer and human. To be able to share this story that touches hearts and minds across the world has been the most fulfilling artistic endeavor of my life.”
Director/Producer Michael Marinaccio adds “In a time of nationalism, tribalism and xenophobia rising worldwide, I am very excited to bring the story of a woman who broke boundaries of race, gender, and sexual orientation to audiences. The show is also wildly entertaining with great music and dancing, which serves to make Josephine’s messages of love, acceptance and humanity even more resonant.”
All tickets are $25 and can be purchased online at http://atlantafringe.org/josephine/. The show is intended for adult audiences, as it contains adult content and nudity. The Southwest Arts Center is located at 915 New Hope Road SW, Atlanta, Ga. 30331. Attendees at the Thursday, Nov. 7, performance are invited to stay after the show for an opening night reception with complimentary light bites. Attendees to the Saturday, Nov. 9, performance are encouraged to come in 1920s-1930s themed costume. A costume contest will be held after the performance, with prizes. Performer Tymisha Harris will also join the Thursday and Saturday night festivities for a meet-and-greet after the performances.
WHAT CRITICS ARE SAYING ABOUT JOSEPHINE
“She should be starring in a movie version directed by Baz Luhrmann” – RuPaul (about Tymisha Harris)
“Probably the closest to an evening with Josephine Baker as one will ever experience.” – Stagebiz NYC
“At the heart of the story is a complex, unapologetic woman who exhibits her sexuality on her own terms.” “Harris tantalizes the audience with song, dance, and feathers.” – San Diego Reader
“a truly must-see show…the audience is left spellbound” ★★★★★ – Winnipeg Free Press
“Tymisha Harris’ performance is a tour de force.” ★★★★★, Staff Pick – Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
“a star vehicle for Harris, and she delivers.” – Orlando Sentinel