By Lynn Jones – Producer, actor, Broadway thespian and Raines High School graduate Reuben Hall is continuing his mission to expose the cultural arts in a professional theater setting reflecting the Black experience. Hall, Founder and CEO of Stage Aurora, has been creating and staging plays for more than twenty years. A theatrical fabric staple in the Jacksonville community, Stage Aurora’s upcoming, “Queens from the Harlem Renaissance & Today,” is a celebration of mothers in song; dance and spoken word. Actors will take the stage to sing some of the artist most astounding songs of the decades. Songs on the playlist include: “I Look to You” by Whitney Houston, “Summertime” by Billie Holiday, “Someone to Watch Over Me” by Ella Fitzgerald, “Wind Beneath My Wings” by Bette Midler”, “SuperWoman” by Alicia Keys, and the hit single “He May Be Your Dog but He’s Wearing My Collar” by Rosa Henderson. Wow – who let the dogs out! Speaking to Reuben and his cast mates we had to laugh about the titles of the songs, “Go Back to Where You Stayed Last Night” by Ethel Waters was a 1925 hit tune that permeated through victrolas and radio station airwaves.
Taking on the list of astounding melodies, actress and songstress Tamonica Mike will take on the powerhouse vocals of Whitney Houston with, ‘I look to you.’ “When Reuben calls you come. This play gives credence to mothers everywhere. Whitney and her mother were a dynamic duo. We want to showcase the songs title. Looking to you, our mothers for their strengths and fortitude,” said Mike. Rounding out the cast are 15 local women eager to share their talents with the audience. Veteran thespian and actress Alvenia Effie Derban had the opportunity to lead the auditions, “This is a no diva movement, only queens onstage,” said Derban.
This entire play is an abundance of queens celebrating vocalist around the globe from the past, present and future of women in entertainment.
This spectacular ode to mothers and virtuous women everywhere is an intentional performance that is trans/cross generational for families to enjoy.
Tickets on sale now at https://www.stageaurora.org/ See you there!
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