I’m a black woman writing musical theater. In case it’s not blatantly apparent from what is current on and off Broadway…..it’s not easy for people of color writers, and nearly impossible for women of color. My writing partner Troy Anthony and I have been offered the opportunity to share our new musical THE RIVER IS ME, at Feinstein’s/54 Below on Tuesday, August 15th at 930pm–ONE NIGHT ONLY!!
This is actually a HUGE deal because they do a show every single night and have for years and of that roster, I’m one of only a few black musical theater authors. If anyone has about $25 dollars and the desire to support a couple of black, up-and-coming-and-hungry-and-smart musical theater writers who are writing a musical about a black boy lynched for whistling at a white woman in 1955 Mississippi who comes back to life as the super hero he dreamed about when he was a living boy, PLEASE COME THROUGH! Let’s share the story of THE RIVER IS ME together and unseat fear and hate. Let’s show mainstream musical theater that people of color exist. Let’s see what an audience looks like when people of color are being honored by being considered by the writers and put in 3D character form on a stage. Come see THE RIVER IS ME now (i.e. August 🙂 ) and say you saw it “when!!”
So excited to be sharing work in a fancy Harlem-Renaissance-esque salon this evening! It’s called the Creo Emerging Writers Salon and will take place at SongSpace, located at 1841 Broadway. My partner and pal Troy Anthony and I will be sharing two new songs from our original musical, The River Is Me — a music theatre ghost memoir from the P.O.V. of Bo, a chubby funny, comic book-loving, 14 year old black kid murdered for whistling at a white woman in 1955, who, once murdered, is not destroyed, but rather returns to walk the earth to seek vengeance on his killer and check in with his Ma to make sure she’ll be alright as he becomes the hero he dreamed of when he was a living boy.
We’ll be sharing “You Dream” and “Bye Bye Baby.” In the former, we see Ma and Bo’s relationship as being a mixture of mother/child, brother/sister due to how close they are in age. In “You Dream,” coming at toward the top of the show, Ma has just allowed Bo to leave her in Chicago (with her less-than-kind-boyfriend) to spend the last week of his summer vacation with Uncle in Mississippi. Ma gets to missing her son, and calls him on the phone to try to get him to come home. Bo avoids the answer, distracting Ma with a game of make-believe. Ma doesn’t believe she can dream anymore, but Bo thinks otherwise.
In “Bye Bye Baby,” which falls midway after the act break, we have seen Baby Doll’s husband Roy torture and murder Bo, and then throw Bo into the river, then Bo transforms into a water-based super hero, then Ma mourns the loss of her son, nearly fainting at the casket. Then Baby Doll speaks. In this song, Baby Doll gives her “testimony,” stating, from her P.O.V. what happened the day the black kid whistled at her.
I will be in RED lipstick this evening, and SINGING the songs with my fabulous partner and homie Troy Anthony. Can’t wait! Also there was talk of delicious food so you know I’m pumped for that! 🙂