In celebration of Black History Month, Z. Alexander Looby Theater is presenting its first musical, “Sistas: The Musical”, by Dorothy Marcic. The performance portrays five women; three sisters, a great-granddaughter, and a sister-in-law after the death of the family matriarch. As they sort through their Grandma’s belongings, they try to agree on a song they can perform as a tribute at her memorial service. They all have different ideas about what to sing. They unearth trials and tears, love and laughter, and perform the music of iconic artists from Bessie Smith to Beyoncé.
“Sistas” traces the relationship of Black women and popular music, with songs including “Oh, Happy Day,” “God Bless The Child,” “Stormy Weather,” “Nowhere To Run,” “I Will Survive,” “Single Ladies,” “I Am Not My Hair,” “A Woman’s Worth,” and many more. The cast includes Sarina-Joi Crowe as Tamika; Lisa Graham as Gloria; Jennifer Whitcomb-Oliva as Roberta; Aleta Myles as Simone; and Brittany Nelson as Heather.
The creator of the musical is Nashville playwright Dorothy Marcic, who is also the author of the internationally successful musical “Respect”, which is a chronicle of women’s struggle for equality as expressed in song.
“It started with my musical, Respect, the story of women through popular music,” said Marcic when asked about the origins of
“Sistas: The Musical”. “Two of the African American women in the cast came to me and said, ‘Will you please write something like this for African American women because we don’t feel that the songs like “I will follow him” and “Que Sera, Ser”’ – women waiting for prince charming to come rescue them – really speaks to us as African American women’.”
Marcic, who is white, knew she was stepping into unfamiliar territory, so she spent years talking with African American women.
“Some of the lines in the play are taken out of conversations I had with other women while trying to understand.”
Marcic also leaned heavily on the cast to help channel the experience of being a Black woman.
The musical is produced by African American, 3-time Tony winner Hinton Battle. “I worked with Dorothy on one of her previous shows, ‘Respect’,” said Battle. “Dorothy was smart about the topic. This is a show that you will definitely connect to. You get a lot of ‘uh huhs’ from male and female audience members.
The musical will run from February 17 thru March 5 and ticket prices range from $10 to $20.
For more information visit the official website at http://sistasthemusical.com.