Cast of JOSEPHINE; Photo by Paul Tate dePoo III
Asolo Rep, in collaboration with Tony Award® winner Kenneth Waissman (Grease, Torch Song Trilogy) presents the world premiere of the new, Broadway-bound musical JOSEPHINE. Opening tonight, Friday, May 6 at 8pm, the production runs at the Mertz Theatre, located in the FSU Center for the Performing Arts, through May 29. Grammy® nominated, multi-platinum selling recording artist Deborah Cox (Broadway’s Aida, Jekyll & Hyde; vocals for the Whitney Houston Lifetime movie Whitney) stars as the legendary African-American performer Josephine Baker. Check out a first look at the cast on stage below!
Directed and choreographed by two-time Tony Award-nominee Joey McKneely(The Life, Smokey Joe’s Café), JOSEPHINE features a book by Ellen Weston and Mark Hampton; music by five-time Emmy Award®-nominee and three-time Grammy Award-nominee Stephen Dorff; and lyrics by Academy Award®, Grammy, and Golden Globe®-nominee and two-time Emmy Award-winner John Bettis.
Inspired by Stephen Papich’s book Remembering Josephine, the musical revolves around Baker’s stint as the star of the Folies Bergère in Paris between 1939-45, her scandalous affair with Swedish Crown Prince Gustav VI, and her heroic service in the French Resistance during World War II. She was hailed as the “Black Pearl.” Picasso dubbed her the “Nefertiti of Now.” Ernest Hemingway called her “the most sensational woman anyone ever saw.” The entrancing Josephine Baker was beautiful, ambitious, and the toast of Europe at the height of her fame in the 1920s-30s. Born into poverty in St. Louis, she rose to become an icon of the Jazz Age, captivating Paris audiences as a dancer, singer, actress and the twentieth-century’s first international black female sex symbol. Continue reading here