Mahalia, a Gospel Music Biography of Mahalia Jackson from MetroStage
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The last date listed for Mahalia was Friday March 12, 2010 / 8:00pm.
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It's 1943 and a group of prisoners is heading from occupied France to Buchenwald concentration camp when an explosion derails the train. Guy de Bonheur, an actor, seizes the opportunity to convince the guards to let him escape. How? By performing Arabian Nights to prove that his plays are not subversive, and he doesn't deserve to be rounded up. Of course, with all of his other actors gone, he'll have to play all the roles himself. And in The Thousandth Night Guy, played by Marcus Kyd, does just that. Written by Carol Wolf, The Thousandth Night is a remarkable blend of comedy and tragedy, not to mention a feat of character acting by the lone performer. Tuesday and Wednesday performances also feature a post-show Talkback. Learn More
Reviews & Ratings
Featured review from Goldstar MemberRed Velvet
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A joyful, entertaining production from a small company of actors on an intimate, local stage. Ms. Mitchell, who plays the lead, has an amazing voice, and her rendition of gospel songs had tears streaming down my cheeks. Mahalia's life parallels the African American experience in 20th century America, so the play isn't just about song - it's about life, faith, Jim Crow, and doing what you love. Run, don't walk, to this play.
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We went to this outstanding performance last night. The theater was only about half full, and I wanted to roust everyone out of their homes to come and see this magnificent show! Sterling performances from all three singer/actors; truly uplifting.
This production was originally seen at MetroStage in 2004, with Bernardine Mitchell winning the Helen Hayes Award for Outstanding Actress in a Resident Musical and William Hubbard being nominated as Outstanding Supporting Actor. The late Carol Mitchell Leon directed the original, and Thomas W. Jones II will direct this production.
Director Thomas W. Jones II is an Artistic Associate at MetroStage where several of his original musicals have premiered. Since 2001 Jones has written and directed Harlem Rose, Three Sistahs, Two Queens One Castle, Bricktop, Cool Papa’s Party, and, most recently, Pearl Bailey…By Request, which is currently being performed at Milwaukee Rep’s Stackner Cabaret. Cool Papa’s Party is being workshopped in anticipation of a New York production.
Mitchell was most recently seen in Atlanta (her hometown) in A Christmas Carol at the Alliance Theatre and a Thomas W. Jones II original play entitled A Cool Drink of Water at the Black Arts Festival. Following Mahalia she will return to Atlanta to star in His Eye is on the Sparrow about Ethel Waters at the Theatre in the Square in Marietta, GA.
Clark was most recently in Madeline’s Christmas at Horizon Theatre Company in Atlanta. She was pianist for The Mystery of Irma Vep at the Atlanta Shakespeare Company and will be the music director for His Eye is on the Sparrow following Mahalia. Hubbard was most recently seen here at MetroStage in Cool Papa’s Party and as Hot Lips Page in Pearl Bailey…By Request. He also recently music directed Black Pearl Sings at Fords Theatre and was composer and arranger for Black Nativity in Chattanooga, TN.
Mitchell and Hubbard were seen at MetroStage together in the original musical Three Sistahs (nominated as Outstanding New Musical by the Helen Hayes Awards). In addition to the Helen Hayes recognition for Mahalia both have received Helen Hayes Awards (and multiple nominations); Mitchell for Blues in the Night and Hubbard for Crowns, both at Arena Stage. Clark is an acclaimed music director in Atlanta and made her stage debut with Mitchell in an earlier production of Mahalia at Theatre in the Square in Marietta, Georgia.
This ensemble of three remarkable actors, musicians and gospel singers will portray Mahalia and her journey from a shanty in New Orleans to the stage of Carnegie Hall, with Mr. Hubbard playing her Cousin Fred, the blind organist Francis, and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and Ms. Clark as Aunt Duke, and Mahalia’s longtime accompanist Mildred Falls.
Design consultants are: set, Brandon Guilliams; lights, Jessica Winfield; sound, Steve Baena; costumes, Janine Gulisano-Sunday and Cathy Cleveland; properties, Kevin Laughon. Jessica Winfield is the Equity Stage Manager.