Sweet Mama String Bean: A Celebration of Blues Legend Ethel Waters at The Grove
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The last date listed for Sweet Mama String Bean was Sunday February 5, 2012 / 2:00pm.
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"Most people remember what famous people wore when they met; I remember what they ate." In her 60-year career, Renee Taylor has been nominated for an Academy Award, performed stand-up comedy with Barbra Streisand as her opening act, and starred in movies like Mel Brooks' The Producers and TV shows like The Nanny and How I Met Your Mother. Needless to say, this Hollywood legend has seen it all. She's also tried every diet in existence, no matter how insane or hilarious. Now she takes the stories in her best-selling book, My Life on a Diet: Confessions of a Hollywood Diet Junkie, and shares them on stage in a funny and nostalgic tell-all that's packed with juicy gossip and lots of laughs. Highlights of this staged reading include the dieting advice she received from Marilyn Monroe and Joan Crawford, as well as tales of many other famous co-stars with whom Taylor worked, accompanied by video and slides. Learn More
Reviews & Ratings
Quotes & Highlights
- "ValLimar wraps merry humor and an indomitable spirit around her engaging performance as she skips and shimmies her way through 16 classic blues songs, and her mellifluous, full-bodied voice has the depth of strong coffee." —<em>LA Weekly </em>
The Grove Theatre celebrates Black History Month with Sweet Mama String Bean, a celebration of blues legend Ethel Waters starring ValLimar Jansen. Born in 1896, the unwanted product her mother’s rape at knifepoint at the age of 12, Ethel Waters grew up unsupervised in the slums of Philadelphia. Violence was more prevalent than warmth or love throughout her poverty-stricken childhood.
Waters left her own abusive marriage at the age of 14, but her voice was beginning to draw attention. She sang and danced at church functions and started performing in black vaudeville in 1917. She then traveled with a carnival and finally moved to Harlem, eventually becoming a celebrated blues singer. She was the first female black singer to be heard on radio and, later, the highest-paid female performer on Broadway. She won a Grammy Award in 1933 and was the second black performer to be nominated for an Academy Award, for her performance in Pinky (1949).
ValLimar Janson brings Waters’ music to life in Sweet Mama String Bean, with her own renditions of songs associated with Waters, including her signature anthem “His Eye Is on the Sparrow,” “Stormy Weather,” (which was written for Waters), “Am I Blue” and “My Handy Man Ain’t Handy No More.” Jansen says she avoids imitating Waters’ voice, but instead strives to capture Waters’ unique style. Her desire is to raise awareness of the significance of Waters’ achievements.