REVIEW: Black Broadway

REVIEW:  Black Broadway

GLOW Lyric Theatre – Black Broadway | Review by Shari Tingle, tingle.shari@gmail.com

GLOW Lyric Theatre’s 2023 Revue show is all about celebrating Black theatre artists and the legacies they’ve made to American theatre – and it is just so much fun!

Sharing songs that run the gamut of musical theatre, this show will have you dancing in your seat and clapping along to songs you know and love. An absolutely electric band featuring TJ Edwards (Music Director/Keyboard), Carlton Jamison (Drums), and Wayne Mason (Bass) sits on the second level of the beautiful set, designed by Lauren Lusk.

The five-person cast, composed of Rayshaughn Armant, Rylee-Michelle Droege, Daniel Hoilett, Aurora Renee, and Gabriel Yarborough brings the music to life through song, dance, and spoken word. This cast shines, whether performing as a full group, sharing a sweet duet, or singing solo.

This production, delightfully directed and choreographed by Jenise Cook, is a celebration of Black people, Black music, and an insightful exploration of the ways in which Black folks have used music as an escape, a celebration, and even in prayer. Cook’s choreography is bold and uses every inch of the set, ensuring every seat in the house is a good one.

A few standout moments include a powerhouse performance of “Land of Lola” and “Not My Father’s Son” by Rayshaughn Armant, a lively homage to The Wiz, and an emotional, timely performance of “I Know Where I Been” from the musical Hairspray.

Dennis Cheeks (Lighting Designer) and Sarah Schaible (Sound Designer) have so much fun with the lights and sound, especially during songs from The Wiz and Once On This Island.

Tosha Andrews (Prop Designer) provides a few key props making the moments that props are used that much more commanding. In lieu of extensive props, costume designer Suzette Byrd creates beautiful costumes the cast is able to add on to or subtract from throughout the show, taking them from classic shows of the 1960s all the way to modern day musicals like A Strange Loop in seconds.

I had an awesome time watching this revue and was thrilled to find that it was so celebratory and fun. This show is a perfect example of the power of musical theatre and is fun for folks of all ages.

You can get tickets for Black Broadway online — and don’t forget to familiarize yourself with the setlist before you go! Glow Lyric Theatre’s production of Black Broadway runs for one more weekend. Catch the show on August 5 at 2pm or August 6 at 7pm at The Kroc Center, Fred Collins Performing Arts Theater, 424 Westfield Street in Greenville, SC. The approximate runtime is 80 minutes with no intermission. For tickets Click Here or call 864-558-GLOW.

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