Off-Broadway Musical Bursts Onto The Belgrade’s Main Stage
This April, the Belgrade Theatre Coventry will present the European premiere production of The Bubbly Black Girl Sheds Her Chameleon Skin, the award-winning off-Broadway musical by Kirsten Childs. This new production is co-produced with Theatre Royal Stratford East where it is currently enjoying a successful run and has received critical acclaim.
This cheeky and satirical coming-of-age story looks at how women have been defined by others and themselves from the 1960s to present day, with an original score fusing Motown, pop and R&B – think Sondheim meets Beyoncé!
Viveca is a young African American girl who dreams of becoming a dancer, also known to her friends and family as ‘Bubbly.’ We follow her journey from school in 1960s L.A., through to auditions on Broadway. Growing up during the civil rights movement, Viveca chooses to face the realities of racism and sexism with optimism and faith and ultimately discovers her own self-worth.
Director, Josette Bushell Mingo OBE said, “Bubbly finds out that history is embarrassing and confusing; it catches us and trips us up. That following your dream isn’t just about race but gender too. Bubbly sugarcoats bitter ironies of identity. The façade of being happy black and not ‘an angry black’. And we as black people are often changing who we are to fit in. Being a chameleon!”
She added, “We all have a Bubbly inside of us. A part of us that does not want to believe the world can be so terrible, a part of us not want to accept that racism is never quite over, a part of us determined to follow our hearts no matter what life throws at us. A part of us that screams ‘This is me!! Get over it!”
Jostette is currently Artistic Director of The Silent Theatre in Stockholm, Sweden. She is also Artistic Director of Push, an organisation set up for the promotion and development of Black British Theatre. She was nominated for the Best Actress Award in a Musical at the 1999 Lawrence Olivier Awards for her performance as Rafiki in The Lion King Musical.
The book, music and lyrics were written by award-winning writer Kirsten Childs. She holds numerous writing credits to her name including Miracle Brothers (Vineyard Theatre), Fly, Funked Up Fairy Tales and Bella: An American Tall Tale. Childs has written for Disney Theatricals, the American Songbook series at Lincoln Center, the New Electric Company, Works and Process at the Guggenheim Museum and City Center Encores!
The cast includes Matt Dempsey (Director Bob/Policeman), Llandyll Gove (Cosmic/Prince), Karis Jack (Young Viveca), Ashley Joseph (Lucas), Sophia Mackay (Older Viveca), Jay Marsh (Gregory), Jessica Pardoe (Chitty Chatty/Miss Pain/Scarlett), Trevor A Toussaint (Daddy), Sharon Wattis (Mommy) and Shelley Williams (Granny/Yolanda/Nilda).
The Bubbly Black Girl Sheds Her Chameleon Skin will run on the Belgrade Theatre’s Main Stage from Weds 5 – Sat 15 April. Tickets are available now priced from £19 and can be booked by calling the Belgrade Box Office team on 024 7655 3055 or online at www.belgrade.co.uk.