By PK Greenfield
SISTAS: The Musical, written by Dorothy Marcic, tells a distinct American story through a compilation of popular music spanning several decades — from blues to jazz, gospel to hip-hop. The soundtrack is the backdrop to this familial plot and moves the story along with samplings from Bessie Smith to Beyoncé.
(Left to right) Lexi Rhoades, Tracey Conyer Lee, April Nixon, Amy Goldberger and Jennifer Fouché.
Photo: Russ Rowland
The premise? The sistas gather to clean out the attic after the passing of the family’s matriarch. Their stories unfold through song, secrets, and spirit that crescendo in one act (about 1 hour and 15 minutes in real time).
Marcic casts a wide net over a multitude of issues that have been the plight and testament of many African American women. Engaging and uplifting at times, it’s also a little heavy-handed on the history lecture. However, the amazing talent of the cast is what truly makes SISTAS soar. The leading ladies include April Nixon (Simone), Jennifer Fouché (Roberta), and Tracey Conyer Lee (Gloria). Rounding out the cast are Lexi Rhoades as Tamika, Simone’s teenage daughter, and Amy Goldberger as Heather, their Caucasian sister-in-law.
The cast of SISTAS: The Musical.
Photo: Russ Rowland
Fouché’s rendition of “’Taint Nobody’s Business If I Do” is riveting. Goldberger does a heartfelt version of “Beautiful” that would make “The Voice’s” Christina Aguilera turn her chair around. Lexi Rhoades steals the oxygen from the room with Whitney Houston’s “I Have Nothing.” Along with the golden voices of April Nixon and Tracey Conyer Lee, the quintet performs an uproarious “Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)” and their Supremes are, well…supreme. You must see the disco numbers and the rest in person.
Produced by Hinton Battle (I had the pleasure of seeing his Broadway debut as the Scarecrow in “The Wiz”) and Jenkay LLC, this show is not just about sistas for sistas. It’s for mommas, poppas, brothas, aunts, uncles, cousins, and anyone else who can relate to family drama in good times and in bad. For individual tickets up to nine, call 212-239-6200. For larger group sales, call 212-977-5925. For further information, visit http://www.sistasthemusical.com.
Thursdays at 7:00 p.m.
Saturdays at 1:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m.?
Sundays at 4:30 p.m.
St. Luke’s Theater
308 West 46th Street
New York, NY