At St. Luke's in midtown, a new musical that tells the story of African-American women through Top-40 music from the '30s through the '90s, including hits like "Oh, Happy Day," "Mama Said" and "I Will Survive."
From the producers: After a matriarch's death, the women in the family clean Grandma's attic and find love and old memories packed away, and in the process, hit tunes that trace the history of black women, from the trials of the 1930s through the Girl Groups of the 1960s to the empowerment of the 1990s.
"Sistas: the Musical" is written by Dorothy Marcic (writer of "RESPECT: The Musical," which has played in 20 cities) and directed by Kenneth Ferrone. The cast includes Patrice Covington, Briana Davis, Jennifer Fouche, Gayle Samuels and Angela K. Thomas.
Here's a promotional video for the show:
What's St. Luke's Theatre? Located across Eighth Avenue from the big Broadway houses, St. Luke's is just barely off Broadway - an elegant theater space with comfortable chairs on risers and a small stage that still manages to have three wings. It does not try to rival the big Broadway houses for lavishness; the atmosphere is one of intimacy and care. More here.
"Sistas: The Musical" is a sweet and sassy if slightly rickety little show. The script is obvious, and the acting is mostly just competent. But the real reason you're there is for the songs, which range from a powerful rendition of "Ain't Nobody's Business if I Do" to a '60s soul medley that hits the heights, sung by all five women wearing makeshift gold lamé gowns. In the end it's a good-natured, low-budget evening with plenty of humor and some impressive voices. You could do a lot worse.