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Podcast Episode 82: Paying Homage To Josephine Baker

One-woman show at Fringe focuses on legendary dancer, singer and activist

Dancer and singer Josephine Baker (left) is played by Tymisha Harris in a one...

Credit: Tymisha Harris

Above: Dancer and singer Josephine Baker (left) is played by Tymisha Harris in a one-woman show called "Josephine" at San Diego International Fringe Festival.

Episode 82: Paying Homage to Josephine Baker

Tymisha Harris and Michael Marinaccio debuted "Josephine," a tribute to dancer, singer and activist Josephine Baker, at San Diego International Fringe. Cinema Junkie speaks with them about the life and legacy of Baker.

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Transcript

Companion viewing

"Zouzou" (1934)

"Princess Tam Tam" (1935)

"Chasing A Rainbow: The Life of Josephine Baker" (1987)

Since she was 17 years old Tymisha Harris has idolized legendary dancer, singer and activist Josephine Baker. Now she pays tribute to the first international black superstar in a one-woman show called "Josephine" at San Diego International Fringe Festival.

Harris and Michael Marinaccio have been nurturing this project along and debuted it at this year's San Diego International Fringe Festival. I was there at the first performance and the play got a resounding standing ovation that made Harris cry.

The play is set in a kind of imaginary boudoir of Baker and she casually and intimately discusses her life with the audience. She recalls growing up in St. Louis, escaping to Paris where she was embraced, dealing with racism and failure here in the United States, and ultimately returning home to acclaim and a new role as a civil rights activist.

The play also reveals that she was a spy for the French resistance and had information hidden in her undergarments. Harris' performance captures Baker's unique blend of sass, sweetness, sexiness and humor.

Harris and Marinaccio have researched Baker's life, so on this podcast I decided to take advantage of their presence here at Fringe to talk about Baker and pay homage to a woman that more people need to know about.

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Beth Accomando
Arts & Culture Reporter

opening quote marksclosing quote marksI cover arts and culture, from Comic-Con to opera, from pop entertainment to fine art, from zombies to Shakespeare. I am interested in going behind the scenes to explore the creative process; seeing how pop culture reflects social issues; and providing a context for art and entertainment.

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