San Diego International Fringe Hit ‘Josephine’ Returns For Encore Performance
One-woman show pays tribute to Josephine Baker
Wednesday, November 15, 2017
San Diego International Fringe Hit 'Josephine' Returns For Encore Performance
Tymisha Harris, "Josephine" co-creator and performer
Michael Marinaccio, "Josephine" co-creator and director
Beth Accomando, KPBS arts reporter
Last year "Josephine" won Outstanding Solo Performance and Best Show at San Diego International Fringe Festival. The one-woman dream cabaret pays tribute to singer-dancer Josephine Baker. Now, "Josephine" returns to where it all began, the Spreckels Theatre for one performance this Friday.
I spoke with star/co-creator Tymisha Harris and co-creator/director Michael Marinaccio back in 2016 after multiple sold out performances of their show. The production was a work in progress and the creators experimented with different endings each performance at San Diego Fringe.
After debuting in San Diego, "Josephine" returned to Harris and Marinaccio's hometown of Orlando, Florida before starting a 2017 North American tour. The first stop in that tour was the Winnipeg Fringe Theatre Festival. Eventually, it made its way to New York City for its Off-Broadway premiere at Soho Playhouse. Now, Josephine returns to the place where it all began for a single performance as a kind of satellite event to the 2018 Canadian Association of Fringe Festivals that is being held here in San Diego.
The version of "Josephine" being performed on Friday will be updated and extended with new songs and scenes. Marinaccio described the show as a "burlesque cabaret dream play combines cabaret, theater and dance to tell the story of the iconic Josephine Baker, the first African-American international superstar and one of the most remarkable figures of the 20th Century. The show is intended for adult audiences, as it contains adult content and nudity."
Baker was born in St. Louis in 1906 and only became an international superstar after moving to France in the early '20s.
"Josephine" will return to Winnipeg on Nov. 30 through Dec. 3 and then return to Soho Playhouse in New York City early next year. There will also be another tour of the show in the summer of 2018.
If you were not one of the lucky few to catch the show when it premiered last year then I urge you to check it out. Harris is a dynamo worthy of playing the great Baker. Plus the play provides a much needed reminder of how amazing Baker was.
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