GIRL Shakes Loose Her Skin featuring Tracie Thoms, de'Adre Aziza, Brandon Victor Dixon and the poetry of Sonia Sanchez; Imani Uzuri (composer) Zakiyyah Alexander (playwright), Patricia McGregor (director)
Show DescriptionGIRL shakes loose her skin, is a musical and theatrical exploration of one girl's journey to womanhood inspired by and featuring the poetry of Philadelphia Poet Laureate Sonia Sanchez.
Please join Imani Uzuri (composer, lyrics, musical director), Zakiyyah Alexander (book, lyrics) and Patricia McGregor (director) for a special ONE NIGHT ONLY staged reading of the New musical 'GIRL shakes loose her skin' featuring a cast of some of New York's premiere musical theater artists including Tracie Thoms as GIRL and a dynamic ensemble including de'Adre Aziza, Brandon Victor Dixon, Christina Acosta Robinson, McKenzie Frye, Karma Mayet Johnson and Peter Jay Fernandez with piano accompaniment and co-arrangerment by Toru Dodo.
Innovative vocalist and composer Imani Uzuri is an eclectic artist who travels internationally from Morocco to Moscow creating and performing across various genres including concerts, recordings, experimental theater, performance art and sound installations. Uzuri’s work has been called “stunning” by New York Magazine and incorporates her interests in world culture, experimentation and sacred music. She has earned critical acclaim for her debut album, Her Holy Water: A Black Girl’s Rock Opera as well as for her collaborations with diverse artists such as Herbie Hancock, John Legend, Wangechi Mutu and Vijay Iyer. Her new album The Gypsy Diaries is a vibrant lyrical and spiritual sound scape and was named #2 on Rhapsody's World Top 10 List Summer 2012.
Zakiyyah Alexander is an award winning playwright who's work has been seen, developed, and commissioned around the country. An alumni of New Dramatists (where GIRL Shakes Loose Her Skin was originally developed), and a graduate of Yale School of Drama, she was most recently a writer on the hit television show, GREY'S ANATOMY.
Patricia McGregor is a Harlem-based director, writer, and creator of new work. Recent directing credits include the world premiere of Katori Hall's Hurt Village at the Signature Theater company (NYC); Spunk (California Shakespeare Theater); Holding It Down: The Veteran's Dream Project (Harlem Stage); Illmatic (Urban Stages); Blues for Mr. Charlie and Yerma (SMU); and Burnt Sugar freaks James Brown (The Apollo Theater and Summer Stage). As Associate Director of Fela! on Broadway, she coached Patti LaBelle in the role of Funmailayo. Other directing credits include Jelly’s Last Jam, Romeo and Juliet, Four Electric Ghosts, Cloud Tectonics, Eleemosynary, The French Play, Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill, Sidewalk Opera, Dancing in the Dark, The Covering Skyline, In the Meantime. She has worked at venues including Broadway, NYSF Shakespeare in the Park, BAM, Second Stage, The Public Theater, The Kitchen, The O’Neill, Lincoln Center Institute, Exit Art, and Nuyorican Poetry Cafe. She co-founded Angela’s Pulse with her sister, choreographer Paloma McGregor . Angela’s Pulse creates vital choreoplays and fosters collaboration among artists, educators, organizers, academics and other diverse communities in order to illuminate under told stories, infuse meaning into the audience experience and animate progress through the arts. At Harlem Stage she directed Blood Dazzler in collaboration with her sister as part of their work in Angela’s Pulse in response to the aftermath of Katrina. McGregor attended the Yale School of Drama, where she was a Paul and Daisy Soros Fellow and Artistic Director of the Yale Cabaret.
Tracie Thoms has had wide-ranging success in film, television and theatre throughout her busy career. She’s considered one of the rising stars of a new generation of talented and versatile American actors.
Tracie realized a long-held dream when she starred in 2008 as 'Joanne' in the final weeks of the historic 12 year run of the Broadway musical, "Rent". She revisited the iconic show at the Hollywood Bowl to rave reviews under Neil Patrick Harris’ direction last August. She played the same key role in Sony's film of “Rent” opposite Rosario Dawson, Taye Diggs and Jesse Martin. Tracie was most recently seen in the hit Denzel Washington/Ryan Reynolds film, "Safe House." Before that, she was featured opposite Samuel L. Jackson and Luke Wilson in “Meeting Evil.” She recently shot Christopher Nolan’s “Looper,” opposite Bruce Willis and Joseph Gordon-Levitt. In 2007, she starred with Kurt Russell in Quentin Tarantino's “Grindhouse: Death Proof.” The New York Times and other major media outlets gave Tracie high praise. She was also featured opposite Meryl Streep and Anne Hathaway in David Frankel’s "The Devil Wears Prada.”
Tracie starred on Broadway opposite Dulé Hill and Mekhi Phifer in Lydia Diamond and Alicia Keys’ “Stick Fly,” and opposite Alfre Woodard in Regina Taylor's "Drowning Crow."
Tracie was a series regular on the long-running CBS series, "Cold Case." She also starred on the Fox series, “Wonderfalls” and UPN's "As If"; had a memorable guest role as CCH Pounder’s tortured daughter on FX's "The Shield"; and appeared in the indie films “Sex and Breakfast, Chris Rock's "Good Hair" and "Peter and Vandy." She’s currently recurring in the network series “Harry’s Law” from David Kelley and “Human Target.”
De’Adre Aziza’s Broadway debut, PASSING STRANGE earned her a 2008 Tony nomination for Best Featured Actress in a Musical, a Theater World Award, Obie Award, and Audelco award nomination. Since that time, De’Adre has also appeared on Broadway in Lincoln Center's musical "WOMEN ON THE VERGE OF A NERVOUS BREAKDOWN". She most recently served as a vocal coach to Mike Tyson and dramaturg to Spike Lee on their Broadway debut MIKE TYSON: UNDISPUTED TRUTH.She appeared in her third Spike Lee joint “RED HOOK SUMMER” and will next be seen in the indie feature film “IN THE MORNING”. Her single "DAYS ARE LIKE DREAMS" is currently available on iTunes and Amazon.
Brandon Victor Dixon: Broadway: The Color Purple; Harpo (Tony Nomination), City Center Encores! House of Flowers; Royal, The Lion King Cheetah National Tour; Adult Simba (original). Off-Broadway: The Scottsboro Boys; Haywood Patterson (Drama Desk, Lucille Lortel, Drama League, Outer Critics Circle, and AUDELCO award Nomination). Regional: Ray Charles Live!; Ray Charles (Ovation Nomination) Columbia University’s 107th Annual Varsity Show, as well as numerous other productions. TV: Quincy Jones’s America’s Millennium, ABC’s One Life to Live; Darryl (recurring) Law & Order: Criminal Intent; Dix (feature) The Good Wife; Clerk (guest star). Awards: Columbia University’s I.A.L. Diamond Award for Achievement in the Arts, National Foundation for the Advancement of the Arts First Level Award, British Academy of Dramatic Acting scholarship, Presidential Scholar Semi-Finalist. Brandon, a Columbia University graduate, thanks family, friends, Jack Waddell, Abrams Artists, and Noble Talent Management for their continuous support and belief in him. Brandon also has a podcast on relationships called Finding Morgan Freeman, and a newly launched line of all natural lip balm and fashion apparel called RTK (RediscoverTheKiss). Brandon will be starring as Berry Gordon in the upcoming Broadway Show "Motown: The Musical".
Christina Acosta Robinson: Credits include Sarah in Ragtime, Alba in The House of the Spirits, Anita in Jelly's Last Jam, Billie Holiday in Lady Day at Emerson's Bar and Grille, and Mahala in Homebody/Kabul. Training: M.F.A., Yale School of Drama. Member of the Broadway Inspirational Voices.
McKenzie Frye is a Detroit, MI native and Howard University graduate with a B.F.A. in Musical Theatre. Off Broadway/ Regional Credits include: WIG OUT!, RIVER DEEP, DAMN YANKEES, DREAMGIRLS, and HARRIET’S RETURN starring Debbie Allen. Film and TV credits include "wishing...," THE SRONGER, MY BROTHER, and LAW & ORDER. She is currently a collaborating artist in residence with Gabrielle Lansner and Company.
Multidisciplinary performer Karma Mayet Johnson has appeared onstage at New Dramatists, Living Theater/Culture Project, The Joyce, The Kitchen, DNA, on MTV, Off Broadway in FELA! and internationally. She’s worked with artists ranging from The Roots to Robert Wilson. She is composer of Indigo, A Blues Opera. Thisiskarma.net
Peter Jay Fernandez: Recent: ‘CQ/CX’, Atlantic Theater Co
Broadway: ‘Cyrano de Bergerac’,’ HenryIV’, ‘Jelly’s Last Jam’
‘Julius Caesar’, ‘Henry IV’, ‘Jelly’s Last Jam’, ‘The Merchant of Venice’.
Off Broadway; ‘Macbeth’, ‘The Pain and the Itch’, ‘Too Much Memory’, ‘ Widowers Houses’, ‘Thunder Knocking on the Door’, ‘ Phaedra in Delirium’, ‘As you like it’, ‘Henry VIII’, ‘Spell# 7’, ‘Coriolanus’, ‘Split Second’, ‘Checkmates’ and more.
Tokyo-Born pianist and composer Toru Dodo lived in NYC since 1998. One of New York's most in-demand sideman, Dodo has worked with jazz luminaries such as Kenny Garrett, Benny Golson, and Curtis Fuller. He has released to date 5 CDs under his name and published his own book "Excellent Jazz Solo Piano" in Japan.