The past two weeks I have been in rehearsals for my first staged reading in NYC Yes! The Musical written by New York composer and Lyricist Earl Wilson Jr., and Eugene Gwozdz whose credits include The Princess and the Frog, Thrill Me, and the upcoming musical with Anika Noni Rose, Morgan Street.
Yes! is directed by the beautiful choreographer and educator Mercedes Ellington (above), granddaughter of Jazz legend Duke Ellington, and produced by the Duke Ellington Center for the Arts. The piece is centered around an imaginary meeting between Dr. Martin Luther King and Barack Obama and features music in the styles of Gospel, Contemporary, and Country. When I first saw the breakdown Katori Hall’s The Mountaintop, which explores a meeting between Dr. King and a maid the night of his shooting, was going into its closing weekend, so I was inspired to audition.
You never know what to expect when going into a reading as the piece is in a constant state of revision. Overall, it has been a process of listening; discovering who I can learn from in the room, where I fit in, and when I can really shine.
More coming soon,