Tag Archives: Sarah Gracel
If it’s possible to capture the depth and breadth of a tumultuous vibrant time and place by just focusing on the intersecting lives of five ordinary people, in this case Harlem in 1930, then Pearl Cleage’s Blues for an Alabama Sky comes close, notably in this production by the M Ensemble Company.
Soul and spirit are characteristics we would expect from a production of the multi-Tony-winning musical The Wiz. And, to be fair, Stage Door Theatre’s mounting is, at times, spirited, hip, sassy and soulful. Several scenes feature vivacious acting and expressive singing. But too often, this production is tedious and even moribund.
For those assigned to commit James Weldon Johnson’s narratives to memory in their younger days, M Ensemble’s God’s Trombones will wrap them in warm nostalgia. For others, M Ensemble skillful interpretation should elicit praise for introducing, and keeping, this important treasure of cultural history in the public eye.
If producers mount the musical Dreamgirls, it’s a given that they have hired as Effie some astounding young diva capable of punching a hole in the back of the auditorium with her melisma. Indeed, Broward Stage Door has the Cat 5 voice of Sarah Gracel to headline this 35-year-old rousing examination about the interplay of fame, pop music, racism and the dangers of pursuing the American Dream.