BWW Review: SARAH SINGS A LOVE STORY through 3/26 at Crossroads Theatre is a Gem
"It's funny how music makes you remember things"
-Sarah Sings a Love Story
The World Premiere of Sarah Sings A Love Story, A Jazz Romance is now onstage at the Crossroads Theatre through March 26th. Get your tickets now for this enrapturing show. It is a theatrical gem written by Stephanie Berry, directed by Jeffery V. Thompson, with musical direction by Nat Adderley Jr., featuring a wonderful cast, and a talented live jazz trio. The production depicts a couple's love story for over three decades while it interfaces jazz music and the remarkable career of one of America's most admired singers, New Jersey's own Sarah Vaughn.
In Sarah Sings A Love Story, Russell Torbry is a charming, tough guy from Harlem who falls for a lovely young woman Elaine at their college's Sugarbowl dance. Jazz music is a real connection for them and it is Sarah Vaughan, "The Divine One," who entertains and sustains them from the beginning of their relationship through the many years of their marriage. Whether they go out to hear Vaughan perform at Birdland Jazz Club or play one of her recordings at home, the music seems to work its magic. The story also traces Vaughan's glamorous career and multiple marriages, elements that contrast sharply with the lifestyle of the Torbrys.
The three-person cast of Sarah Sings a Love Story is mesmerizing. Tamar Ashley Davis plays vocalist, Sarah Vaughan with all the talent and verve of the legendary singer. Davis' beautiful renditions of Vaughan's songs include "My Funny Valentine," "Someone to Watch Over Me," "Tenderly," "Black Coffee," and "Send in the Clowns." Marva Hicks as Elaine Torbry and Curtiss Cook as Russell Torbry master their roles with the right touches of drama and humor. Hicks and Cook's vocal talents also shine bright when they perform songs in the production.
The Creative Team has brought Sarah Sings a Love Story to the stage with scenic design by Chris Cumberbatch; lighting design by Melody A. Beal; costume design by Taracheia Fleming; production design by Bill Toles; sound design by Michael C. Wimberly; wig design by Danny Irby and choreography by Dyane Harvey. Bayo is the Production Stage Manager.
Under the direction of Producing Artistic Director, Marshall Jones III, Sarah Sings a Love Story is the fourth play presented by Crosssroads Theatre Company that represents the season's theme, "a woman's gift." It is a wonderful, moving production that portrays how music brings people together and soothes the spirit. See it while it is on the New Brunswick stage.
Sarah Sings a Love Story will be the final production by The Crossroads Theatre at 7 Livingston Avenue as the city prepares to raze the building and construct a brand new arts complex. For its 2017-18 season, Crossroads will launch "Crossroads on the Road," an ambitious transitional program in venues around the state. The new arts complex is expected to be complete by Fall 2019.
Photo Credit: Scott Mendenko