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Richard E. Waits's MAMA ROSE to Make World Premiere at Dixon Place, 10/24

Three years ago in an interview for a musical, in which he was featured, Richard E. Waits was asked a couple of questions about his childhood. The answers stopped the interview. The reporter was beyond fascinated. So much so, the rest of the afternoon was spent talking about Rose Waits, Richard's mother and force of nature.

As the two men were saying their goodbyes the reporter remarked that Rose Waits was a musical waiting to happen.

When Richard politely reminded the reporter that there was already a musical about a 'Mama Rose,' the reporter replied, "Not like this one there isn't."

On Friday, October 24 at 7:30pm, Dixon Place (161A Chrystie Street -- between Rivington & Delancey) will proudly present the World-Premiere presentation and Special Equity Showcase production of MAMA ROSE, a solo performance art/experimental play with music about Rose Waits, a woman from Buffalo who could have ruled the world if they had let her.

With book, music and lyrics by Richard Waits, MAMA ROSE is being directed by Paul Stancato and designed by Clint Ramos, with choreography by John Paolillo. The production's creative consultants are Sheryl Lee Ralph and Penny Arcade.

Mr. Waits will perform the story of Rose Waits. A sizeable challenge considering Rose's otherworldly powers and near-nuclear energy. She was a cyclone fueled by magic. The overall presiding theme of MAMA ROSE is the play's triumphant conclusion that we are ALL a product of our people.

Richard Wait's people are the fierce lineage of proud accomplished men and women from Smackover, Arkansas who ensued in Rose Waits the survival tools she would need when she moved to Buffalo, New York, a town that, unlike Smackover, treated their African-Americans differently then their White-Americans. Rose's people were free proud people of color who mated for love and passion, not skin color.

And then there was the Buffalo Gang Problem plaguing anyone and everyone, regardless of ancestry or social standing.

But Rose Waits carried a pistol and could expertly employ the shotgun she kept in the living room, right behind the floral couch, next to the umbrella stand. Great Grandfather Tuck taught Rose how to shoot the left handle off of a sugar bowl without so much as even cracking the right one.

So, Rose Waits arrived in Buffalo. And then it started.

The Crypts and the Bloods wanted possession of her street. They didn't get it. Skanky women wanted her husband. They didn't get him. The kids on the School Bus spit at her son. They only did that once. The frigid weather tried to kill her. It didn't. She straightened out Buffalo and then sent her son to Broadway. Show business is the winner here.

MAMA ROSE will premiere on Friday, October 24th at 7:30pm at Dixon Place (161A Chrystie Street - between Rivington & Delancey). Rose Waits will not be in the audience; but she will be watching.

For tickets, visit https://web.ovationtix.com/trs/cal/171. Prices: $15 at the door; $12 in advance; $10 Students/Seniors. Note: The Dixon Place Lounge is open before and after the show, and you may bring your drink into the theater. Proceeds directly support Dixon Place's artists and mission. NEARBY SUBWAY STOPS:
F Train to Second Avenue; J/Z Train to Bowery; 6 Train to Spring; M Train to Essex; B/D Trains to Grand.

ABOUT E. RICHARD WAITS - Richard E. Waits is a proud member of Actors Equity Association and SAG-AFTRA. He is thrilled to be making his Dixon Place Theatre debut. Mr. Waits was born in Buffalo, New York where he started his career in a television commercial with the legendary Ginger Rogers after which left for Broadway, Off-Broadway and the opportunity to tour internationally and throughout the United States and Canada. Richard has garnered rave notices for his acclaimed character portrayals of 'The Master Gardner' in Orchid The Show starring Richard E. Waits 'George' in Uncle Tom's Cabin, 'Boy Sam' in The Difficulty of Crossing a Field, 'Horse' in The Full Monty, and 'Sweet Daddy' in Best of Both Worlds directed by Diane Paulus. He appeared in the pre-Broadway production of First Wives Club, and workshops of The Scottsboro Boys directed by Susan Stroman, Born Blue and A Tale of two Cities. In Concert on Broadway Mr. Waits will appear in the upcoming I AM HARVEY MILK Concert starring Kristin Chenoweth and Andrew Lippa and has been featured in the Dreamgirls Concert starring Lillias White, Audra McDonald, Heather Headley and Norm Lewis; Chess starring Josh Groban, Adam Pascal and Sutton Foster; Together Again starring Charles Busch and Julie Halston and with Opera Diva Deborah Voigt. Plus, too many to mention of New York's Night Clubs, Bars, and Dives. Other credits include Ragtime ('Coalhouse Walker, Jr.') Dreamgirls ('Curtis' and 'James Thunder Early'), the Parisian company of La Cage Aux Folles ('Jacob'), Ain't Misbehavin' ('Andre'), Swing ('Everett') the long-running San Francisco production of Beach Blanket Babylon, and the internationally heralded Showboat at Goodspeed Opera House. His solo concert work has sold out in Paris, Frankfurt, Rome and Zurich. On Television he was featured on "Nash Bridges" starring Don Johnson. Mr. Waits has also performed for former First lady and Secretary of state Hillary Clinton at the US Embassy in Holland, President Jimmy Carter at the NAACP convention in Miami and for Kofi Annan at the 50th Year Anniversary celebration of the United Nations. Twitter @richardewaits

ABOUT PAUL STANCATO - Paul Stancato is an award-winning director/ choreographer who just returned from directing the current National Tour of Jekyll and Hyde. Internationally, he has worked in China as the Artistic Director for The House of Dancing Water, as well as Belgium and London. He was the Resident Director for Disney's The Lion King. He directed the First National Tour of The Wedding Singer and was also Assistant to Choreographer, Rob Ashford, for the Broadway production. Other directing/ choreographing credits include: Plaid Tidings, Hairspray and Sound of Music, Trav'lin the Musical, Crazy For You, Godspell, Guys and Dolls, Zombies from the Beyond, Rockshow, Heart Rising, Einstein's Dreams and Dystopia Gardens. Performance credits include, Blue Man Group (Blue Man) and De La Guarda (original New York cast member). Upcoming: a new Broadway musical based on the life and times of Jean Michel Basquiat. Love to my wife and best friend, Felicia Finley. www.paulstancato.com

ABOUT CLINT RAMOS - Clint Ramos (Costume Design) Violet, The Elephant Man (Broadway); Booty Candy (Playwrights Horizon); The Common Pursuit ( Roundabout); Appropriate (Signature); Here Lies Love, Venice, Much to do about nothing, Wild With Happy (Public Theater); Romeo and Juliet (CSC); Cradle Will Rock, Violet, I'm Getting My Act Together...(City Center Encores! Off-Center); Row After Row (Women's Project). More than 100 regional and international credits. Awards: 2013 Obie Award for Sustained Exellence, two Lucille Lortel Awards, the TDF Irene Sharaff Young Master Award, two American Theatre Wing Henry Hewes Awards. MFA from NYU

ABOUT PENNY ARCADE - Penny Arcade is considered the Queen of Underground Performance she has had a mainstream presence outside of America since 1993 and her work has been produced everywhere from Calgary to Sydney, London to Vienna, Rio to Zagreb,Zurich to Belfast, Oslo to Lisbon, Mexico City to Glasgow , Dublin to Vancouver but her larger full length work has been produced in few places in the USA outside of NY, LA and SF. Penny Arcade Aka Susana Ventura is an internationally respected performance artist, writer , poet and experimental theatre maker known for her magnetic stage presence, her take no prisoners wit and her content rich plays and one liners. She is the author of ten scripted performance plays and hundreds of performance art pieces. Her work has always focused on the other and the outsider, giving voice to those marginalized by society. Her willingness to speak truth to power at the expense of career concerns has made her an international icon of artistic resistance. Her decades long focus on the creation of community and inclusion as the goals of performance and her efforts to use performance as a transformative act mark her as a true original in American
theatre and performance.

ABOUT SHERYL LEE RALPH - With continued success on stage, screen, television and music along with her philanthropic endeavors, Sheryl Lee Ralph has never been one to rest on her laurels. A triple threat dreamgirl, Ralph is an acclaimed veteran of film, television and the Broadway stage. Her award-winning work includes creating the role of Deena Jones in the legendary Broadway musical, "Dreamgirls," and earning Best Actress nods for Tony and Drama Desk Awards. Recently, she returned to Broadway for a 12-month stint in the Tony-award winning musical, "Thoroughly Modern Millie,' portraying the sassy chanteuse Muzzy Van Hossmere. Currently, she is touring the one-woman play, "Sometimes I Cry," a production written and performed by Sheryl Lee Ralph, which explores the lives, loves, and losses of women infected and affected by HIV. No stranger to television, Sheryl Lee Ralph credits include "It's a Living," "Designing Women," "The District,""Ray Donovan," Instant Mom," "Smash," and most notably, "Moesha." On the big screen, she has worked with some of Hollywood's leading and award-winning men with film credits that include "The Mighty Quinn" with Denzel Washington; "Mistress" with Robert de Niro; "To Sleep With Anger" with Danny Glover and "The Distinguished Gentlemen" with Eddie Murphy. Ralph picked up a win for Best Supporting Actress at the Independent Spirit Awards for her performance in "To Sleep With Anger." Finding success in writing and directing, Sheryl's award-winning short film, "Secrets," co-starring award-winning actress Alfre Woodard and Robin Givens was a finalist in the HBO Film Short Competition, Showtime's Filmmaker Award Series, and the BET Filmmaker Award Competition. The film was also selected as the audience favorite at the Outfest Film Festival. "Secrets" was screened at the Toronto International Film Festival, as well as the Hollywood Film Festival, the Acapulco Film Festival and the Urban World Film Festival. Sheryl Lee Ralph is also the creator of the Jamaican Film and Music Festival.

Photo by SneakPeek Photography.


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