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Review: BNS Productions Encore Presentation: MA RAINEY'S BLACK BOTTOM at Duke Energy Theater

"You've Seen The Rest...Now See The Best!"

Review: BNS Productions Encore Presentation:  MA RAINEY'S BLACK BOTTOM at Duke Energy Theater

Encore! Encore! Encore! Yes, live theater is BACK in a mighty way. Recently, I had a chance to catch one of the performances of August Wilson's Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, produced by the multi- award-winning playwright, Rory D. Sheriff and directed by the phenomenal award-winning actor, director, and Central Piedmont College professor, Dr. Corlis Hayes, and I tell you that it shattered my expectations. As a playwright/director, I am not just interested in the mere performance of a work...I am extremely critical of the technical components such as lighting, stage design, audio, etc. I could not find anything out of order in any of those areas. I can emphatically say that this was the BEST presentation of Ma Rainey's Black Bottom that I've ever seen. To me, it was even better that the movie directed by my favorite actor, Denzel Washington, that starred two of my favorite actors, Viola Davis and Chadwick Boseman.

What makes this depiction stand out among the rest? Well, I am glad you asked...one person, Sharlata "ShiningShar" Marlin. Baabbeee (In my New Orleans dialect), she is the truth! I truly felt like I was in the presence of the influential blues singer, Gertrude "Ma" Rainey. Shar's transformation was incredible. What an amazing talent who definitely belong on the BIG STAGE of Broadway. I can't wait to see her at the TOP and I predict that it won't be long before she is internationally known.

Truthfully...the ENTIRE CAST was phenomenal, you all should take a bow. Honorable mention to Jonavan Adams, in the role of Levee...this was definitely a Tony-award winning performance. The role of Levee is near and dear to my heart because it is one of the last roles performed by the late Chadwick Boseman before he died of colon cancer last August. To witness Jonavan deliver such a stellar performance that, in my opinion, was comparative to Chadwick's, is such a huge testament to his talent. Sending shout-outs to three of BNS Productions' regular troupe members: Timothy Bradley, (Cutler), Jermaine Gamble (Toledo) and Graham Williams (Slow Drag), each gave excellent performances as "Ma's" dedicated band members. But the audience favorite and show-stealer was Toy Reynolds "Phoenix" Johnson. She flirted, batted her long lashes, shook her shimmy, and swayed her hips at anyone in eyeshot...male or female. She nailed that role.

If anyone missed the previous performances, August 11-22, there is an encore performance scheduled this Sunday, September 12, at 4:00pm, Duke Energy Theater, 345 N. College Street, Charlotte, North Carolina. Unfortunately, this will end BNS Productions' long-term residency at the Duke Energy Theater because Spirit Square will officially close. I say to Spirit Square as they say in show biz, "Thanks For The Memories!" However, it is certainly not the end of BNS Productions...prepare to see Black Nativity at the Knight Theater, in December.

For information on BNS Productions, visit website: http://www.brandnewsheriff.com/

Review: BNS Productions Encore Presentation:  MA RAINEY'S BLACK BOTTOM at Duke Energy Theater
Sharlata Marlin (Ma Rainey)
Review: BNS Productions Encore Presentation:  MA RAINEY'S BLACK BOTTOM at Duke Energy Theater
Phoenix Johnson As Dussie Mae
Review: BNS Productions Encore Presentation:  MA RAINEY'S BLACK BOTTOM at Duke Energy Theater
'Shar' Marlin Is truly a "Star" as "Ma" Rainey.


Angel Adams Appointed Vice President Of Finance And Administration At The Charlotte S Photo
The Charlotte Symphony Orchestra (CSO) announces the appointment of Angel Adams as the CSO's Vice President of Finance and Administration, beginning January 30, 2023. In this role, Adams will oversee the organization's day-to-day  accounting operations, office administration, and strategic financial plan.  

Winners Announced For The 2022 BroadwayWorld Charlotte Awards Photo
The winners have been announced for the 2022 BroadwayWorld Charlotte Awards, honoring the best in regional productions, touring shows, and more which had their first performance between October 1, 2021 through September 30, 2022.

Charlotte Conservatory Theatre to Present POTUS at Booth Playhouse in March Photo
Charlotte Conservatory Theatre, the Queen City's newest professional performing arts company, has announced their second production, Selina Fillinger's recent Broadway smash POTUS: Or, Behind Every Great Dumbass are Seven Women Trying to Keep Him Alive.

Review: A SOLDIERS PLAY at Knight Theater Photo
A Soldier's Play pinpoints various forms of racism found within the ranks of the military. Racism is detrimental to all who exhibits it. In this case it led to the death of an enlisted sergeant. This 'whodunit' masterpiece takes it's patron on a 'cat and mice' journey of colorism and racism with many guilty parties.


From This Author - Vickie Evans

Vickie is the president of the independent theater company, Soaring High Productions and is the CEO of the nonprofit theater advocacy organization, Performing Arts and Literary Society (PALS). ... (read more about this author)


Review: A SOLDIER'S PLAY at Knight TheaterReview: A SOLDIER'S PLAY at Knight Theater
January 12, 2023

A Soldier's Play pinpoints various forms of racism found within the ranks of the military. Racism is detrimental to all who exhibits it. In this case it led to the death of an enlisted sergeant. This 'whodunit' masterpiece takes it's patron on a 'cat and mice' journey of colorism and racism with many guilty parties.

Review: TINA - THE TINA TURNER MUSICAL Bedazzles The Belk TheaterReview: TINA - THE TINA TURNER MUSICAL Bedazzles The Belk Theater
December 29, 2022

The bio-musical 'Tina (The Tina Turner Musical) is a great snapshot of the highs and lows of Tina Turner. It is difficult at best for anyone to walk in the shoes of the Queen of Rock and Roll seeing that she is 'Simply, The Best'. Therefore, anyone who DARE step in those shoes are subject to strict comparison because there is only ONE Tina Turner...that could never be duplicated.

Feature: The Broadway-Style Musical, BE A LION RETURNSFeature: The Broadway-Style Musical, BE A LION RETURNS
December 7, 2022

The Evolution Of 'Be A Lion' an adaptation of 'The Wizard Of Oz' from its humble start at Duke Energy Theater to the illustrious stage of the Blumenthal Performing Arts Center's Booth Playhouse. Witness the transformation and upgrades...beautiful backdrops, colorful costumes, toe-tapping choreography, and a super talented cast.

Feature: MTA GALA at Le Meridien HotelFeature: MTA GALA at Le Meridien Hotel
October 26, 2022

Oh What A Night! The MTA Gala Was An INCREDIBLE Evening That Celebrated The Accomplishments Of Theater Professionals, Sponsored By The Metrolina Theatre Association. Kudos to the nominees and winners who elegantly graced the ballroom of the Le Meridien Hotel, in Charlotte, North Carolina

Review: URBAN BUSH WOMEN at Blumenthal Performing Arts Center's Booth PlayhouseReview: URBAN BUSH WOMEN at Blumenthal Performing Arts Center's Booth Playhouse
September 29, 2022

The Blumenthal Performing Arts Center is hosting its first annual Charlotte International Arts Festival.  One of its creative dance performers is the Urban Bush Women (UBW).   Celebrating its thirty-five year anniversary, UBW celebrated the power of women with its Legacy + Lineage + Liberation dance presentation. Urban Bush Women is captivating, exhilarating, and very entertaining.