Randy Davis and Betti O Lead MOTHER DIVINE: THE MUSICAL at Western Playhouse, Now thru 7/19
MOTHER DIVINE: The Musical will be produced by Western Playhouse, an equity company, and directed by Bob Willenbrink. Broadway and New York performer Randy Davis (Guys and Dolls, All Shook Up, Peter Pan and Harlem Song), and Betti O, a winner of Showtime's Amateur Night at the famed Apollo Theatre anchor the cast.
Book and lyrics are by Laurel Klinger Vartabedian and music by Bill Evans, and new musical arrangements are by West End and Broadway music director and conductor Colin Welford (Lion King, Billy Elliott, The Who's Tommy).
In her highly positive review, Ernece B. Kelly, drama critic for the New York Beacon wrote, "This is a wildly entertaining two-hour show...This reviewer's hope is that some wise producer options this one for Broadway!" The Western Playhouse production continues the development of Mother Divine with a fully staged production that is also an out of town preview for California based McCoyRigby Entertainment.
MOTHER DIVINE: The Musical is inspired by the real life events of a charismatic Depression era Harlem evangelist named Father Divine. He practiced his own brand of Christian doctrine mixed with capitalism, socialism and mysticism. Most important was his notation that heaven was already on earth, and that his followers would live forever if they practiced celibacy and believed he was God. His preaching hit a supernatural snag when his much older wife died. Father assured his followers that Mother had not died but merely wanted a body more fitting of her righteous spirit. He claimed he obliged her wish by housing her spirit in the body of a twenty-one year old blond, presented to his flock as, "Mother in the Second Body." Here the story takes a fanciful departure when the first Mother Divine returns to earth, and with the help of a bumbling IRS agent, attempts to regain her rightful place in the kingdom. Everyone is chasing someone else's secrets in this rollicking romp set to a rousing Gospel-tinged score.
MOTHER DIVINE: The Musical also features, Erick Carter, Candance Culcleasure, Thomas Delgado, Megan Gill, Katie Kalahurka, Matthew King, Alanna Lovely, Mary Kate Moore, Additionally, Merlynn Hughes, Mert Hughes, Kristina Buchanan, and Jacob Mills round out the cast. Choreography is by Randy Davis and musical direction is by Colin Welford who as a conductor has led numerous premiers at the English National Ballet (Swan Lake, The Nutcracker, Romeo and Juliet, Giselle.)
MOTHER DIVINE: The Musical officially opens tonight, July 11th at 7:30 PM at Potter Theatre, 4525 Downs Drive, St. Joseph, MO. The performance schedule is as follows: Friday July 11 at 7:30 PM, Saturday, July 12 at 7:30, Sunday July 13 at 2:00 PM, Thursday-Saturday July 17-19 at 7:30 PM. Tickets range from USD 15.00 TO USD 22.50 and can be purchased by calling the box office at 816-271- 4452 or online: http://www.westernplayhouse.com/tickets/.