THE LION KING's Thuli Dumakude to Lead SING! South African Holiday Celebration Off-Broadway
Led by the magnificent voice of Thuli Dumakude (The Lion King, the film Cry Freedom) and featuring an ensemble of American and South African women, SING! A SOUTH AFRICAN AND AMERICAN MUSICAL HOLIDAY CELEBRATION will celebrate the joyous holiday season from many threads of culture.
Singing in English and Zulu, accompanied by a live band, SING! weaves the traditional holiday sounds of America to the lively and joyous songs and dances of a traditional South African township Christmas celebration.
SING! will be performed in the Theater at St. Clement's (423 West 46th Street - between 8th & 9th Avenues), a church that has served as an Off-Broadway Theater for over 40 years. Performances are set to begin on Saturday, November 26 with opening night set for Sunday, December 4 at 3pm. Final performances will be on January 1, 2017.
Long time off-Broadway producer Eric Krebs described the path to this production. "With our nation in the throes of a most dis-spiriting election season and much of the world fighting the forces of division and culturAl Anger, I could not think of a more uplifting notion than the joining of several cultural traditions in a musical celebration. And what better time than to do it in the dead of winter? When I heard that the lovely St. Clements Theater was available for 2 months, and that my old friend Thuli Dumakude was back in the United States, my addiction to theater took over... Here we go."
The performance schedule for SING! will be: Tuesday-Saturday at 7:30pm and Saturday & Sunday at 3pm. The performance will be approximately 75 minutes. All tickets are $40 and can be purchased online at OvationTix.com or by calling 866-811-4111. Tickets will also be available at the box office one hour before each performance.
Thuli Dumakude performed Rafiki in The Lion King on Broadway, and Poppie Nongena in New York, London, Toronto, Australia and Chicago. She performed Sheila's Day and Bongi in Bongi's Journey at Crossroads Theatre in New Brunswick; Kamadonsela (Lady Macbeth) in Welcome Msomi's Umabatha in South Africa, London, Israel and New York City; Madre, in Juan Darien at Theater at St. Clements, directed by Julie Taymor. She played the role of Grandma in Generations at Soho Rep and recently shared the stage with Zimbabwe native Tanyaradzwa Tawengwa in the Off Broadway production of Africa My Beautiful at The Playroom Theater. Thuli was a featured soloist in the movies Cry Freedom, Power of One and Serengeti for Imax Theatre and Thuli toured the world doing live concerts during Apartheid raising awareness about the plight of her fellow South Africans. She is the co-founder and director of a female a-cappella group, Thokoza, which sang at Mandela's 80th birthday celebration in South Africa. Thokoza was invited to sing at Riverside church at Madiba's memorial service and by the Consul General to sing at Nat Nakasa's return home. Thokoza has performed at Carnegie Hall in NYC with Ladysmith Black Mambazo, at Riverside church in The Footsteps of Mandela, and at the Playroom Theater in I Sing for Freedom. They also performed at Lincoln Center celebrating 30 years of South African theater in Harlem. Thuli was the vocal coach for Sarafina on Broadway. She choreographed for Muntu Dance Theatre in Chicago and Dinizulu Dance Company. Thuli was the Dance Director for Izulu Dance Theatre Company for 10 years. Thuli continues to work with Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS (BC/EFA) and The Lion King Companies in America, providing them with hand beaded merchandise to raise funds for HIV/AIDS. She has a group of 20 rural women in the village of Galibasi in Muden KZN in South Africa that do beadwork and sell it abroad to theatregoers in New York. Part of the money raised goes to AIDS organizations in South Africa.
Eric Krebs has been a theatrical producer for over 40 years. On Broadway he produced Electra, It Ain't Nothin' But the Blues, Bill Maher in his Victory Begins at Home, Avery Brooks in Paul Robeson and Neil Simon's The Dinner Party. His Broadway productions have received 10 Tony Award nominations. Off-Broadway, his producing career began in 1977 with The Passion of Dracula. Since then, he produced over 40 productions, including Sam Shepard's Fool For Love, Neil LaBute's Bash, The Capitol Steps, and most recently, a 15-month run of the hit show The Bullpen and A Class Act, a new play by attorney Norman Shabel, which just concluded a run at New World Stages. That Physics Show, recipient of the 2016 Drama Desk Award for "Unique Theatrical Experience" continues to delight and amaze audiences Off Broadway at The Elektra Theatre.