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Mama Foundation Extends ALIVE! at The Dempsey Theater Into August


The Mama Foundation for the Arts will extend the summer engagement of their acclaimed musical production, ALIVE! The show, originally scheduled to close on July 25, will now extend through August 8 at The Dempsey Theater in Harlem (127 West 127th Street, between Lenox and Seventh Avenues). ALIVE! - from the creators of the worldwide musical sensation Mama, I Want To Sing! - is a musical celebration of a generation, featuring a full company of performers who are age 55 and over. The show was seen in a hit engagement last fall and an in-depth feature on CBS-TV's "60 Minutes".

Conceived and written by Vy Higginsen and Ken Wydro, and directed by Mr. Wydro, the show features "real people, telling real stories." The cast of ALIVE! is comprised of everyday, ordinary citizens from all walks of life; people with amazing talent who never realized their desire to perform live. Each cast member now taking center stage proves that it's never too late to live a dream. ALIVE! features a unique blend of gospel, jazz, R&B and pop music - songs that served as a soundtrack for this generation. Through the music and authentic stories and testimonies, the ALIVE! cast tells how it used to be, and how life could be going forward... at any age. They are ALIVE!... and kickin.' The show has music direction by Greg Kelly and is choreographed by Kadeem Alston-Roman, with additional choreography by Ryan Baker.

"ALIVE! is a spirited music confection," according to a rave review from The New York Beacon, "peopled by an ensemble cast of eighteen mature, pre-golden-years vocalists, who relate their personal narratives in song - gospel, R&B, jazz, pop - with virtuoso precision, originality and polish."

The cast of ALIVE! includes Deborah Bingham, Donna Love Brown, Matthew Brown, Matthew Burke, Robin Campos, Robin Crudup, Gladys DeJesus Mitchell, Darlene Eklou, Phyllis Harris, Theo Harris, Susie Jones, Sharon Patrick, Roberta Ross, Ricardo Vega and Renee Walker.

A two-disc CD live cast recording is currently available.

Proceeds from the production benefit The Mama Foundation for the Arts, a cultural space in Harlem with a mission to present, preserve and promote the history and fundamentals of gospel, jazz, and rhythm and blues music for current and future generations, as well as to provide quality training and employment in the performing arts to both youths and adults. A non-profit 501(c)3, the Mama Foundation for the Arts was founded in 1998 by Vy Higginsen, inspired by her musical Mama, I Want To Sing! Through the Foundation's School of Gospel, Jazz and R&B and its Gospel for Teens program, instruction in these musical art forms has been offered to young people between the ages of 13 and 19 at no cost since 2006. The Gospel for Teens program has serviced hundreds of students in the past seven years, providing desperately- needed support to musically gifted children and replacing arts programs taken out of many inner city schools.

ALIVE! will be performed Saturday afternoons at 4:00 PM through August 8. There are additional performances on Saturday, June 13 at 1:00 PM and Saturday, June 27 at 7:30 PM. Note: there are no performances May 30, June 20, July 4 and July 11.Tickets for ALIVE! are available by calling the Mama Foundation for the Arts at (212) 280-1045 or through and (212) 868-4444. Tickets are $35 for general seating, $45 for front orchestra and $65 for premium seats. Seniors and students are priced at $30 with special rates for groups and parties of 10 or more, also available for $40 per ticket. For more information, please visit

Directions to The Dempsey Theater via Public Transit: Subway: Number 2 or 3 express trains to 125th Street and Lenox Ave; walk two blocks north, turn left on 127th Street. Bus: M2, M3, M7 Buses to 127th Street

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