Melba Moore to Portray Ethel Waters in New Play with Music, STILL WATERS
STILL WATERS is a new play, with music, about the life of the legendary Ethel Waters. Ethel was a great American jazz, gospel and blues singer and lauded Broadway and film actress. She was the first African-American woman to be nominated for an Emmy Award and the second to be nominated for an Academy Award.
Waters was a pioneer of the American stage and early film with a career that spanned over 50 years. She lived a tumultuous life that saw several husbands, the gain and loss of three fortunes and eventually, led her to become the voice of the Billy Graham Crusades, where she remained until her death in 1977.
Melba Moore is slated to tackle the role of the legendary Waters in this new production. Like Waters, Moore has known success for her music, her turns on the Broadway stage, as well as her many television and film appearances. Moore shot to super-stardom in the early 1970s with her debut album ("I Got Love") and that same year she won the TONY Award for Best Performance of Featured Actress in a Musical for her performance of Lutiebelle in Purlie. Her debut album garnered a 1971 Grammy nomination for Best New Artist, and she soon would be seen in living rooms throughout America in a variety television show that co-starred Clifton Davis.
Tony Award winner and four-time Grammy nominee, Melba starred in a 1986 television sit-com of the same name, MELBA, on CBS and has been seen as recently as 2003 in The Fighting Temptations starring Beyonce Knowles.
Playwright/director Dennis Courtney staged a re-envisioned production of Fiddler on the Roof, as the official production for the 60th Anniversary of Israel, for which he won the Israeli National Theatre Award, Israel's "TONY" equivalent. He directed the off-Broadway premiere of Civil War Voices (6 MITF Awards). He has been the director/choreographer of over 150 stage productions including Peter Pan with Cathy Rigby, Can-Can with Leslie Uggams, the regional premiere of I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change, the world premiere of Red Hot Mama, The Last Five Years, Sophisticated Ladies, Joseph & the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (most recently with American Idol Finalist Melinda Doolittle), Hedwig and the Angry Inch (with David Brian Colbert), It Ain't Nothin' But The Blues, The World Goes 'Round and West Side Story. Mr. Courtney has conceived & staged special events and award shows, working with such performers as Bette Midler, Celine Dion, Quincy Jones, Warren Beatty, The Bacon Brothers & David Letterman.
Playwright David Brian Colbert is a Barrymore award winning actor, MAC and Nightlife Award winning entertainer and Tech Director, as well as an award winning playwright. His last play, C.O.A.L.(confessions of a liar) was the winner of the AracaWorks project and was seen this past winter at 59E59 theaters in Manhattan.
STILL WATERS is currently being workshopped and slated for production in spring 2016.