I WILL SURVIVE: SOUNDTRACKS OF THE 70s Comes to the PGA Arts Center
The PGA Arts Center will present I Will Survive: Soundtracks of the 70's beginning October 18th. The production will run through November 19th at the increasingly popular Palm Beach Gardens venue.
When award-winning vocalist Mimi J. sought to develop a show about the women of soul who influenced her, she immediately turned to her good friend, Carbonell Award-nominated director/choreographer Kevin Black. They tossed around a number of ideas, but they kept coming back to the music of the 70s - music they both love. Together they came up with the concept, a title, and the song choices for what was then called On the Radio: Sounds of the 70s. The show opened at Stage Door Theatre in Margate in June 2014 to rave reviews.
What had evolved was an evening of unforgettable songs from an unforgettable decade of music produced by an array of artists from ABBA to Carly Simon, to Gladys Knight, John Lennon, and ZZ Top. Now called I Will Survive: Soundtracks of the 70s, the show is a rousing trip down memory lane - back to the time of bell bottoms, mood rings, smiley faces, and memorable music. Among the songs that will be featured in the show are "Close to You", "Car Wash", "Dancing Queen", "Let it Be", "Nobody Does It Better", "Proud Mary", "Midnight Train to Georgia", "Hopelessly Devoted", and "I Will Survive".
"The challenge," Black says, "was to try to figure out how to keep it interesting. Because we didn't want audiences to think the show is going to be two hours of Disco. It's definitely not!"
"Kevin and I go to the theatre together a lot," Mimi explains. "And I've never seen anything like what we did with this show - we're really excited about it.
Along with the name change, the show itself has been tweaked and updated:
"We also felt there was a need to get another experience out there... to diversify the community," Mimi continues. "This show introduces diversity and ethnicity. We're using local talent, and creating a different look and vibe on the stage for our community. Audiences are going to feel that Soul Train vibe when they're sitting in their seats... if they can stay in their seats! Most of our audiences end up dancing!"
Two talented dancers will join Mimi on stage.
Mimi J. was born and raised in Miami. She is a professional singer currently performing in the South Florida tri-county area, and has been the recipient of numerous awards in vocal performance. She received her degrees in Musical Theater from the University of Central Florida Conservatory Theater in Orlando, where she attended on the Walt Disney Scholarship. Mimi has been a member of the gospel recording group, Revelation S.E.E.D. founded and led by Margaret Reynolds of KC and the Sunshine Band, and has sung background for a number of award-winning artists including Gloria Estefan, Bobby McFerrin, Betty Wright, Ralph Tresvant and Johnny Gill of the R&B group New Edition, and Quan Howell of the gospel group Sounds of Blackness. Some of her regional theatre and Broadway National and International Tour credits include Ain't Misbehavin', Smokey Joe's Café, Fame, Nunsense, and Rent. Mimi was the first woman of color to play Teen Angel in the classic 70's hit, Grease during the show's Pan-Asian tour.
The PGA Arts Center was a welcome addition to the South Florida theatrical scene when it opened in January 2017 with a production of WaistWatchers The Musical! Subsequent productions included Brad Zimmerman's My Son the Waiter - A Jewish Tragedy, Tommy Koenig's Baby Boomer Baby, Funny Old Broads, and The Kosher Cheer Leader.
The theatre's 2017-2018 season promises to be filled with music and laughter: Following I Will Survive, Alan Jacobson's Irving Berlin Salutes America will open on November 30th and run through December 24th. Avi Hoffman will bring his popular show Avi Hoffman's Too Jewish? to the theatre beginning December 27th, and two special New Year's Eve Champagne Celebration performances starring Avery Sommers, Melissa Jacobson, and John Lariviere are planned for December 31st - one at 7 pm and one at 9:30 pm. Other upcoming productions include Old Jews Telling Jokes (January 17 - March 4), Cooking with the Calamari Sisters (January 25 - March 18), and Raunchy Little Musical - Belle Barth is Back (March 2018).
I Will Survive will run from October 18 to November 19 at The PGA Arts Center in Palm Beach Gardens. The theatre is located at 4076 PGA Boulevard in Palm Beach Gardens (33410).
Tickets for I Will Survive are $45 weekdays & $48 weekends, with select premium seating available for $65. Tickets may be purchased on line at www.pgaartscenter.com or by phone at 855-448-7469. (855- Hit-Show) For group sales (10 or more), call 561-808-3446.