REMEMBERING JAMES Makes National Tour Stop In East Palo Alto
'Remembering James' makes National Tour Stop in East Palo Alto California
The new Jukebox Musical, about the Life and Music of James Brown covering the years of 1951-1968.
The new musical Remembering James is creating its own history: From being commissioned by San Francisco's Boxcar Theatre, to now a national tour and dates are still being added. Partnering with The City of East Palo Alto marks a bevy of amazing things happening.
This show covers alot of historical events to compliment the music and dialogue; with recent box office success, Remembering James looks to keep picking up steam.
Such goals have not been an impediment to Dedrick Weathersby, a Broadway World Nominated actor and director, who assembled a remarkable cast and band ensemble: The story involves a seven piece band and three actors, which seldom employs blackouts for scene changes, but rather flows cinematically from one moment to the next, sometimes juxtaposing backstage and onstage moments simultaneously.
Weathersby' cast features Kyle Goldman is Ben Bart, Donna Marie is Velma Warren Brown; and Dedrick Weathersby (a powerhouse entertainer from Longview TX ) takes on the title role as James Brown. Weathersby who sings several show hits, especially the iconic ballad song, "(Man's Man's World) Without a Woman or Girl," as well as the cross over favorite, "I Feel Good (I Got You)." Weathersby's performance have you leaning on every note sung or word spoken.
Kyle Goldman is Ben Bart., The manager and mentor for James Brown. From the opening monologue to the exit of Mr. Bart, without given away the hidden gems, Kyle captivates you with his rock solid acting. A Danville CA native, will have you believing hes from New York or the East Coast by his trained dialect. He has a mix between The Man in the Wheel Chair (Drowsy Chaperone) and Mr. Rogers.
Donna Marie is Velma Warren Brown and dancer along with backing vocals. She transitions very seamlessly. Shes a teen fan, a grooving dancer, sultry backing vocalist and a wife to James Brown. Fun fact- I spoke with her in the lobby and had no idea she was apart of the show. Job well done.
Within the front line of the music, credit goes to William "Will Roc" Griffin (Musical Director) Hearing the music played live, brought back memories and allowed me to remember my childhood. Mr. Griffin has done exceptionally well with the band and have them synchronized together.
The fact of the matter, this show is male dominated but the female representation is very strong as well. A stand out will be Jae "Stix"Jackson the drummer. Ms. Jackson holds her own and is a sure crowd favorite amongst the guys. Hearing majoriry of the crows cheer for her was all i needed.
Beyond Weathersby ' able, spot-on direction and simple but effective scenic design, using period objects and a few small set pieces. The show's fluid action is especially enhanced by Kentucky's own Morgan Becker subtle but always supportive lighting design. Becker is also the stage manager and assists the show in not becoming a train wreck. Darren Locke, keeps our hearing senses in tact, hes the sound engineer and was the same engineer for the San Francisco Theater. Dedrick with his many hats' add the period costuming - especially letterman jackets and cardigan sweaters for The Band - fully evokes the look of stepping into the time in the 1950s and 60's.
Truth to tell, there's a lot that comes at you for 90 minutes. In fact, the show moves so fluidly and effortless, it leaves the audience wanting more. It keeps the show exciting and thoroughly entertaining.
Weathersby's vision is truly one to see, its not a concert but have concert themes. One patron mentioned "Its good to not travel across the bridge to San Francisco to see a Broadway caliber show. This production is a for sure Broadway Bound show and dont say i didnt tell you so.
Remembering James continues tonight apart of their National Tour through Aug. 25 at The Performing Arts Center of Eastside College Preparatory School 1041 Myrtle Street East Palo Alto, CA 94303).
Tickets/more info: www.rememberingjamesonemanshow.com