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San Francisco to Celebrate Sylvester With 'MIGHTY REAL DAY' Tomorrow; Musical Begins on Valentine's Day

The city of San Francisco will honor the legendary disco singer Sylvester, along with the opening of MIGHTY REAL: A FABULOUS SYLVESTER MUSICAL -- the acclaimed celebration of the life and music of the original 1970s "Queen of Disco" -- with San Francisco Supervisor, Scott Weiner, set to present a proclamation for "Mighty Real Day: Honoring Sylvester & His Music" on Friday, February 13, 2015 at 2:00 p.m. (Pacific) at Sylvester's star on the Castro Rainbow Honor Walk. MIGHTY REAL: A FABULOUS SYLVESTER MUSICAL began performances at the Brava Theater Center (2781 24th Street) on Wednesday, February 11th and will open on Saturday, February 14th, 2015. The limited San Francisco engagement is scheduled through Sunday, March 1st.

In attendance at the celebration on February 13th will be show creators Anthony Wayne (Pippin, Anything Goes, and Priscilla Queen of the Desert) and Kendrell Bowman; the show's co-producer, Tony nominee Sheryl Lee Ralph (Dreamgirls); cast members Anastacia McClesky (Violet, The Book of Mormon), Jacqueline B. Arnold, (We Will Rock You, Priscilla Queen of the Desert), DeAnne Stewart and Rahmel McDade; Brava's Executive Director, Anastacia Powers; as well as Paul Boneberg of the GLBT Historical Society.

"I have said from day one how proud I am to be a producer of MIGHTY REAL . . . and being welcomed to San Francisco like this is such an honor," says Sheryl Lee Ralph. "I know right now somewhere in heaven Sylvester is strutting around saying 'Yes, Diva, yes!! Don't you want to funk?!"

Produced by AnthonyKen LLC and Sheryl Lee Ralph/The Diva Foundation MIGHTY REAL: A FABULOUS SYLVESTER MUSICAL is written by and stars Anthony Wayne and is co-directed by Mr. Wayne and Kendrell Bowman, who also serves as the show's costume designer.

Mr. Wayne and Mr. Bowman, life partners, were inspired to create the musical after seeing the "Unsung" documentary about Sylvester on TV One in 2010. Moved by his story and his bravery to openly be who he was in an era in which that was not supported or encouraged by society, Mr. Wayne sought out his music. Hooked, he discussed Sylvester's music and influence with Mr. Bowman and they both put their talents together to bring the icon's story to the stage.

MIGHTY REAL began a series of concerts at le poisson rouge in New York City in 2012, which were followed by sold-out performances in Washington, D.C. and Miami in 2013. MIGHTY REAL: A FABULOUS SYLVESTER MUSICAL made its Off-Broadway premiere at Theatre at St. Clement's (423 W. 46th Street) in September 2014. The limited engagement ended on Sunday, October 5th after a sell-out run. Most recently, MIGHTY REAL returned to NYC for a sold-out one-night-only event at The Gramercy Theater on Sunday, January 18th, 2015.

Wayne and Bowman were recently interviewed for "Unsung," and will become part of a new edit of the documentary that inspired the musical (airing on TV One this upcoming season).

MIGHTY REAL: A FABULOUS SYLVESTER MUSICAL has a set and lighting design by two-time Tony-nominee David Lander (Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo, 33 Variations), costume design by Kendrell Bowman, and sound design by Rafe Carlotto / Sound Associates, and choreography by Anastacia McCleskey.

Sylvester James, Jr. (September 6, 1947 - December 16, 1988), better known as Sylvester, was an American disco and soul singer-songwriter. Known for his flamboyant, androgynous appearance, he became known in the United States as the "Queen of Disco." Born in Watts, LA, Sylvester developed a love of singing through the gospel choirs of his Pentecostal church, which he left after being persecuted for his homosexuality. His career started as an early founder of a group of black cross-dressers and trans women known as The Disquotays. After that group disbanded, he moved to San Francisco and embraced the counterculture, joining a drag troupe, The Cockettes, and he eventually produced solo shows heavily influenced by female blues and jazz singers like Billie Holiday and Josephine Baker. Sylvester left the Cockettes to focus on his solo career, and by 1978, his acclaimed album Step II spawned the disco classics "You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real)" and "Dance (Disco Heat)." He released 12 albums in his career, and had several more hits, including "Do Ya Wanna Funk," and "Can't Stop Dancing." An activist who campaigned against the spread of HIV/AIDS, Sylvester died from complications arising from the virus in 1988. In 2004, "You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real)," was inducted into the Dance Music Hall of Fame, and one year later in 2005, Sylvester himself was inducted into the Dance Music Hall of Fame for his achievement as an artist.

The San Francisco engagement of MIGHTY REAL: A FABULOUS SYLVESTER MUSICAL is presented at the Brava Theater Center. Brava! For Women in the Arts celebrates its 27th year as a professional arts organization dedicated to cultivating the artistic expression of women, youth, LGBT, people of color and other unheard voices through the ownership and operation of Brava Theater Center. BRAVA producing history includes award-winning premieres by Diana Son, Eve Ensler, Debbie Swisher, Reno, Cherylene Lee, Suzan-Lori Parks, Culture Clash, Joan Holden, Anne Galjour, Elizabeth Summers, Kate Rigg, Dan Guerrero, and Mabou Mines, as well as works by internationally known playwrights like Jesusa Rodriguez and Liliana Felipe of Mexico, Jorge Drexler of Uruguay, and Ojos de Brujo and Ismael Serrano of Spain. BRAVA's current artistic programming includes traditional and contemporary music festivals, a variety of film festivals, contemporary and experimental theatrical productions, international comedy shows, lectures and professional dance productions - making BRAVA one of the most eclectic and multi-faceted arts venues in the Bay Area. BRAVA's resident youth programs include the long standing SF Running crew which pairs youth with professional mentors and hands on opportunities for technical theatre training; Cuicacalli Escuela de Danza, traditional and contemporary dance training for youth, Famooly Productions Salsa Band workshops and Loco Bloco dance and drum ensemble. Brava is committed to providing affordable space for artistic development and presentation and quality professional arts training for underserved youth in the San Francisco community.

MIGHTY REAL: A FABULOUS SYLVESTER MUSICAL is currently in performance at The Brava Theater Center (located at 2781 24th Street, San Francisco, CA 94110) through March 1st, 2015 (Opening February 14th, 2015). Tickets range from $30 - $100 and are now available online at www.brava.org/current-shows/current-shows/mighty-real-fabulous-sylvester-musical.

Plans for other engagements in cities across the country will be announced shortly. MIGHTY REAL: A FABULOUS SYLVESTER MUSICAL's Live Original Cast Recording is available online on iTunes and CD Baby.

For more information, visit www.FabulousSylvester.com, follow on Twitter & Instagram: @fabsylvester and Facebook: www.facebook.com/fabsylvester.



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