MIGHTY REAL: A FABULOUS SYLVESTER MUSICAL Coming to Washington, D.C.
Produced by AnthonyKen LLC and Sheryl Lee Ralph/The DIVA Foundation, MIGHTY REAL: A FABULOUS SYLVESTER MUSICAL is written by and stars Anthony Wayne (Pippin, Anything Goes, Priscilla Queen of the Desert) and is co-directed by Mr. Wayne and Kendrell Bowman, who also serves as the show's costume designer.
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.
MIGHTY REAL: A FABULOUS SYLVESTER MUSICAL (formerly known as FABULOUS, ONE MORE TIME) began a series of concerts at le poisson rouge in New York City in 2012. These early concerts were followed by sold-out performances at The Howard Theatre in Washington, D.C. in January 2013. Additional concerts in Miami soon followed. MIGHTY REAL: A FABULOUS SYLVESTER MUSICAL made its Off-Broadway premiere in an acclaimed one-month limited engagement at Theatre at St. Clement's (423 W. 46th Street) in September 2014. MIGHTY REAL returned to NYC for a sold-out one-night-only event at The Gramercy Theater on January 18, 2015. MIGHTY REAL: A FABULOUS SYLVESTER MUSICAL was then presented at the Brava Theater Center in San Francisco for a limited engagement from February 11 - March 1, 2015. The show was most recently presented at the Painted Bride Art Center in Philadelphia in April 2015.