Greenbrier Valley Theatre Presents BRICKTOP: LEGEND OF THE JAZZ AGE, An Original Production About A West Virginia Legend

Greenbrier Valley Theatre Presents BRICKTOP: LEGEND OF THE JAZZ AGE, An Original Production About A West Virginia Legend

Greenbrier Valley Theatre, the state professional theatre of West Virginia, is proud to present the World Premiere of Bricktop: Legend of the Jazz Age. This original production, by GVT Artistic Director Cathey Sawyer, runs October 26 & 27 at 7:30 p.m., November 1-3 at 7:30 p.m. and November 8 -10 at 7:30 p.m., with a matinee performance November 3 at 2:30 p.m. and a Pay-What-You-Can Preview performance October 25 at 7:30 p.m.

Tickets are $30 for general adult admission, $27 for seniors (60+) and $20 for children/students. For more information, call the GVT Box Office at (304) 645-3838 or visit www.gvtheatre.org.

A World Premiere play with music that celebrates and chronicles the life of Ada "Bricktop" Smith. Born in Alderson, WV, Bricktop was a singer and dancer who rose to fame as a nightclub owner during the Jazz Age. She opened Chez Bricktop's in Paris in 1926, eventually became the darling of Paris nightlife and was nicknamed the "Doyenne of Café Society."

An extraordinary woman who overcame so much and became so iconic, "Bricktop" led a unique life full of adventure and success. Cathey Sawyer, GVT's Artistic Director, decided to tell her story and has dedicated many months to the creation of a unique production worthy of the name "Bricktop."

Sawyer has been GVT's Artistic Director for over 25 years, and in that time she has written a few local hits, including The Greenbrier Ghost and Babes in Toyland. Now she's undertaken the task of remembering one of West Virginia's most famous natives, which so few people know about.

"I chose Bricktop because she is an under-sung West Virginian with a great life story - a story like no one else from this state," the playwright said.

With that in mind, Sawyer selected an actor who would able to do justice to such a story. Gabrielle Lee, who made an appearance at GVT's Masquerade in the Mountains in July, and she blew the audience away was selected. Lee has sung backup with musical legends such as Steely Dan, Michael Bolton and Harry Belafonte, amongst many others all over the world. Sawyer knew she has what it takes to bring "Bricktop" to life on stage, and help the audience realize the tremendous work she did.

"I hope the audiences have a greater appreciation for the odds she surpassed and a greater appreciation of the music and times she lived in," Sawyer said.

This inspirational story runs October 26 & 27 at 7:30 p.m., November 1-3 at 7:30 p.m. and November 8 -10 at 7:30 p.m., with a matinee performance November 3 at 2:30 p.m. and a Pay-What-You-Can Preview performance October 25 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $30 for general adult admission, $27 for seniors (60+) and $20 for children/students. For tickets or more information, call GVT's Box Office at 304-645-3838 or visit www.gvtheatre.org. This program is presented with financial assistance from the West Virginia Division of Arts, Culture & History, and the National Endowment for the Arts, with approval from the West Virginia Commission on the Arts.

About Greenbrier Valley Theatre:

Located in beautiful, historic downtown Lewisburg, "America's Coolest Small Town," Greenbrier Valley Theatre, The State Professional Theatre of West Virginia, is committed to its mission statement to create live, professional quality theatre in West Virginia and, through theatre, to enlighten, enrich, and enliven the life of our region.

Throughout each year, GVT produces first-class theatrical productions featuring professional actors. Additionally, Greenbrier Valley Theatre offers a successful after-school drama program, a summer camp for children and teens, literary readings, live simulcasts of the Metropolitan Opera, special events and musical performances, art appreciation activities, lectures, discussions, and workshops.

Photo: GVT Artistic Director and Bricktop: Legend of the Jazz Age playwright Cathey Sawyer*. (Photo Courtesy of Greenbrier Valley Theatre)

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