The dramatic story with music about the life of Mabel Mercer.
Written By and Starring Tony Award Winner
Directed by Frances Hill and Peter Napolitano
With Musical Direction by Tuffus Zimbabwe
Original Songs by Barry Levitt and Peter Napolitano
"Beverley channels rather than imitates Mercer. Gestures are graceful.
Rs are rolled. Time is taken, lyrics are savored." Broadway World
"Convincing and compelling...with eyes closed, it would be easy to think Mercer was back among the living. Hat’s off to Beverley for bringing to life a cultural treasure. " Theater Pizzazz
"Heartwarming...the closeness you feel with Beverley’s elegant portrayal of the very regal Mercer makes this play!" NY Theater Guide
"Skillful…a master class in interpretation. " Curtain Up
Mabel Mercer is frightened! Frightened that this is her last show…that her long-time friend/manager is abandoning her…that she is too old. On stage for probably the last time, this legendary performer, who influenced the likes of Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett and Billie Holiday, confronts the events that has led her to this moment. From a white British mother who refused to acknowledge her black daughter to vocal mishaps that ultimately led to her signature Story Song style, Mabel reveals all as she prepares to take her final bow.
Urban Stages presents the World Premiere
Feb 19 - April 10, 2016
EXTENSION SCHEDULE - STARTING MARCH 21
Wed: 7pm | Sun: 3pm & 7pm*
Trezana Beverley* (Playwright, Actress) is the winner of the distinguished Tony Award for her performance on Broadway in For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When The Rainbow Is Enuf. She has since created a unique signature in the American Theater as a talented actor, director, singer, acting teacher and writer. Trezana is a graduate of New York University Tisch School for the Arts where she studied under Lloyd Richards, Peter Kass, Omar Shapli and Kristin Linklater, as well as the great Polish director Jerzy Grotowsky. Among the highlights of her distinguished acting career are: Mother Courage; A Raisin In The Sun; Flyin’ West; Peer Gynt; Macbeth, Medea, and King Lear (as a man). In film: Beloved (with Oprah Winfrey); Resurrection; Carolina Skeletons and Margaret and the Saturday Night Ladies. Her music and writing skills have been displayed in her one-woman shows The Spirit Moves; Constant Star and currently, Mabel Madness, the dramatic story with music about the life of the famous cabaret chanteuse Mabel Mercer. Highlights of her directing credits include: Spell #7; Native Son; For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When The Rainbow Is Enuf; In The Blood; From The Mississippi Delta, Pecong; The Trojan Woman, Salome, Yellowman, The Bluest Eye; Blue Door; Mask in The Mirror – an Opera, and most recently an all-female production of Shakespeare’s Othello. Trezana is currently on the guest directing drama faculty of the Juilliard School in New York City and is the founding artistic director of The Trezana Projects - a theater company that uses dance choreography to express dramatic plays. Trezana is a civic minded artist who often speaks before church and youth groups. Her work has been cited in American Theater Magazine and Towards A Poor Theater (Simon & Shuster). Among other distinguished awards are: Mademoiselle Woman of The Year, The Audelco Recognition Award and The Theater World Award. She has received two Citizen’s Citations for her contribution to the American Stage as a distinguished citizen of Baltimore, Md. and has also been recognized by the New York Senate and the New York State Assembly for her artistic contributions to the community. Ms. Beverley is an honorary member of the New York State Assembly. www.trezanabeverley.com.
Tabitha Pease (Scenic Designer) Christina Watanabe (Lighting Designer), Nicholas Blade Guldner (Video Designer), Gail Cooper-Hecht (Costume Designer), Douglas Mills (Technical Director), Jill Woodward (Production Stage Manager) & Sarah Brown (Assistant Stage Manager)
*Courtesy of Actors’ Equity. Trezana Photo: Images by Tanja Production. Mabel Photo: Photographs and Prints Division, Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, The New York Public Library, Astor, Lenox and Tilden Foundations. Design: LDMM.NYC