Marie and Rosetta OFF-BROADWAY REVIEWS

Photo: Sara Krulwich
  • NY TIMES

  • Opening Night:
    September 12, 2016
    Closing:
    October 16, 2016

    Theater: Atlantic Theater Co. Linda Gross Theater / 336 West 20th Street, New York, NY, 10011

    Synopsis: 

    A huge influence on Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Ray Charles and Jimi Hendrix, Sister Rosetta Tharpe was a legend in her time, bringing fierce guitar playing and swing to gospel music. Tharpe was the queen of ‘race records’ in the 30’s and 40’s, who performed mornings at churches and evenings at the Cotton Club, who was a big enough star to fill a baseball stadium for her third wedding, but ended up buried in an unmarked grave in Philadelphia. Marie and Rosetta chronicles her first rehearsal with a young protégée, Marie Knight, as they prepare to embark on a tour that would establish them as one of the great duet teams in musical history.

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  • NEW YORK TIMES REVIEW OF Marie and Rosetta

    ‘Marie and Rosetta’ Ruminates on Gospel, R&B and Life

    Charles Isherwood

    September 14, 2016: There’s an upright piano on the stage of the Atlantic Theater Company, where “Marie and Rosetta,” a new play by George Brant, supplemented by some mighty music-making, opened on Wednesday night. But it may take awhile for you to notice, since the more striking aspect of Riccardo Hernández’s set is the array of coffins surrounding that piano, some of them draped with dresses. The funeral home in 1946 Mississippi, where the play takes place, functions as a rehearsal room, a dressing room and, more alarmingly, a bedroom for the play’s two real-life characters: Sister Rosetta Tharpe (Kecia Lewis), a celebrated gospel and R&B singer who also played guitar and is considered an influential figure in the birth of rock ’n’ roll, and her protégée and collaborator, the younger gospel singer Marie Knight (Rebecca Naomi Jones).

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