Off-Broadway's Atlantic Theater Company has announced that Kecia Lewis (Mother Courage) and Rebecca Naomi Jones (Hedwig and the Angry Inch) will star in the world-premiere production of Marie and Rosetta by acclaimed Grounded playwright George Brant. The new play with music tells the story of famed gospel singer Sister Rosetta Tharpe, to be played by Lewis, who was an influence to the likes of Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Ray Charles and Jimi Hendrix.
Helmed by artistic director Neil Pepe, performances are set to begin August 24 in the Linda Gross Theater with an official opening night slated for September 12.
“Sister Rosetta Tharpe was a legend in her time, bringing fierce guitar-playing and swing to gospel music,“ state Atlantic production notes. “Tharpe was the queen of ‘race records’ in the 30’s and 40’s, a woman who played guitar as passionately as Clapton, 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 protégé, Marie Knight, as they prepare to embark on a tour that would establish them as one of the great duet teams in musical history."
Marie and Rosetta will feature scenic design by Riccardo Hernández, costume design by Dede Ayite, lighting design by Christopher Akerlind, sound design by Steve Canyon Kennedy, music direction by Jason Michael Webb and casting by Telsey + Company.
For tickets visit Atlantictheater.org, call OvationTix at (866) 811-4111, or visit in person at The Linda Gross Theater box office, located at 336 West 20th Street, New York.
Watch Jones' transformation into bad-boy Yitzhak in Hedwig and the Angry Inch on Broadway: