Singers Ciara and LaBelle to Star in Charles Randolph-Wright Film of Mama, I Want to Sing!

News   Singers Ciara and LaBelle to Star in Charles Randolph-Wright Film of Mama, I Want to Sing! Charles Randolph-Wright will direct a film adaptation of the musical Mama, I Want to Sing! that is set to star Ciara, Patti LaBelle and Lynn Whitfield, according to Variety.

CodeBlack Entertainment will produce the the feature adaptation of the Off-Broadway gospel musical that is slated to begin filming in June for a February 2008 release through FoxFaith.

Randolph-Wright directs his own screenplay for the film based on the stage musical by Vy Higginsen and Ken Wydro. Mama, I Want to Sing! centers on a preacher's daughter (Ciara) who makes the leap from church choir singer to pop star. The story is based on the life of Higginsen's sister Doris Troy, the singer known for the 1963 hit "Just One Look." It played in New York in 1983 at the Heckscher Theatre and London in 1995. (Chaka Khan appeared in the latter staging.) The writers also penned two follow-ups to the original stage show, Sing! Mama 2 and Born to Sing, Mama 3.

Young R&B soul songstress Ciara is known for her singles "One, Two Step," "Goodies," "Promise" and "Like a Boy." She earned a Grammy Award for her work on the Missy Elliott song "Lose Control." She made her acting debut in MTV Films' "All You've Got."

LaBelle — who played Matron "Mama" Morton in Chicago for an exclusive Los Angeles engagement — is known for her Grammy Award-winning rhythm and blues songs, which include "On My Own" and "New Attitude." The one-time lead member of the group Labelle also sang on the group's biggest hit "Lady Marmalade." She has appeared on Broadway in three self-titled concerts and in the 1982 revival of Your Arms Too Short to Box With God.

Whitfield is known for her work in film and television in "The Thin Line Between Love and Hate," "Eve's Bayou" and her Emmy Award-winning turn in "The Josephine Baker Story." Her stage credits include Off-Broadway's White Chocolate and the national tours of The Great MacDaddy Musical and For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf. Randolph-Wright penned the play Blue, which played Off-Broadway (starring Phylicia Rashad). He recently directed Cuttin' Up (at Pasadena Playhouse), Brian Stokes Mitchell in the solo show Love/Life (Lincoln Center) and the world premieres of Oni Faida Lampley Tough Titty (Williamstown Theatre Festival) and Senor Discretion Himself (Arena Stage).

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