Star of The River Dazzles as Josephine Baker, Opening Tonight

News   Star of The River Dazzles as Josephine Baker, Opening Tonight Olivier Award-nominated actress Cush Jumbo, who co-starred with Hugh Jackman in the Broadway production of The River, brings her one-woman play Josephine and I to Joe's Pub at the Public Theater, officially opening March 10 following previews that began Feb. 27.

Jumbo premiered the biographical play about the life of Josephine Baker at London's Bush Theatre in 2013, and critics praised the work, which marked Jumbo's playwriting debut, as "a dazzling tour de force." 

Cush Jumbo
Cush Jumbo Photo by Max Narula

Tony Award nominee Phyllida Lloyd, who helmed the London premiere of the play, directs again Off-Broadway. The two also collaborated on Lloyd's all-female Julius Caesar, which played St. Ann's Warehouse last season.

The Public Theater engagement will continue through April 5 at Joe's Pub. 

Here's how it's billed: "Born into poverty in the slums of St. Louis, Josephine Baker became one of the most famous and groundbreaking stars of the 20th century. The first African-American performer to rise to international prominence, she was a French Resistance spy and civil rights activist who was married twice by age 16 and served as muse to Pablo Picasso, F. Scott Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemingway, who called her 'the most sensational woman anyone ever saw.' Now, nearly 40 years after her death, Baker’s life inspires a young woman to face up to the sacrifices required to follow one’s dreams. A performance featuring swinging jazz and ragtime rhythms, this theatrical event interweaves a modern day story of an ambitious young woman with the fascinating life of the peerless, fearless, Josephine Baker."

Tickets and more information are available by calling (212) 967-7555 or by visiting publictheater.org.

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