PHOTO CALL: Lesley Stahl, Dionne Warwick, Cissy Houston and More Celebrate Mama, I Want To Sing's 30th Anniversary

By Krissie Fullerton
March 29, 2013

Mama, I Want To Sing, the 1983 gospel musical created by Vy Higginsen that currently plays the Dempsey Theater, celebrated its 30th anniversary March 23 with a special performance of Mama, I Want To Sing: The Next Generation in Harlem.

Mama, I Want To Sing, according to press notes, "tells the story of a talented young girl who dreams of leaving her church choir to pursue a life in popular music, despite strong objections from her mother. A tribute to the many African-American artists with church choir roots who rose to fame in the 1950s, 60s, and 70s, creator Vy Higginsen based her musical on the life of her sister, Doris Troy, whose 1963 hit 'Just One Look' launched her to international fame."

The musical has a book and lyrics by Higginsen and Ken Wydro with original music by Wesley Naylor.

The current cast includes Ahmaya Knoelle Higginson as Doris, Bettina Pennon as Mama, Sandra Huff as Sister Carrie, Tyrone Flowers as Reverend Winters and Elijah Ahmad Lewis as the Minister of Music, with members of the Gospel for Teens Choir in the ensemble.

Here's a look at the 30th Anniversary Celebration:

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Cissy Houston, Freddie Gershon and Myrna Gershon
Photo by David Allocca


For more information, visit MamaFoundation.org.