Staged concert readings of the new musical Wildflower, inspired by the life of Tshidi Manye, the South African actor who has played Rafiki, The Lion King’s narrator, on and off since 2007, are presented April 26 and 27 on the Apollo Theater Soundstage. Part of The Apollo Theater Salon Series, performances are scheduled for 7:30 PM.
Manye (The Lion King) and Quentin Earl Darrington (Once On This Island) head a cast that also includes Tamara Fingal, Bre Jackson, Pearl Khwezi, and Mduduzi Madela with Orlando Dixon, Ayana George, Carlton Terrence Taylor, and Phindile Mkhize Wilson.
Wildflower has book, music, and lyrics by Jason Michael Webb and Lelund Durond Thompson. The performances, directed by Logan Vaughn, feature choreography by Kevin Boseman. Kevin Bannerman is the dramaturg.
The musical follows a rebellious but devoted young mother who unwittingly meets a Sangoma (traditional healer), learns her ancestors’ purpose for her young son, and then must choose between the cost of obeying her ancestors or the higher cost of defying them.
“We are particularly proud to be partnering with another cultural anchor such as the National Black Theatre and to be presenting such a piece that speaks not only to our current cultural climate but to the ability of the two creators whose talent is limitless,” said Apollo Theater Executive Producer Kamilah Forbes in an earlier statement. “As the Apollo is now expanding, and we are making more room for works such as these, we are ecstatic that Wildflower will now be part of Apollo history.”
The event is part of National Black Theatre's 50th anniversary season.
The Apollo Theater Soundstage is located at 253 West 125th Street. Tickets are $20 and are available by clicking here.
Julie Taymor, Tim Rice and More Help The Lion King Celebrate 15 Years on Broadway
(Updated April 26, 2019)