SEASON 2016 - 2017

SEPTEMBER 1 - OCTOBER 9, 2016

BLACKBERRY DAZE

by Ruth P. Watson & Thomas W. Jones II

Original Music by William Knowles

Directed by Thomas W. Jones II

Music Direction by Willliam Knowles

starring

TC Carson

as Herman Camm

Nia Harris

as Hester

Ayana Reed

as Carrie

Duane Richards II

as Simon/Willie

Yvette Spears

as Pearl

Duyen Washington

Ginny/Annie May

Roz White

Mae Lou

It is the end of “The Great War”, and a small Virginia town is rocked by secrets and seduction as Herman Camm, a provocative gambler, weaves his magic on the lives of three unsuspecting women, Mae Lou and her daughter Carrie, and Pearl, a blues singer at the local juke joint.  TC Carson (Living Single) and Roz White (Black Pearl Sings!)  lead an exciting ensemble of Washington’s most eclectic and exciting talent. This musical adaptation of Ruth P. Watson’s romantic mystery thriller (Blackberry Days of Summer) is a world premiere with Thomas W. Jones II (Three Sistahs, Bessie’s Blues) direction and William Knowles’ dazzling period score, making this an exciting new work on the American Theatre landscape.

“a thrilling uplifting show…Mae Lou (the proud but vulnerable Roz White)…blues singer Pearl (the willful, smoky-voiced Yvette Spears)…Carrie (the remarkable Ayana Reed)…the treacherous charms of Herman Camm (played with a deliciously sleazy charm by TC Carson)…”

 - Andrew White, MDTheatreGuide

“To have both Roz White and Yvette Spears on the boards together again is a treat not to be missed. In the gospel numbers, White’s powerful vocals crescendo in capturing the soul of the music. Meanwhile, Spears as sensuous lounge singer Pearl is as luscious as ever, belting out contralto tones with her unique resonance and rich timbre…The songs have a modern jazzy swing and the jaunty choreography sway sexy hip rolls, to cake-walk, to arms reaching to glory…excellent artistry at work.”

- Debbie Minter Jackson, DCTheatreScene

“a soulful, beautiful, and emotional score by William Knowles…a compelling and romantic journey into the heart of the South…the sensational sexy Yvette Spears…the fantastic TC Carson…Jones’ brilliant choreography…a splendid musical featuring powerful vocals.”

- William Powell, DCMetroTheaterArts

“an engaging and poignant play about love and loss… a dreamy, ethereal quality… a sensory-filled and emotionally charged experience… Roz White is, as always, spectacular, playing nicely off of Spears’ jazzy Pearl…kudos must be paid to the heart and soul of the cast, young Carrie, played by the engaging Ayana Reed. She is simply mesmerizing, making her a young star to watch…a stroke of artistic genius…Watson’s story highlights social and racial wrongs that still resonate today.”

- Laura Fries, AlexandriaNews

“soulful singing…a dynamic cast…Carson, with his rich voice and overwhelming presence…Jones’ staging is fluid and stylized…” - Susan Berlin, Talkin’ Broadway

“a bluesy new musical…Knowles smoothly melds gospel, blues and jazz with a sense of tradition and a contemporary ear” - Nelson Pressley, Washington Post

“Under the direction of Jones and the sensational music of Knowles, these actors shined. They understood the paths that led their characters to the present. Everyone sang beautifully and acted with substance… a very impressive and energetic piece of theater.”

- Hannah Menchhoff, BroadwayWorld

MEET AUTHOR & PLAYWRIGHT

RUTH WATSON

LIKE US ON FACEBOOK

FOLLOW US ON TWITTER

JOIN OUR EMAIL LIST

MetroStage is funded in part by the Virginia Commision for the Arts, the National Endowment of the Arts, and the Alexandria Commission for the Arts.

METROSTAGE - 1201 NORTH ROYAL STREET - ALEXANDRIA, VIRGINIA - 22314 - (703) 548-9044 - INFO@METROSTAGE.ORG

SHARE WITH YOUR FRIENDS