Josephine Baker, The Dark Star From Harlem and me.
In 1989 I was commissioned to create something about the legendary performer Josephine Baker at the world famous LaMama Experimental Theater. Located on the funky lower east side of New York City. How cool. How perfect. An experimental theater production. That means I’ll be free to create whatever I want, the way I want it. The vision is mine. The result was a forty-five-minute play with music called, THE DARK FROM HARLEM (A tribute to Josephine Baker). That show was well received and we were invited back the next year to present a more complete production.
What an adventure! Along with Mario E. Sprouse as the musical director and composer, Kim Grier, the choreographer and Raymond Pizarro designing our costumes, we created a funny, yet compelling, seventy minute, one act musical. THE DARK STAR FROM HARLEM
(A musical tribute to Josephine Baker). This time with a few original songs to help drive the story, using both live music on the piano (played by Mario) and some recorded music as well. Our three-week run packed the house nightly while receiving several enthusiastic standing ovations. We also received a rave review from Jerry Tallmer of the New York Post. October 2, 1990.
“On the face of it, an impossible, a terrible idea: to simulate on a New York stage in 1990 the Josephine Baker who was the rage of le tout Paris in the 1920’s. Josephine Baker, the one and only. But dear God, what a wonderful show is “The Dark Star From Harlem”, at LaMama E.T.C. Any sane producer in his right mind would whip it up to Broadway before I can finish this sentence.”
In 1992, we enjoyed another respectable for three week run at Pierre Cardin’s, Maxims, on the tony upper east side. Straight up Madison avenue.
I began working on The Late Show with David Letterman in 1994. I had to reinvent myself. Ultimately, I became the special effects director. (Please see my bio.)
In 2014, we decided to revive and reboot THE DARK STAR FROM HARLEM, adding seven new songs. I retired from the Late Show in 2016. Now we are poised to return to LaMama Experimental Theater with a new production.
We have the show, we have the theater and we have the date for opening night. We are, now, in the process of raising $50,000.00 in seed money to cover the following costs: general management, musical arrangements, artists and designers, instrument rentals, casting director, auditions, and legal contracts. To bring DARK STAR to the LaMama stage, I am asking you for a donation of $10,000 for Phase one of the production.
Seed money procurement (beginning now)
Developmental workshop (summer, 2018)
Production and premiere. (spring, 2019)
THE DARK STAR FROM HARLEM
is a sponsored project of Fractured Atlas, a non-profit arts service organization. Fractured Atlas will receive grants for the production through, Dark Star From Harlem, LCC and will provide grant oversight and donor reports.
Please consider this site as a formal request for ten thousand dollars or any generous donation of your choosing. If you require any further information regarding our request, please do not hesitate to contact me here.
Thank you for your consideration and time. I eagerly look forward to your response.
Two tickets for an invited dress rehearsal and/or two tickets
to attend the opening night cast party.
Please make your tax deductible contribution, here:
“Ya gotta be ready when time shines your light.”