The touring “Josephine” show features cabaret, theatre and dance to tell the story of Josephine Baker, played by Tymisha “Tush” Harris. (Photo: josephinetheplay.com)

The touring “Josephine” show features cabaret, theatre and dance to tell the story of Josephine Baker, played by Tymisha “Tush” Harris. (Photo: josephinetheplay.com)

THEATRE

‘Josephine’ to hit Surrey stage with ‘burlesque cabaret dream play’ about 1920s star Baker

The touring production ‘shatters stereotypes of race, gender roles and sexuality’

A “burlesque cabaret dream play” coming to Surrey tells the story of Josephine Baker, the first African-American international superstar.

“Josephine” will be staged twice at Surrey Arts Centre’s main theatre on Saturday, Oct. 30, first at 2 p.m. and then 8 p.m.

From Florida-based Dynamite Lunchbox Productions, the show is on a tour of B.C. this month, with stops in Trail, Cranbrook, Nelson, Vernon, Burnaby and Surrey.

Combining cabaret, theatre and dance, the production debuted at the 2016 San Diego Fringe Festival.

“The show is intended for adult audiences, as it contains adult content and nudity,” notes a post on josephinetheplay.com.

“’Josephine’ shatters stereotypes of race, gender roles and sexuality in this intimate, charming and haunting cabaret with a twist.”

The $39 tickets for the Surrey dates are available on tickets.surrey.ca (or call 604-501-5566).

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• RELATED STORY, from Sept. 15: Surrey theatres reopen with cautious optimism for live events this fall.

A co-creator and costume designer of the show, Tymisha “Tush” Harris stars as Baker, “one of the most remarkable figures of the 20th century,” according to a bio.

Born in St. Louis in 1906, Josephine Baker achieved only moderate success in the United States, but became an international superstar after moving to France in the early 1920s.

“She starred alongside white romantic leading men in films in the ’30s, had multiple interracial marriages and homosexual relationships, and performed in men’s clothing before the term ‘drag’ existed in the lexicon. Her adopted country of France gave her the opportunity to live freely without the racial oppression of her home nation, though she never stopped yearning for acceptance in America.”

Harris has been performing professionally for more than 20 years. Her early credits include assistant choreographer and backup dancing for the ’90s pop group N*SYNC, backup dancer for LFO, multiple roles at Universal Studios Orlando, and a featured role in the hit movie series ‘Bring It On.’ Other endeavors include a national tour of ‘Rock of Ages,’ a European tour with Pilobulus Dance Theater Company, and work with Orlando-based dance troupe, VarieTease.

“Josephine” is among Surrey Civic Theatres’ fall shows listed on surrey.ca/theatre. Others in the series feature singer/actor Tom Jackson in “Stories, Songs and Santa Causes” (Nov. 19, Main Stage), Vancouver Welsh Men’s Choir in a “Sing We Now of Christmas” concert (Dec. 10, Main Stage) and the morning Coffee Concert series event “Music for 17 Pedals and 287 Strings” (Dec. 10, Studio).



tom.zillich@surreynowleader.com

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