Ruth Rogers-Wright will take on the roles of both NINA SIMONE and BILLIE HOLIDAY in the staging of BLACK DIVA POWER, two compelling productions in one night starring the critically acclaimed powerhouse singer/actor, directed by Chris Baldock and touring theatres in regional Victoria and South Australia, with one landmark metro performance in Adelaide in October, 2015.
Proudly presented by Art Events Australia and Brad Hopes Promotions, Black Diva Power brings to life the powerful characters and music of jazz legends with Rogers-Wright performing the songs of the great BILLIE HOLIDAY before transforming into a mesmerising NINA SIMONE.
Fresh from Edinburgh Festival and the hit of Adelaide Cabaret Festival, award-winning playwright Neil Cole’s portrayal of musical storyteller and passionate civil rights activist, NINA SIMONE features Rogers-Wright in an astonishingly profound performance as one of the most extraordinary artists of all time, focusing on Simone’s friendship with Lorraine Hansberry, playwright (A Raisin In The Sun) and black activist, putting this play in the running for the Amnesty International Freedom of Speech Award.
Testament to her performance, a TW Edinburgh critic wrote, “I hope that in the not-too-distant future, an actor playing the legend of Ruth Rogers-Wright will do the same.”
Accompanied by a three-piece backing band headed by musical director Mark Fitzgibbon, Rogers-Wright will open the show with an intimate insight into the seminal influence of BILLIE HOLIDAY on jazz and pop music, touching on the tumultuous upbringing of the woman they called Lady Day.
Described in Broadway Baby as “spectacular”, the vocals of Ruth Rogers-Wright take the audience on an absorbing journey through the music of two early 20th century greats.
Australia’s eminent pianist and composer Mark Fitzgibbon is reunited with Rogers-Wright when he joins the tour as Musical Director, giving audiences a full live music experience as part of a three-piece backing band which includes himself on piano, a double-bassist and drummer.
Lauded as one of the most swinging, insightful pianists that Australia has produced, he was born into a strong entertainment tradition, being the son of well-known Australian entertainer, jazzman and restaurateur Graham “Smacka” Fitzgibbon, nephew to actress/singer Maggie Fitzgibbon and grandson to pianist vaudevillian Min Fitzgibbon.
TICKETS are $69.90 (full) and $59.90 (concession). Group booking discounts are also available. Check website for details: www.arteventsaustralia.com
Praise for Ruth Rogers-Wright and NINA SIMONE BLACK DIVA POWER:
“This is a four star show … Go to this show if you love the music of Nina Simone and want to see it performed well. ★★★★” (Broadway Baby, UK)
“…subtle, smouldering … unforgettable … I hope that in the not-too-distant future, an actor playing the legend of Ruth Rogers-Wright will do the same.” ★★★★” (TW, Edinburgh)
“Rogers-Wright has the vocal chops and imperious looks and attitude for the part.” ★★★★ (The Advertiser, Adelaide)
“Nina – the best of this week’s festival.”
★★★★ (Sunday Mail, Adelaide)
BLACK DIVA POWER tour dates:
Oct 22nd – Shepparton Riverlinks
October 23 – Wangaratta Performing Arts
Oct 24 – The Capital Bendigo
Oct 28 – Chaffey Theatre Renmark
Oct 30 – Her Majesty’s Adelaide
Oct 31 – Barossa Convention Centre
Nov 2nd – Geelong GPAC
Nov 13 – Drum Theatre Dandenong