Stage, film and TV star Jasmine Guy opens Weis Center spring season
January 09, 2008
LEWISBURG, Pa. — Jasmine Guy will perform "Raisin' Cane" with the Avery Sharpe Trio Friday, Jan. 25, at 8 p.m. in the Weis Center at Bucknell University. Tickets are $20.
"Raisin' Cane" is a theatrical and musical celebration of the Harlem Renaissance – an explosion of prose, poetry, politics and music of African-Americans in the 1920s and early 30s.
"The show is presented in words, music, and visuals, performed by the exceptional Jasmine Guy and an amazing jazz trio," said Bill Boswell, executive director of the Weis Center.
"'Raisin' Cane' includes the poetry and prose, thoughts and ideas of Langston Hughes, Countee Cullen, George Schuyler, Zora Neale Hurston, Claude McKay, W.E.B. Dubois, Gwendolyn Bennett, Father Divine, Georgia Douglas Johnson, and many others who were the major lights of a unique cultural period that lasted until the Great Depression ended it.
"Jean Toomer's short novel Cane, which can be credited with beginning the explosion as well as suggesting the title of this show, is given its full due in this musical theater work," said Boswell.
The performance includes such graphic images of photos and paintings by key artists of the period showing Harlemites in everyday situations working, dancing, making music.
Actor, singer, dancer, choreographer Jasmine Guy, who began her career as a dancer for the Alvin Ailey American Dance Center, moved to acting and television with a part in the television film "At Mother's Request" and a starring role as Whitley in the Cosby show "A Different World."
Guy made her feature film debut in Spike Lee's "School Daze" in 1988 and co-starred a year later in Eddie Murphy's "Harlem Nights." In addition to several television movies including "Runaway" and "Stompin' at the Savoy," she guest-starred on such shows as "Melrose Place" and "NYPD Blue" and most recently played the role of Roxy in the Showtime series "Dead Like Me." She returned to the stage as a musical theater actress in touring companies of "Grease," "The Wiz" and, more recently, in the musical "Chicago" as Velma Kelly.
Avery Sharpe jazz score "Raisin' Cane" also features a score by jazz master Avery Sharpe, performed by Avery, his brother Kevin Sharpe playing numerous percussion instruments, and jazz violin great John Blake.
Tickets for this Weis Center series performance are available in person from the Campus Box Office in the Weis Center on weekdays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., or at the Bucknell University Bookstore, located on the ground floor of the Elaine Langone Center, from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Advance tickets also are available by calling 570-577-1000 or online at www.bucknell.edu/Boxoffice. The box office in the Weis Center lobby opens one hour prior to performances.
The 2007-08 season of Weis Center Events is generously supported by grants from the Bucknell University Association for the Arts and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Council on the Arts in conjunction with the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency. Additional support for the series is provided by numerous and generous private donors including members of the Weis Center Green Room Circle and Green Room Board.
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