November 16, 2022
  • November 16, 2022

ST. LOUIS WOMAN at The Midnight Company at .Zack Theater

By on October 7, 2022 0

The Midnight Company has opened its first worldwide production of ST. LOUIS FEMME Thursday night at the .Zack Theatre. ST. LOUIS WOMAN is a cabaret-style one-man show featuring Laka and is a celebration of the phenomenal female talent who put St. Louis on the map with her music and artistry. Written by Joe Hanrahan, the music review is a tribute to Josephine Baker, Tina Turner, Willie Mae Ford Smith, Katherine Dunham, Fontella Bass, Ann Peebles and Maya Angelou. Laka performs their music, dance and poetry while showcasing their contributions to society as artists and activists.

Hanrahan’s screenplay offers a nostalgic look at St. Louis through the 1900s and the fascinating lives of incredibly talented women. Her screenplay is more than a historical look at some famous St. Louis women. It’s an important lesson in St. Louis black history, examining the lives of strong African American women who helped shape and improve this world for all women, especially women of color.

Laka’s effective portrayal of over half a dozen real-life artists is due to his ability to disappear into these women, allowing their spirits to inhabit his body. His versatility allows him to span a century of music playing gospel, jazz, blues, R&B and rock-and-roll. When she rips through the music of Tina Turner, Fontella Bass and Ann Peebles at the start of the second act, her voice blows the roof off the theater.

Michael Musgrave-Perkins’ home movie-like video design completes the nostalgic feel, invokes civic pride, and places audiences at the turn of the century from St. Louis to 1960s St. Louis, 1920s Paris and of Europe during the Nazi invasion. Liz Henning’s costume design is elegant, sumptuous, sparkling and dazzling, spanning decades to enhance Laka’s portrayal of these influential women.

ST. LOUIS WOMAN is more than just a cabaret revue. It’s a rich history essay that honors the contributions of women of color who all have one thing in common, St. Louis.

ST. LOUIS WOMAN performs at the .Zack Theater until October 22. For more information, visit midnightcompagnie.com. To buy tickets, go to metrotix.com.