Theatre discovery platform Thespie have created two special concerts in celebration of LGBT+ History Month and Black History Month. I reviewed Break Free, their LGBTQ+ celebration last week and now is the turn of The Road To Prominence - a celebration of Black musical theatre from the past 100 years.
The concert takes you on a journey through Black musical theatre, showing how humble beginnings led to some of the most iconic shows Broadway has ever seen. The title "The road to prominence" refers to the time it took for Black works in theatre to be noticed and appreciated for their artistry. Combining stellar performances with a history lesson (an interesting one, don't worry) this concert was a feast for the senses, stimulating my mind as well as my ears.
Works covered in the one hour concert include diverse shows such as Ain't Misbehavin', Sophistocated Ladies, The Wiz and The Color Purple with a cast of incredible talents on hand to perform some absolute classics.
Adrian Hansel reprised his role from Five Guys Names Moe for a stunning performance of 'Azure Te' while Zoe Birkett revisited her time in Thriller Live for a rendition of Michael Jackson's classic 'Rock With You'. Alex Thomas Smith leant his beautiful vocals to 'Don't nobody bring me no bad news' from The Wiz while director Dominic Powell brought proceedings bang up to date with a performance of the title track from his new musical Cases performed by Andrew Patrick-Walker, Waylon Jacobs, Bobby Little and Maiya Quansah-Breed.
Two powerhouse vocalists were responsible for standout moments in the show. Six star Maiya Quansah-Breed delivered a phenomenal rendition of the classic 'Home' from The Wiz, while Tina star Aisha Jawando continued her mission to dominate every concert in 2021 with two killer performances - reprising her role of Tina Turner for a gorgeous 'We Don't Need Another Hero' as well as what was undoubtedly THE performance of the show with an incredibly powerful and emotional 'I'm Here' from The Color Purple.
This was another incredible show from Thespie. While the performances in itself were brilliant in their own right, the educational aspect of the show and hearing the performers talk about their own connections to the shows is what makes this even more special.
A beautiful celebration of some of the best theatre the World has ever seen performed by some of the greatest talents, the road to prominence might have taken a long time but now that it is here, it isn't going anywhere.
The Road To Prominence is available to stream on demand from thespie.com with proceeds going to Black Lives Matter UK.