Greenbrier Valley Theatre (GVT), the state professional theatre of West Virginia, is proud to present the World Premiere of Bricktop: Legend of the Jazz Age.
GVT Artistic Director Cathey Sawyer’s original runs Oct. 26 and 27 at 7:30 p.m., Nov. 1-3 at 7:30 p.m. and Nov. 8-10 at 7:30 p.m., with a matinee performance Nov. 3 at 2:30 p.m. and a Pay-What-You-Can Preview performance Oct. 25 at 7:30 p.m.
Tickets are $30 for general adult admission, $27 for seniors (60+) and $20 for children/students. For more information, call the GVT Box Office at 304-645-3838 or visit www.gvtheatre.org.
Ada “Bricktop” Smith, a native of Alderson and a celebrated Jazz Age personality, is brought to life in this World Premiere production. Full of music, both original and classic, this production will take the audience on a journey through the life of one of history’s most unique individuals.
Starring as the title character is singer and dancer Gabrielle Lee. This talented performer has had her fair share of success, both solo and with some very notable acts. She has performed with Steely Dan, Harry Belafonte and Natalie Cole, to name just a few. Her impressive resume also includes starring roles in Dreamgirls, Man of La Mancha and Little Shop of Horrors, as well as multiple TV/film appearances.
A talented star such as Lee had no trouble connecting with a character like Bricktop, or with an audience. She found that she could charm a crowd with her personality, much like the title character, and could connect with anyone through her performances.
“I could talk to anyone from all walks of life, from all over the world – a natural connection was made. That was the real performance, not the song and dance,” said Lee. “That’s Bricktop! Bricktop was full of life and personality, a huge presence, a fun story teller and a welcoming Spirit.”
Feeling right at home onstage, with characters that shine so bright, Lee finds the process of bringing Bricktop to life both challenging and rewarding. Though research into such an elusive figure can be frustrating, the actor is finding that drawing on her own creativity is just as inspirational as the texts that she has read.
“This is a gift opportunity because I get to be the ‘artist’ like any painter painting a portrait. I get to create right here on my feet and build a story, bring a character to life,” the performer said.
Lee may have her work cut out for her, but between her talent, creativity and a determination that equals Bricktop’s, there’s no doubt this character will be a beacon of inspiration for all who see her. Lee’s only hope is that by the end of the show the audience is shouting for more.
This program is presented with financial assistance from the WV Division of Arts, Culture & History, and the National Endowment for the Arts, with approval from the WV Commission on the Arts.