WBTT Presents An Intimate Evening with Jennifer Holliday

Arts & Culture

Pictured: The original Effie in the Broadway smash hit Dreamgirls, Jennifer Holliday, is the special guest for WBTT's upcoming An Intimate Evening with Jennifer Holliday. Photo courtesy of WBTT.

On Monday, March 11, Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe will present "An Intimate Evening with Jennifer Holliday," featuring the original Effie from the Broadway smash hit, "Dreamgirls." The evening will include lite bites and beverages from Rosemary and Thyme, an hour presentation – featuring stories about Holliday's extensive career and songs by the fabulous Broadway icon – and then a meet & greet with the artist, with photo opportunities and dessert. From her early days as a girl singing solos with the choir at Pleasant Grove Baptist Church in Houston, Tex. to her years on the Broadway stage and beyond, Holliday’s inimitable voice has riveted the hearts of audiences from around the world. Making her Broadway debut in 1980 at the age of 19 in the revival of "Your Arms Are Too Short To Box With God," she went on to star in the lead role as the iconic Effie “Melody” White in the 1981 smash hit, "Dreamgirls." Holliday immortalized Effie, forever creating a template for delivering gut-wrenching, timeless performances, evidenced in her garnering a Grammy® Award for the performance of the show-stopping torch ballad, “And I am Telling You, I'm Not Going" and a coveted Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical for her role as Effie. From 1985 to 1992, Holliday had five Top 10 singles on the R&B and dance charts and her star continued to shine brightly, with collaborations and appearances with megastars: Barbra Streisand, Luther Vandross, David Foster, Paul Simon, Michael Jackson, Maurice White and Foreigner. Moviegoers can hear Holliday's voice on soundtracks for films "In The Mood: The Sonny Wisecarver Story" (1987), "I'm Gonna Get You Sucka" (1988), "The Five Heartbeats" (1991), "Amazing Grace" (2006) and "Why Did I Get Married" (2007). In addition to multiple TV appearances, Holliday returned to theatre and appeared in "The Color Purple," "Chicago," "Sing Mahalia Sing: The Mahalia Jackson Story," "Downhearted Blues: The Bessie Smith Story" and "Grease." The powerhouse Broadway diva still performs solo concerts across the country and around the world. She also loves to play golf when time permits. Holliday is a longtime dedicated supporter of the LGBTQ+ community. She also supports the MS Society as well as serves as an advocate for mental health and suicide prevention. The program takes place at 6 p.m. at Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe (1012 N. Orange Ave., Sarasota). Tickets are $200; there are still seats remaining for the event. Visit westcoastblacktheatre.org or call the Box Office at 941-366-1505.

Pictured: The original Effie in the Broadway smash hit Dreamgirls, Jennifer Holliday, is the special guest for WBTT's upcoming An Intimate Evening with Jennifer Holliday. Photo courtesy of WBTT.

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