The Summer Nights music continues with our spectacular Open Air Festival over three nights at Chelmsford City Racecourse. Thursday 21st July sees Classical superstar Katherine Jenkins OBE performing a selection of famous show tunes, backed by the National Symphony Orchestra. Katherine has performed for The Pope, Presidents and Royalty; indeed, she is the only artist confirmed by request to perform at Her Majesty The Queen’s 90th birthday celebration in May 2016.
The following evening (Friday 22nd July) sees three iconic 80s acts visit the Racecourse. Rick Astley, Paul Young & Toyah Wilcox arrive in Chelmsford for an evening of classic pop tunes that are guaranteed to get you dancing! The eclectic mix of music continues on Saturday 23rd, as the Buena Vista Social Club and Kid Creole and The Coconuts close the Open Air Festival in lively fiesta style!
CHERCHEZ LA FEMME is a musical extravaganza that tells the story of one man’s loss and another man’s gain and the powerful women who make it all possible. It explores dark themes (abandonment, sibling rivalry, unrequited love) and light themes (sexual healing, the pursuit of happiness, the smell of success) but never without inviting you to shake your head and slap tap your toes to the infectious neo-urban-jungle grooves. The play is set in New York City and the Caribbean in the 1980’s. It’s reckless. It’s rhythmic. It’s romantic.
BACK TO THE FUTURE
30 years ago Vivien Goldman interviewed me in London for a magazine called NME. My alter ego, KID CREOLE, had just released an album entitled TROPICAL GANGSTERS on the Island Records label. It was a hit. The interview lasted 3 hours and 35 minutes. A friendship was formed. 7 years ago Vivien visited me in my home in the idyllic Swedish countryside. We joked about writing a musical. The joke became a reality. The first draft of the play was written in 6 days. At first it was called I’M A WONDERFUL THING, BABY.
1 year ago Vivien met an actor named Julius Hollingsworth. She spoke to him about the musical. Julius said “Hey, I have done some work with the La Mama group in downtown Manhattan. Perhaps they would be interested in this!” Behold! Fate rears its magnificent head out of the wilderness. In the Spring of this year, a staged reading of that play (in its 7th re-write) was presented at the La Mama rehearsal space. It was now called CHERCHEZ LA FEMME. The room was packed with fans of KID CREOLE AND THE COCONUTS and DR BUZZARD’S ORIGINAL SAVANNAH BAND and with music lovers of all ages. My erstwhile manager, Tommy Mottola, even showed up. Hadn’t seen him 123 years (or so it seems)!
The staged readings were very successful. They led directly to yet another re-write and an invitation to entertain the masses at the Ellen Stewart Theatre! Pow! A dream deferred becomes a dream deferred no longer.
HERE AND NOW
CHERCHEZ LA FEMME will come alive for a limited run (May 19th – June 5th 2016) at the Ellen Stewart theatre in downtown Manhattan. We will have an 8 piece band and 15 cast members and some real sets and some dynamic lighting and some remarkable choreography. Yes, I am a fan of Cecil B. DeMille and Busby Berkley!
THE A TEAM
We will begin our extensive audition process in January so please contact us if you can sing and dance and act like a New Yorker in the 1980’s!
Where there’s a will, there’s a PLAY.
What happens after this limited run? Well … we bring the wacky world of CHERCHEZ LA FEMME to the rest of the world, of course.
August Darnell aka KID CREOLE
“We may be through with the past but the past isn’t through with us.”