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Chris Jennings, Tagg Magazine

Chris Jennings, owner of L.A.C.E. Media at July 2015 CCBC Show (Photo by Leah Edwards)

Chris Jennings, Tagg Magazine

Chris Jennings, owner of L.A.C.E. Media Productions at July 2015 CCBC Show (Photo by Leah Edwards)

In 1978, America got a glimpse of the super soul musical “The Wiz”. Adapted from The Wonderful Wizard of Oz and the 1974 broadway musical with the same name, the movie included an all star African-American cast from Richard Pryor to Diana Ross and Michael Jackson. The movie continues to be a cult classic, particularly with African-American audiences.

The film has had such an impact on generations that people like local performer and photographer Chris Jennings was inspired to bring that similar spirit to the queer community. On February 19, 2016, the Black Cat in Washington, D.C. will host the area’s first queer Black Broadway Variety Show. The show is produced by Jennings’ company L.A.C.E. Media Productions alongside burlesque performer Gigi Holliday of Gi2 Productions.

“The Wiz was the first stage play I’ve ever seen with the full original cast. I was very lucky to have seen that. Since then, I have seen numerous stage musicals on Broadway in New York and I have become a junky,” says Jennings. “Since working with Chocolate City Burlesque and Cabaret, I have learned a lot about producing a quality show. And now is the time to pull the trigger on this idea that has been brewing for about a year and a half.”

However, the show cannot go on without performers to fill the stage. Jennings has officially put out a casting call for those who are interested in being a part of this first-of-its-kind event. The show will consist of various acts that include music from Black Broadway musicals, as well as music from shows that have black leading characters. Jennings encourages all types of performers to apply. She is eager to celebrate a show that includes drag kings, drag queens, burlesque entertainers, and “everything in between”.

“We are looking for performers who want to celebrate the magic that is Black theatre. We want people who have well thought out ideas or completed acts to apply,” says Jennings. “The only qualification is to be excited and be ready to work.”

It’s also no mistake that the show is taking place in February, which is Black History Month. Along with having an amazing line-up of entertainers, the show will also include education entertainment that will spotlight Black theatre trivia and history.

“People should expect to walk away with an experience of going to the theatre with a twist. We hope the audience leaves feeling entertained and hopefully a little more knowledgeable about the history of Black theatre”

If you are interested in showing off your talent on February 19, 2016, e-mail with the Subject: Black Broadway Submission. The deadline to apply is November 15.

Ebone Bell
Eboné Bell
Eboné is the Editor-in-Chief of Tagg Magazine. She is the illegitimate child of Oprah and it's only right that she continues their legacy in the media world.