Last year, my husband and I enjoyed the Greenbrier Valley Theatre’s original production of “Bricktop: Legend of the Jazz Age”. The music, the acting, and the story were superb about an extraordinary woman who overcame so much and became so iconic, “Bricktop” led a unique life full of adventure and success. An inspirational story that was both interesting and fun.
I am so excited for the Greenbrier Valley Theatre (GVT) as the production has been selected to be performed at the National Black Theatre Festival in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, July 29-August 3. Written by GVT's Producing Artistic Director Cathey Crowell Sawyer with musical direction by Kermit Medsker, music director, “Bricktop: Legend of the Jazz Age” tells the story of Ada “Bricktop” Smith, played by renowned performer Gabrielle Lee.
Lee as Bricktop, tells her own story from her roots born in Alderson, West Virginia, to her days as a cabaret to becoming the "Doyenne of Café Society” in the bustling jazz scene of 1920s Paris when she opened and owned her club, Chez Bricktop’s, launching her to become the darling of Paris nightlife.
Photo: Courtesy of Greenbrier Valley Theatre.
“We are so humbled that Bricktop’s story has been selected to be performed at such a prestigious festival,” Sawyer said. “We can’t wait for her to be discovered in front of audiences from all over the United States.” The selection of “Bricktop” to be performed at the National Black Theatre Festival (NBTF) is a tremendous honor for Greenbrier Valley Theatre’s production team.
The NBTF is a six-day event that occurs across Winston-Salem, NC, featuring performances, workshops, films and spoken word poetry highlighting the depth and beauty of African American artistic endeavors. Held biennially, NBTF attracts more than 65,000 people during the six-day event. More than 50 celebrities of stage, screen and television are expected to attend.
GVT, a nonprofit organization, is currently running a GoFundMe campaign to send “Bricktop” to the festival: https://www.gofundme.com/help-send-bricktop-to-national-black-theatre-fest. Or you can call GVT Development Director Ethan Serr at 304-645-3838 ext. 110. Any and all donations are welcomed and appreciated.
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