This Off Broadway Production Is a Hidden Jewel and a Musical Delight

Museum of Uncut Funk – December 10, 2012

Sistas: The Musical had my head bouncing, my toes tapping and my off key voice singing (to myself, of course). This off Broadway production is a hidden jewel and a musical delight.

Back in September, I started compiling my list of things to do for my Curator’s Short List for the rest of the year. This is where I identify a list of restaurants where I want to eat, shopping venues I want to patronize and plays I want to see. Sistas: The Musical made the top of my list. I am glad that I finally got a chance to see it!

Sistas is the musical journey of five women who come together to commemorate the loss of the matriarch of their family, their recently departed Grandmother / Great Grandmother Alice. The play weaves together the lives of three Black sisters, one Black teenaged daughter and one Caucasian sister-in-law, as they share both cherished and difficult moments from their Grandmother’s life and their pasts. The cast of characters includes: Simone, the eldest sister and single parent raising a teenage daughter; Tamika, the teenager who is more interested in her boyfriend than family history; Gloria, the god fearing sister who recites bible verses to cope with her siblings and life; Roberta, the revolution loving sister who is funny and full of life but hiding a painful secret; and Heather, the sister-in-law, who holds her own as she inserts herself into family business. Sistas meshes generational issues, racial politics and the personality differences among these women with an interesting play list of music.

From left, Jennifer Fouche, Tracey Conyer Lee, Lexi Rhoades and April Nixon in a scene from

From left, Jennifer Fouche, Tracey Conyer Lee, Lexi Rhoades and April Nixon in a scene from “Sistas: The Musical” at St. Luke’s Theater.

What differentiates this production is the musical selection and the way it transports you along with these women through the decades as they reminisce about their Grandmother’s life and share their own experiences. Taken from the study guide on the Sistas website (, the production “uses popular music sung by African-American women from 1919 through the present time, in order to show social change for Black women and society in general. The music’s trajectory is revealed to go from “Naming the Pain” (A Good Man is Hard to Find) to “Framing the Problem”(I am Not My Hair), to “Proclaiming the Joy” (Just Fine and Golden). This parallels the story of African-American women and their emerging sense of empowerment.”

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