Thursday, February 10, 2011

ValLimar Jansen is Sweet Mama Stringbean

The Grove Theatre continues its celebration of Black History Month February 25 - 27 with Sweet Mama Stringbean, a celebration of blues legend Ethel Waters starring ValLimar Jansen.

Jansen is a resident of Upland who has won international acclaim in the role with her own renditions of songs associated with Waters, including her signature anthem “His Eye is on the Sparrow,” “Stormy Weather,” (which was written for Waters), “Am I Blue” and “My Handy Man Ain’t Handy No More.”

Ethel Waters was born in 1896, the unwanted product her mother’s rape at knifepoint at the age of 12. She grew up unsupervised in the slums of Philadelphia where violence was more prevalent than warmth or love throughout her poverty-stricken childhood.

She left her own abusive marriage at the age of 14, but her voice was beginning to draw attention. She sang and danced at church functions and started performing in black vaudeville in 1917. She then traveled with a carnival and finally moved to Harlem, eventually becoming a celebrated blues singer. Waters was the first female black singer to be heard on radio and, later, the highest-paid female performer on Broadway. She won a Grammy Award in 1933 and was the second black performer to be nominated for an Academy Award, for her performance in Pinky (1949).

Performances are February 25 - 27 at 7:29 pm and Sunday at 2:00 pm. For tickets call 909-920-4343 or go to www.grovetheatre.com.

Comedy Faceposted by Ellen Dostal, MusicalsInLA @
7:32 PM
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