San Jose Repertory Theatre has announced the cast of the West Coast Premiere of the musical drama: Black Pearl Sings. Jannie Jones, in the title role, will belt out soul-stirring spirituals and African American folk songs, including “Kum Ba Yah,” “Little Sally Walker,” “This Little Light of Mine,” and “The Wabash Cannonball,” while Jessica Wortham plays Susanna Mullally, a song collector for the Library of Congress who travels the country seeking little-known melodies.
Music unites the strangers in a powerful story that illuminates America’s racial divisions and the attempts of the two women to bridge them. Performances begin September 2nd and continue until September 26th. Pay What You Will performance is on Thursday, September 2 at 8:00 p.m.
Jannie Jones (Pearl) recently received critical acclaim in the National Broadway tour of All Shook Up as Sylvia. Her Broadway and off-Broadway credits include The Full Monty, Mama I Want to Sing, and Faith’s Journey. Additional credits include Hair and August Wilson’s Women. She received critical acclaim for her one-woman shows My Castle’s Rockin’: The Alberta Hunter Story and Ethel Waters: His Eye Is On The Sparrow, which premiered at Florida Studio Theatre. Jones has toured nationally and internationally to more than 23 countries.
Jessica Wortham (Susannah) has performed in David Mamet’s Boston Marriage at Capital Repertory Theatre; Green Girl at the Public Theater; The Ruby Sunrise, Merry Wives of Windsor, and A Christmas Carol at Trinity Repertory Company; Crime and Punishment, Twelfth Night, Dracula, and the Humana Festival premieres of The Ruby Sunrise, No. 11 (Blue and White) and Back Story, all for Actors Theatre of Louisville. Internationally she has appeared in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof at the English Theatre Frankfurt and Crimes of the Heart at Vienna’s English Theatre.
Black Pearl Sings! is written by Frank Higgins and directed by the Rep’s Artistic Director Rick Lombardo.
San Jose Rep is the premier non-profit, professional theatre company in the South Bay, presenting six main stage productions each year. As a major contributor to the South Bay’s cultural community for 29 years, the Rep’s mission is to engage, entertain and inspire people. The Rep produces innovative theatrical performances that offer fresh perspectives into the human condition, educational programs that promote life-long learning, and outreach initiatives that benefit our diverse community.