Broadway comes to Brooklyn in ‘La Facon’

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From left: Jackie Brathwaite (standing), Karen Smith, Marsha Greene, Marcia Piggott, Michelle Carr, and Cindy Gonzalves (standing).
Oral Welshman

Launce Northe and Oral Welshman, Guyanese-born co-producers of the international theatrical company, Laramade Musical Theatre of New York, bring Broadway to Brooklyn through the musical production, “La Facon.”

According to Advisory Board Member Dr. Rose October, Grace Hall, at 434 Dewitts Ave. in Brooklyn, will be transformed on Saturday, Aug. 6, giving the audience “an experience of a Broadway-like production in Brooklyn.”

“Throughout the musical, Marvin Gaye, Sam Cooke, James Brown and Isaac Haynes lend their voices to the soundtrack, along with representation of works from Maya Angelou and Nina Simone,” Guyanese-born Dr. October, a Laurelton, Queens resident, told Caribbean Life.

She said there will also be spoken word/poetry/floetry, songs, drama, mime, dance, fashion, and instruments, such as the piano and sax – all executed by a strong cast of 23 members.

Following the production, Dr. October said patrons will get the opportunity to mix and mingle with music by DJ Silvertraxx.

She said the production is slated to begin at 8:00 p.m., with doors opening to the public at 7:00 p.m.

Dr. October said “La Facon” explores the impact of dance, music and fashion of African Americans.

Guyanese co-producers Oral Welshman and Launce North. Charles Cosley

“The cast journeys through the lens of these three themes paying attention to the Black experience and the zeitgeist of the period,” she said. “This script is one of many, written and directed by Launce Northe, while the choreographies for both dance and fashion display routines are done by Oral Welshman.

“In this musical, the church is shown as the foundation and mainstay of Black culture,” Dr. October said. “It is the church where Blacks go, not only to express suffering, but also to protest suffering.

“The Negro spiritual, ‘Wade in the Water’, sung in the second act, demonstrates the church’s role as the source of African American resilience and the site of the development of their aesthetic forms,” added Dr. October, stating that the musical further delves into the Black love of adorning themselves with garments, their “Sunday best”.

“This is to transform themselves from the hardship of their circumstances to someone pleasing to look at,” she continued. “This brings into view the creativeness of costumes are done by Denise Jennings and Jackie Brathwaite, with a heavy lean in the direction of the 70s.”

Dr. October said Laramade Musical Theatre of New York was launched in 2014 and is celebrating its eighth anniversary.

Since its birth, she said audiences in Barbados, Guyana and the United States have been entertained by its productions.

“Launce and Oral, international performers of especially musical productions, have a knack of blending performers who are experts and newcomers to the stage,” Dr. October said. “’La Facon’ is no different.”

For more information, call Dr. October at 718.755.4956; Northe at 347.785.1566; or Welshman at 646.806.6729.

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