Theater: After 16 Months URBAN STAGES Reopens Doors with "CHARMED LIFE"

 Lori Brown Mirabal
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Lori Brown Mirabal. Photo: Ben Hider

Urban Stages (Frances Hill, Founding Artistic Director) is thrilled to bring back Lori Brown Mirabal's play with music, CHARMED LIFE, From Soul Singing to Opera Star. Tonight is opening night. The play will enjoy a limited run through August 1, 2021 at Urban Stages Theatre (258 W 30 Street). Tickets are $30 (previews are $20) and available by visiting urbanStages.org or by phone at 1.866.811.4111.  

CHARMED LIFE was the last production to perform at Urban Stages before COVID shut theatres down around the country. Directed by Vincent Scott, CHARMED LIFE is a musical journey from Mirabal's hometown of Nashville, to opera stages across the world. She toasts entertainment luminaries, including Oprah, Cab Calloway, and Pavarotti, that had a hand in her rise, and salutes the black opera singers that paved the way. With comedy, storytelling, and show-stopping musical numbers, Mirabal brings you inside the world of opera and, inside her efforts to spread the art form, especially to the next generation. Charmed Life is a feel-good play about opera, being open to opportunities and grabbing hold of the luck that comes your way.

“'Charmed Life' closed on March 14, 2020 due to the Pandemic. Now, Lori Mirabal is back. Let’s give her a big welcome.  Join us in a COVID safe theater with proof of vaccination, and mask up for an entertaining evening of story and song.”--Frances Hill, Urban Stages’ Artistic Director.

Lori Brown Mirabal, a Tennessee native, has worked with legendary opera and music theatre luminaries in international opera houses and on Broadway. Her performance highlights include; Carmen in "Carmen" (New York City Opera National Tour), Bess in "Porgy and Bess" (William Barkhimer European Tour), Queenie in "Show Boat" (Hal Prince/Susan Stroman revival), Ella in "Bubblin’ Brown Sugar” (National Broadway Tour with Cab Calloway), Lalume in “Kismet (Utah Festival Opera), Lucretia in “The Rape of Lucretia” (Dicapo Opera Theatre), Lola in “Cavalleria Rusticana” (L’Opera de Monte Carlo, Monaco production with Placido Domingo, Leo Nucci and Rita Gorr), Clara Brown in the world premiere of “Gabriel’s Daughter (Central City Opera, CO) and Adelaide Bobo in the world premiere of “Les Negres” (Opera De Lyon, France, and Grande Theatre De Geneve, Switzerland).  As a concert artist, Mirabal has appeared as a guest soloist with the American Composers Symphony performing the West Side Story Suite at Carnegie Hall.  Additionally, she has embarked on an international tour throughout China under the auspices of the United States and China Foundation.  In addition to her stage career, she was featured in the PBS television documentary Aida’s Brothers and Sisters, and she appeared as an Opera Singer in the major motion picture “The Secret Lives of Dentists” (Sundance Film Festival). Along with her performing career, Mirabal has created an opera production company, Opera Soup Productions, L.L.C., that introduces young audiences to opera in engaging and impactful ways. Her first children’s book, “From Soul Singing to Opera Soup” (2018), launched her career as a published author. More recently, Mirabal released her first children’s recording “Musetta’s Musical Story Time” (2019), which is currently available for distribution.  Mirabal has attended the University of Memphis (B.F.A Theatre ’81), Manhattan School of Music (MM, Voice ‘94), the Juilliard Opera Center Program (’92), and Columbia University Teachers’ College (Ed.D. 2008).  “Charmed Life; From Soul Singing to Opera Star” marks the performer's debut with Urban Stages. 

See www.loribrownmirabal.com

The director, New York-based Vincent Scott has directed in Los Angeles, Chicago, London, and Dublin as well as on Off-Broadway. His passion is to develop new plays through staged readings or full productions. His most recent premieres are “What Happen to The Dollar” and “Good Corporate Citizen” both by Sam Garber, and “Accentuate the Positive (The Johnny Mercer Story)” by Calvin Ramsey. He has had numerous readings at Urban Stages, the most recent being “Gumbo House” by Keion Jackson and “#NWORD” by Christian Elder. Scott also assisted Timothy Douglas in Chicago with “Changes of Heart” and Austin Pendleton and Jan Buttram at the Abingdon Theatre Company with “The Last Will” and “Hellman v. McCarthy.” At Urban Stages, he has assistant directed “Death Of A Driver” by Will Snider (directed by Kim T. Sharp) and “Bars and Measures” by Idris Goodman (directed by Kristian Seemel). He is pleased to direct the world premiere of Lori Brown Mirabal’s “Charmed Life from Soul Singing to Opera Star.”

Charmed Life will feature Pianists: Allison Brewster Franzetti, John Di Pino.  Production & Urban Stages Team: Jaime Terrazzino (scenic and video designer), Madeleine Burrow (lighting designer and stage manager), Kim T. Sharp (tech director), Sylvia Haber, Perpetuart (graphic designer), Frances Hill (artistic director), Antoinette Mullins (development & literary director), Olga Devyatisilnaya (company manager/financial administrator), Ilanna Saltzman (outreach director), Vincent Scott (director & school consultant), Bara Swain (creative consultant), Disnie Sebastien (social media). 

Running time: 70 minutes no intermission.

General Admission: $30 | Previews (July 9 – July 14): $20

Opening Night (Wednesday, July 14 at 7:40) $40, includes champagne and talkback.

Student Rush tickets are available for $15 (with valid I.D., subject to availability).

All tickets may be purchased at www.urbanstages.org by phone at (866) 811-4111.

Urban Stages is located at 259 West 30th Street (between Seventh and Eighth Avenue)

All audience members MUST show proof of vaccination before entering the theatre.

Frances Hill, founding artistic director, began her theatrical career in California as an actress. Since 1983, Ms. Hill has overseen more than 600 staged readings/workshops and 90 productions of new works for the stage. She has directed over 30 workshops and productions.

URBAN STAGES is an award-winning, not-for-profit, Off-Broadway Theatre Company founded in 1984 by current Artistic Director Frances Hill. For over 35 years, Urban Stages has produced dozens of world, American, and N.Y. premieres including Pulitzer Prize Finalist Bulrusher (2007) by Eisa Davis.

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