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Nina Simone Black Diva Power

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Nina Simone. The name conjures up smoky jazz clubs, booze, broken hearts and that voice. For the next three days you can get up close and personal with that voice and the woman behind it at Nina Simone Black Diva Power.

The new production at Chapel Off Chapel sees Melbourne-based, Brixton born jazz diva Ruth Rogers-Wright channel the essence of Simone in a play that covers the singer’s life between 1958 and 1965 – when Simone become a champion (and probably the best singer) of the Civil Rights Movement.

Rogers-Wright is a deft performer and delivers Simone’s lines, both spoken and sung, with a sultry air that hits you like a shot of whiskey. Playwright Neil Cole’s script mixes historical fact with wry insights into Simone’s psyche. More a snapshot than a biography, Nina Simone Black Diva Power gives a glimpse into how one artist reacted, and was transformed, by tumultuous times.

If you want more of Nina Simone’s life you’ll have to wait till the movie. Until then head on over to Chapel Off Chapel. And listen to this.

Nina Simone Black Diva Power is playing at Chapel Off Chapel until Sept 28.
For tickets and more info visit chapeloffchapel.com.au.


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