Press Quotes for The Sensational Josephine Baker presented by the Emerging Artists Theatre
Backstage.com by Erik Haagensen
“Cheryl Howard displays a superior set of acting chops in her one-woman play "The Sensational Josephine Baker," inhabiting with wit and flair not only the title character but also many other colorful people in the dazzling African-American entertainer's life. Added to her formidable skills as a singer and dancer, this makes her an ideal choice for the role.”
“She's terrific in the part, navigating age changes with clarity and subtlety, as believable as the hyperactive, needy child as she is as the aged woman who begins the show in flashback. She's equally terrific as Baker's various relatives, friends, and lovers, fully persuasive even as a man. A real highlight is both her writing and playing of Lydia Jones, a chorus girl with Baker in "Shuffle Along" on Broadway and other shows. She plays this acidly skeptical woman, both young and old, so effectively that you can't wait for her to return.”
NYTheatre.com by Heater Violanti
"Howard gives a virtuosic performance, playing Josephine, her family, friends, lovers, and rivals with razor sharp distinctions in voice and posture."
"Howard is nothing less than sensational in her star turn as Josephine..."
"Under Ian Streicher's smooth direction, Howard shifts easily from Josephine to the myriad of other people in her life—including her vengeful mother, her doting grandmother, and her hapless lovers."
"Every component of the show, from Howard's charismatic performance to David Bengali's evocative projections, is finely polished."
"Howard includes some memorable moments of humor, most particularly in a showstopping turn as an elderly Miss Lydia Jones, a toughly prim former chorus girl who recalls Josephine's success with undisguised envy.... And any time Howard bursts into song and dance as Josephine, the show takes flight, especially in the recreation of Josephine's last concert. Dressed in a teal fishtail-shaped gown, Howard-as-Josephine stands center stage and sings movingly in French of her love of Paris, giving you a glimpse of what Baker's onstage charisma might have been like."
Theatermania.com by Sandy MacDonald
“Like the subject of her one-woman show, The Sensational Josephine Baker , now being presented by Emerging Artists Theatre at TADA!, Cheryl Howard is a knockout as a performer; she's energized, charismatic, and utterly winning.”
“Howard is particularly strong in the segments on Baker's early years; and she aces an amazing array of ages and characters. One minute, she's a brazen, knobby-kneed girl stealing coal from a moving boxcar; the next, she's Baker's grandmother improvising a confidence-building fairy tale and promising a treat of cornbread and strawberry jam (which you can practically taste).”
Curtain Up.com by Paulanne Simmons
"But it's the guiding hand of director Ian Streicher that gives the show its cohesion. Howard moves effortlessly from her loving grandmother to the friends and foes who helped or hindered her along her way.
“Best realized are the scandalized Lydia Jones, a fellow chorus girl who cannot understand what the French see in this "tall, wiry nightmare with buck teeth",and Ada "Bricktop" Smith the Parisian nightclub owner who tries to warn Baker against looking for love with all the wrong men."
“Howard , who has a fine, well-trained voice, is most impressive when she is singing Baker's signature songs such as "J'ai deux amours,..."
Show Business Weekly by Andrea Meeks
“Howard’s high-voltage energy is impressive.”
New York Beacon by Ernece B. Kelly
Howard, who also wrote the show, crams in countless facts while keeping the audience enthralled not only with her dancing and singing but also with two other central characters. One is Bricktop, another African-American who left the United States to settle in Paris and who was “like a sister” to Baker. The other was a chorus girl.
“The Sensational Josephine Baker” makes for a fine primer for those unfamiliar with her extraordinary story or a poignant reminder for others who knew of her.”