“This show is not to be missed!!!” exclaims the Los Angeles Sentinel. Meet Josephine Baker in the flesh, as award-winning actress/playwright Sloan Robinson brings this fascinating woman to brilliant life. “A Must See!” hails the LA Watts Times. “Robinson reminds audiences of what made Baker a legend, rebel and leader in African Americans’ fight for equality in the arts and their freedom to truly live their lives at will.”
“Real life legend Josephine Baker overcame the limitations imposed by the color of her skin to become one of the world’s most versatile entertainers, performing on stage, screen and recordings,” explains the Winston-Salem Journal. “Baker was decorated for her undercover work for the French Resistance during World War II. She was a civil rights activist – refusing to perform for segregated audiences – and integrated the Las Vegas nightclubs. Baker adopted twelve children from around the work whom she called her ‘Rainbow Tribe.’
BANANAS combines drama, comedy and music to recount (Baker’s) rise from the slums of East St. Louis to the grand stages of Europe.” Written and performed by actor, dancer, playwright, and producer Sloan Robinson, multiple NAACP theatre award winning actress – the 2001 NAACP theatre award for her unforgettable portrayal of Dorothy Dandridge in the one woman tour-de-force “Yesterday Came Too Soon…The Dorothy Dandridge Story” written by Jamal Williams; the 2004 award for her autobiographical solo show : “It’s a Good Thing I Knew How to Dance.” Her original show, “Bananas! – A Day in the Life of Josephine Baker,” received the 2009 NAACP Theatre Awards for Best Music Director, Best Costumes and a nomination for Best Female Performance.
Accompanist Aeros Pierce, a native New Yorker, is the recipient of the 2009 NAACP Theater Award for Best Music Director for “BANANAS!,” as well as NAACP Theater award nominations for her musical direction of “Yesterday Came Too Soon…The Dorothy Dandridge Story” (2011) and for musical direction and original music contributed to “It’s a Good Thing I Knew How to Dance” (2004), both original plays by Sloan Robinson. BANANAS is directed by John H. Freeland, Jr, whose numerous credits include work with the 4th International Blind and Visually Impaired Theatre Festival, Zagreb, Croatia; The Unusual Suspects Theatre Co; The Next Stage Theatre and the NAACP Theatre Festival. The breathtaking costumes are by Naila Sanders. Produced by Do it Yourself Productions and Santa Monica Playhouse