By Halle Morse
SHIDA, an original musical created and performed by Broadway veteran and gospel music artist Jeannette Bayardelle (The Color Purple; Hair), is receiving its World Premiere production Off-Broadway this summer as an Ars Nova Summer Fling – 511 W. 54 St. in Manhattan. Directed by Andy Sandberg, SHIDA is a one-woman musical with book, music, and lyrics by Jeannette Bayardelle.
Reasons to Go:
1. Jeannette Bayardelle is astonishing! She ACTS, seamlessly transitioning between 5 characters throughout the play; She SINGS, gloriously in many different styles and with such range and power, it will leave you breathless. She DANCES, and is absolutely adorable to watch! Her performance is sexy, funny, heartbreaking and heartfelt. Jeannette leaves her soul on that stage!
2. Jeannette also WROTE this original musical! Book, music, & lyrics by Jeannette Bayardelle! She is truly an incredible artist. This one woman tour-de-force is not to be missed!
3. The band is ROCKIN’! Even though I did not see many (if any) faces of color in the pit, these musicians are killing it in every musical style that this show takes on. There are moments that sound like RENT or TOMMY, but then it switches to more of an R&B feel, where Jeanette becomes like Macy Gray or even Nina Simone. She even raps in the show!
4. This is a story that needs to be told. It’s a tragic yet beautiful story of events that could happen to any of us. This true story is proof of how good people get caught up in very bad situations. Jeannette brings pathos and humor to this familiar story.
5. Support these young and talented artists! They are doing important and original work! Jeannette and the wonderful SHIDA team, including director, Andy Sandberg, boast multiple Broadway credits. But they are taking a leap of faith by creating and producing their own work, and should be supported and commended!
Who should go: Adults! Leave the kids at home. Any adult who is a fan of good music and good storytelling, will enjoy this musical. Come with an open heart and prepare to be massively entertained and astounded by Jeannette!
1. Come a little early. The Ars Nova Theatre is all the way at 10th Avenue, on 54th Street.
2. Any seat is a good seat in this cozy theatre, but I suggest sitting either in the front so you are close, or in the back where the seats are elevated for prime viewing!
3. Why not have dinner before the show! It’s the perfect venue for grabbing a delicious pre-show dinner in Hell’s Kitchen!
4. Bring a camera. You might spot some celebrities in the audience. Sasha Allen was in the front row opening night!
5. Stay after to meet and congratulate Jeannette. She is truly a star and also the sweetest person.
Themes: Coming of Age, Black youth, New York Education, Jazz, Gospel, Rock Musical
Advisory: Suggestive sexual content, Drugs, Rape