Singer Dinah Washington battles with a Las Vegas hotel where she can headline but not get a room, while scenes from her life play through her mind, interspersed with musical numbers. Hers is the many-times-married rough-and-tumble life of a strong, selfish diva bedeviled by her family, her own failings and addictions, and the ugliness of racism. A (somewhat unconvincing) epiphany lets her see how to do the show without selling out. The cast, mostly playing multiple roles, is sometimes stagy, but still effective, especially Yvette Freeman, who rightly does not try to imitate Washington's singing, except in its intensity.
(P)2004 L.A. Theatre Works
"Freeman is excellent as Washington...a whirlwind, lustily sucking up huge gulps of life." (The New York Times)
Yvette Freeman IS Dinah Washington. Her story is a remarkable one that is also the story of an era in America where talent was valued but your race ruled your destiny. Anyone who loves jazz or who is a student of American cultural history should take a listen. If you have never seen the performance on stage, this is the next best thing. Ms. Freeman takes you there.
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