An entertaining celebration of African-American women performers in the twentieth century, Opera Noir’s “Soul Sistahs” sparkled with style and sass at its show over the weekend. A stage/variety show featuring J. Rosalynn Smith-Clark, the founder of the organization, it contained high energy dancing and music, knockout costumes, and an excellent performance from star Smith-Clark.
It opened with the headliner singing an aria in homage to Leontyne Price and Marian Anderson before honoring the memory of diva Josephine Baker with a hot dance number. As she revealed the progression of her own life from singing in church, taking dance classes as a child, attending high school dances looking for love, auditioning for shows, and performing, Smith-Clark performed vignettes saluting other performers and periods, such as Sarah Vaughan, Ella Fitzgerald, Dionne Warwick, Diana Ross, Motown, funk, and Hip Hop.
The show featured an excellent ensemble of supporting players. Her hot band kept the show rolling along with their high energy playing and sound, aided by the expressive vocal stylings of four backup singers. Almost stealing the show were four talented, energetic dancers who could seem to perform everything from tap, ballet, break dance, Hip Hop, modern dance, and comedy routines. They added a dash of excitement and flair in their well-choreographed routines.
Smith-Clark dazzled in a wide variety of elegant, drop dead costumes, from her feathery Baker outfit, to church robes, to several gorgeous evening gowns and wraps. “Soul Sistahs” embraced African-American culture to present art and culture to students from underserved communities.
Opera Noir presented “Soul Sistahs” on Friday, February 19, and Saturday, February 20 at the El Portal Theatre (5269 Lankershim Blvd., North Hollywood, CA).