By overwhelming popular demand, ValLimar Jansen and Frank Jansen return their “two-person, one-woman show” about legendary performer Ethel Waters, star of radio, TV, Broadway and feature film, to Fremont Centre Theatre.
Ethel Waters (1896-1977) was the daughter of a 12-year-old rape victim. Ethel grew up unsupervised on the streets of Philadelphia. She sang and danced at church functions and made her way into Black vaudeville in 1917. Appearing first in Harlem nightclubs and then crossing over into the “white time” vaudeville circuit, she became a celebrated blues singer and starred in 12 Broadway productions, ultimately becoming one of the highest paid entertainers in America. Harold Arlen wrote the song “Stormy Weather” specifically for her. She became the first African-American female to star on a national radio show and a TV series, and was nominated for an Oscar and an Emmy. Ms. Waters became a born again Christian and toured with the Billy Graham Crusade in the last decades of her life.
ValLimar Jansen portrays Ethel Waters in the show. Jansen is herself noted for her vocal performances of jazz, pop, gospel and contemporary Christian music. She holds degrees from California State University San Bernardino and University of California Santa Barbara.
Sweet Mama String Bean runs November 26 through 28, December 2 through 5 and December 16 through 19 Thursdays through Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 3 p.m. The show is at the Fremont Centre Theatre, 1000 Fremont Ave. in South Pasadena. Tickets are $30 and $15 on Thursdays. Students and seniors receive discounts upon request. For reservations, call (866) 811-4111 or visit www.freemontcentretheatre.com.