Video Preview: Nikki M. James and More in Kirsten Childs’ THE BUBBLY BLACK GIRL SHEDS HER CHAMELEON SKIN at Encores! Off-Center, July 26-27

Nikki M. James. Photo by Lia Chang
Nikki M. James. Photo by Lia Chang

Encores! Off-Center is presenting Kirsten Childs’ delightful, provocative, and poignant 2000 musical, The Bubbly Black Girl Sheds Her Chameleon Skin helmed by Robert O’Hara at New York City Center on Wednesday July 26 and Thursday, July 27 at 7:30PM. Click here for tickets.

Bubbly Black Girl  stars Tony Award-winner Nikki M. James (The Book of Mormon) as Viveca, and includes Penelope Armstead-Williams, Tanya Birl, Kaitlyn Davidson, Josh Davis as Director Bob, Yurel Echezarreta as Modern Teacher, Lauren E.J. Hamilton, Korey Jackson as Gregory, Kingsley Leggs as Daddy, Jo’Nathan Michael, Kenita R. Miller, Julius Thomas III as Ballet Teacher, Shelley Thomas as Mommy, and Alex Wong as Jazz Teacher.

Following a young African-American dancer, Viveca, from West Coast suburbia to Broadway, all the while navigating the politics of race and gender in an attempt to uncover her own identity, The Bubbly Black Girl Sheds Her Chameleon Skin features choreography by Byron Easley and music direction by Annastasia Victory.

Encores! Off-Center was founded in 2013 with the mission of presenting Off-Broadway musicals that pushed creative boundaries when they were first produced. Filtered through the lens of today’s artists, these shows are presented not as historical documents but as living, vital works that continue to resonate with audiences. The New York Times has called Encores! Off-Center “a summer theater highlight,” with past productions including Violet with Sutton Foster; tick, tick…BOOM! with Lin Manuel Miranda; A New Brain with Jonathan Groff; Little Shop of Horrors with Ellen Greene and Jake Gyllenhaal; and Runaways with a cast of 25 young performers. The series also features The Lobby Project, a series of free pre-performance events that place each musical in context of its legacy and provide insights into the work the audience is about to experience.

Wed, July 26 at 6:30pm: Ayodele Casel, Helga Davis, and Okwui Okpokwasili will participate in a discussion about their experiences onstage in connection with Kirsten Childs’ The Bubbly Black Girl Sheds Her Chameleon Skin. Casel will also perform a piece commissioned especially for The Lobby Project.

Thur, July 27 at 6:30pm: Kirsten Childs (writer and lyricist of The Bubbly Black Girl Sheds Her Chameleon Skin) will discuss the legacy of black women artists in America and the contemporary nature of her work.

Rachel Leslie, Lia Chang, Kirsten Childs and André De Shields at the Connecticut Critics Circle Award ceremony in Fairfield, CT on June 26, 2017. Photo by Garth Kravits
Rachel Leslie, Lia Chang, Kirsten Childs and André De Shields at the Connecticut Critics Circle Award ceremony in Fairfield, CT on June 26, 2017. Photo by Garth Kravits

Click here for the Lia Chang Articles Archive and here for the Lia Chang Photography Website.

Lia Chang, Photo by Garth Kravits
Lia Chang, Photo by Garth Kravits

Lia Chang is an award-winning filmmaker, a Best Actress nominee, a photographer, and an award-winning multi-platform journalist. Lia has appeared in the films Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon, Taxman and Hide and Seek. She is profiled in  Jade Magazine and Playbill.com.

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