Broadway-bound ‘Shout Sister Shout’ musical inspired by Sister Rosetta Tharpe finds creative team

The bio-musical was first staged at Pasadena Playhouse in 2017.

Photo credit: Sister Rosetta Tharpe (Photo by Tony Evans/Getty Images)

A new musical about Sister Rosetta Tharpe will receive its Broadway premiere after performances in California and Seattle. Titled Shout Sister Shout after one of Tharpe’s songs, the bio-musical will open on Broadway at a date to be confirmed, after being developed by an unnamed regional theatre.

Based on Gayle F. Wald’s 2007 biography, Shout Sister Shout will dramatize the life of Sister Rosetta Tharpe, who became known as one of gospel music’s breakout stars in the 1950s. During her career, she inspired the lives of Elvis Presley, Chuck Berry, even discovering Little Richard. Sadly, Sharpe’s death in 1973 sidelined her career for decades, until recently when she was placed in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Shout Sister Shout will feature some of Tharpe's greatest hits from over the year, including “This Train”, “Rock Me” and “Down By The Riverside.”

Shout Sister Shout is written by Cheryl L. West, whose credits include Play On! and Jar on the Floor. Kenneth L. Roberson directs, previously choreographing Avenue Q. The musical received its world premiere at the Pasadena Playhouse in 2017, later staged in Seattle in 2019. For the Broadway transfer of Shout Sister Shout, the musical will be majorly reworked.

Producer Bev Ragovoy said about the musical: “Armed with Sister Rosetta’s inspiring story, West’s engaging book and a talented creative team, Shout Sister Shout is guaranteed to bring audiences back to the theater for a joyful evening of music that celebrates an extraordinary woman whose scope of influence continues to this day.”

Casting for Shout Sister Shout, a venue and performance dates are to be confirmed.

Photo credit: Sister Rosetta Tharpe (Photo by Tony Evans/Getty Images)