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Somi Kakoma

'Dreaming Zenzile' sets Off-Broadway casting

Performances begin at New York Theatre Workshop on May 17.

Gillian Russo
Gillian Russo

New York Theatre Workshop and National Black Theatre's production of Dreaming Zenzile off Broadway has named its cast. The show, written and performed by Grammy Award-nominated musician Somi Kakoma, will play from May 17 to June 26, with an opening night on June 1.

Kakoma herself will play Miriam Makeba, the South African singer and activist on whose life the show is based. The cast also includes Aaron Marcellus, Naledi Masilo, and Phumzile Sojola as the Sangoma Chorus. Additional casting has yet to be announced.

The band for Dreaming Zenzile includes Toru Dodo on piano, Pathé Jassi on bass, Hervé Samb on guitar, and Sheldon Thwaites on percussion.

The creative team has also been named, with scenic design by Riccardo Hernandez, costume design by Mimi Plange, lighting design by Yi Zhao, sound design by Justin Ellington, projection design by Hannah Wasileski, and dramaturgy by Talvin Wilks.

Dreaming Zenzile takes place at Makemba's final concert where, as she sings through her repertoire, is transported back through a lifetime of memories attached to her songs. As she does so, she goes on a spiritual journey to reconcile herself with her past. The world premiere musical is directed by Lileana Blain-Cruz, who also helms The Skin of Our Teeth on Broadway this season. abigail jean-baptiste serves as associate director, Hervé Samb as music director, and Marjorie Forté-Saunders as choreographer.

Check back for information on Dreaming Zenzile tickets on New York Theatre Guide.

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