The world premiere of “Sweet Emmaline: The Musical Journey of Debbie McDade,” will be sponsored by Romanza in downtown St. Augustine from May 8 through May 12, 2016. It’s an original musical play written by Deborah B. Dickey and staged by A Classic Theatre, Inc.
The talented cast featuring “Sarah Sanders,” best known to Florida audiences as the classy blues and jazz stylist ‘Mama Blue,’ in the title role of “Debbie McDade.” A native of Jacksonville, Mama Blue graduated from the prestigious Douglas Anderson School of the Arts and earned a talent scholarship to Jacksonville University. Majoring in vocal performance, she has since ventured forth to live performances across the southeastern U.S. and Europe.
“Soranda Louis” will appear in the role of Amanda, the curious and bright young woman who joins Debbie on her journey and finds her own inspiration along the way. Soranda studies Theatre at Flagler College, where she has appeared in Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, Macbeth, and The Actor’s Nightmare.
“Curtis Tucker” is First Coast Opera’s Artistic Director. He will lend his special talents to the production as a voiceover artist.
“Sweet Emmaline – A Local Story” tells the story of ‘Debbie McDade,’ born Emmaline Maultsby, who journeyed from her home in St. Augustine’s Lincolnville to New York City – the city she dreamed of as a child listening to the weekly radio broadcasts from The Savoy Ballroom in Harlem. There she found a career on the stage, performing and touring as a vocalist with the likes of Earl “Fatha” Hines and Count Basie. Louis Armstrong and his wife Lucille became friends, and Satchmo gave her the stage name, Debbie Moore.
She recorded an album aptly titled My Kind of Blues, which captured her sweet and sassy style along with her signature whistling skills. With a mix of classic blues and popular tunes of the 50’s and 60’s, Sweet Emmaline also features many of Debbie’s own compositions, including her best-known song, “Five Months, Two Weeks, Two Days.” Celebrating her 91st birthday in May of this year, Debbie is a St. Augustine treasure, and it is fitting to honor this remarkable, talented woman with Sweet Emmaline: The Musical Journey of Debbie McDade.
St. Augustine Romanza Festivale Of The Arts
Musical Journey of Debbie McDade”
Date: Sunday, May 8, 2016 Time: 3 p.m.
Dates: May 9 – 12, 2016 Times: 7:30 p.m.
Location: Lincolnville Museum Cultural Center
102 MLK Avenue
St. Augustine, FL 32084