Written & Compiled by Will Marks
Two incredible women. Two great stories. Soul Sistas is a multi-part tribute to the iconic African American female singers of our time. This year, Part One tells the tale of these two extraordinary talents…
“La Magnifique”, “La Diva Franklin”, “La Regina del Soul” – whatever we call her, Aretha Franklin is recognized the world all over as the greatest pop and R ‘n B voice of all time, and the most celebrated female artist in the history of recorded music. We have a look at her gospel beginnings in the church, her famous father and her path to becoming the undisputed Queen of Soul.
Then, get ready for the power and passion that is Tina Turner. We explore the story of her incredible talent and the countless obstacles that she overcame to become one of the most dynamic performers of her generation. A tough childhood, a hugely successful but tumultuous career in the 60’s and 70’s with her husband Ike Turner, and then her incredible resurface in the 80’s makes hers one of the greatest comeback stories of all time!
With an unbelievably talented cast, this promises to be an amazing evening of music, celebrating the lives and careers of these two incredible Soul Sistas!
Hello and welcome to the Mayfield Dinner Theatre and to the first production of the 2017/2018 Season. It is my great pleasure to welcome Soul Sistas to our stage! This show pays tribute to the artistry and uncompromising conviction of two incredible women, Aretha Franklin and Tina Turner! It has been a blast putting it together with such a great cast. We are thrilled to have Tara Jackson and Tiffany Deriveau back to our stage to play these iconic singers. Both of these woman are amazing talents themselves and have been Mayfield regulars over the past few years. The cast also features three crazy-talented newcomers to the Mayfield, all gifted artists, and along with a great seven-piece band this theatre will be groovin’ and shakin’ every night for the next eight weeks! Soul Sistas is the beginning of what I expect to be a great season of theatre here at the Mayfield. Thank you for sharing this experience with us and enjoy your evening at the theatre.
Christian has been a professional director, actor, writer, designer, musician, and acting teacher for almost 30 years. He has directed, starred in, and designed hundreds of professional plays, films, commercials, documentaries, animations, and network television programs. He is a sought after acting coach, and a multiple award winner and nominee in various creative mediums, whose work has spanned across Canada, the US, and internationally. Past Mayfield credits include Discovering Elvis, Poodle Skirts to Platform Shoes, 2001: A Rock ‘n Roll Odyssey, The British Invasion, Top of the Pops, and starring as the Emcee in Cabaret. Christian resides in Calgary with his wife and two sons, and is casting director and voice director with Six Degrees Music and Productions.
Christine is an Edmonton based choreographer and performer. She has been involved in over thirty productions here at the Mayfield, performing or choreographing or both. Some favourite show experiences include choreographing Bittergirl – The Musical (Charlottetown Festival/Citadel Theatre), One Man, Two Guvnors (Citadel Theatre), It’s A Bird! It’s A Plane! It’s Superman! (Plain Jane Theatre/Edmonton Fringe), Heathers (Citadel Young Company), I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change (Neptune Theatre), Rent (Mexico, Barcelona, Montreal) and Hair, Only In Vegas, Back to The 80’s, Buddy – The Buddy Holly Story, Little Shop Of Horrors and The British Invasion here at the Mayfield.
I am so thankful to be here, at the Mayfield, performing as one of my all-time favourite artists. I can remember taking a cassette tape to my first vocal lesson as a girl and asking my teacher if she could help me “sing like that”. The song was Tina’s River Deep Mountain High. I want to say a huge thank you to the creative team for this dream come true. After more than 15 years in the business, I’ve worked at the Royal Alex in Toronto (Mamma Mia!) the Charlottetown Festival (Hairspray) The Grand Theatre in London (Little Shop), numerous Canadian stages, various New York City venues, Disney Cruise Lines and Holland America Line, the Mayfield is second to none. Thank you to my family for supporting my dream. To my amazing husband Adil and daughter Daniya, you’re simply the best. I want to also thank, you, the patrons of the Mayfield for supporting us every year. You can see my mobile website for more information, photos and music. Enjoy the Show!
Tara is super excited to be back on the Mayfield stage playing the Queen of Soul herself! Born and raised in Calgary, she began singing at the age of three and has had a passion for it ever since. An honours graduate of Berklee College of Music, Tara has filled the past few years with performances at theaters across Western Canada. Favourite credits include: Bittergirl (Citadel Theatre), Hair (Mayfield), and Rumours and Dreams (StageWest). Special thank you to the Mayfield team for such an incredible opportunity! Portraying a vocal giant and icon and representing fierce black women entertainers is something I’m so grateful I get to do, especially when it’s alongside one of my true Soul Sistas, Tiff! Much love to my husband Steven, whom I finally get to share the stage with, my family, and my friends. Enjoy the show!
Jameela is new to the Mayfield stage and is delighted to be working with the cast, crew, and creative team of Soul Sistas. She is an Edmonton-based actor and recent graduate from MacEwan’s Theatre Arts Program where she was seen in The Drowsy Chaperone, Footloose: the Musical, and Into the Woods. Other credits include: Before the River (Mavka Theatre), Disenchanted! (Foote in the Door Productions), and performing for younger audiences with Kompany Family Theatre. Many thanks to my family, friends, and instructors for your support! Enjoy the show!
Matt Nethersole is thrilled to join the cast of SOUL SISTAS. Theatre credits include: James in James and the Giant Peach (Young People’s Theatre Toronto), Ritchie in A Chorus Line (Stratford Festival), The Hypochondriac (Stratford Festival), Sweet Charity (Shaw Festival), Pygmalion (Shaw Festival), The Little Mermaid (The Globe), Ain’t Misbehavin’ (Magnus), Legally Blonde (Drayton), Hairspray (Rainbow Stage) and Elf (The Grand). TV: Little Mosque on the Prairie, Ghost Trackers, Degrassi and Silvio Snake on the hit CBC Kids TV show The Moblees. Instagram/twitter: @mattnethersole
Antonette is honoured to be making her Mayfield debut in Soul Sistas. Previous works; Mamma Mia (Theatre Aquarius/WCT), 80’s Solid Gold 2 (Stage west Theatre), She Loves Me, Little Shop of Horrors (Thousand Islands Playhouse), Hair, Grease, Nunsense, White Christmas (SLC/ Brockville Arts Centre), Bare: The Musical (Water’s Edge Productions). Film/TV: Rocky Horror Picture Show (Fox Television Studios), People of Earth (TBS/ Slanted Films), Surviving Evil (Discovery/Ciniflex). Instagram: @Toni_Rudd
Fresh out of theatre school, Malinda is filled with joy to be making her Mayfield Theatre Debut. Tina Turner and Aretha Franklin were huge influences in Malinda’s early years of performing and she is so excited to tell their iconic stories. Watch out for Malinda from April-June as part of the ensemble in All Shook Up, also presented by Mayfield Theatre. She wishes to thank all those who have helped her grow as an artist along with her loving friends and family.
One of the most respected and in-demand drummers in Western Canada, Stephen performs and records with numerous national and international artists. Known for his versatility and keen musicianship, Stephen is looking forward to performing again with the Mayfield Dinner Theatre.
Steven Jackson, born and raised in Philadelphia, PA, studied a collection of various styles of music at Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts. Moved to Calgary, AB in March of 2015. He centers his playing on fusion, blending and meshing different styles to create a unique blend pleasing to a multitude of audiences. He’s excited to be playing his first show at the Mayfield.
Multi-instrumentalist Paul Lamoureux was born here in Edmonton. He holds both Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees in music from North Texas State University, and a diploma in Performing Arts from Grant MacEwan College. Paul has performed with Cirque du Soleil in Las Vegas (“O” at the Bellagio), the Tommy Banks Band, and Princess Cruises. Mayfield Dinner Theatre productions include Hair, Jesus Christ Superstar, The Full Monty, The Wedding Singer, Chicago, and Cabaret. He has backed up Robert Goulet, Flip Wilson, Mickey Rooney, Red Skelton, and toured with Grammy-nominated Christian rock act “Degarmo and Key”. Fluently bilingual, Paul was Musical Director of CBC French radio’s Gala Albertain de la Chanson for 8 years and has recorded 4 CDs of his own instrumental pop/jazz music on his own label.
Derek grew up in a musical family and started playing in venues in southwestern Manitoba with his father at a young age. He moved to Alberta after high school, leaving his Manitoba farming roots behind and began his professional musical career. During that time he took a job for Otis Elevator Company. Like every job, it had it’s ups and downs. For almost two decades now he has been employed at the Mayfield Dinner Theatre, playing musical revues and Broadway musicals. Yeah, I know…yada, yada, yada, blah, blah, blah…boring but true. He loves the music of Motown and is grateful and honoured to play this show. Derek would never use gratuitous italics and is always delighted by the opportunity to write about himself in the third person. He’d love to go into more detail but only has 150 words and has unfortunately run out of
Harley has contributed to somewhere around 75 productions at the Mayfield as musician, singer, audio technician, and even occasionally as a cast member. Recent favourites include J.C. Superstar, The Simon & Garfunkel Story, Dark Star: The Life and Times of Roy Orbison, Folkswaggin’: Music Of The People, and Four Lads Who Shook The World: The Beatles Story Parts 1 and 2 (as George Harrison). He has toured extensively with many artists, performing at events such as Lilith Fair, other major festivals, and on the national tour of the musical Red Rock Diner. He contributed to 2 hit shows at last year’s Fringe Festival, and this year is performing once again with Andrea House in the Stardust Players production Chasing Willie Nelson. Other than theatre he keeps busy freelancing and performing with his own group in support of his debut CD, entitled “Don’t Talk”. He also holds a diploma with honours from the Computer Systems Technology program at NAIT
Bob is thrilled to be back at Mayfield Dinner Theater for the production of Soul Sistas. Originally from Calgary, Bob is a freelance musician in the Edmonton area specializing in jazz and improvised music and has performed in many shows, recordings and gigs since moving to Edmonton in the mid 70’s. He most recently appeared at the Mayfield in Only in Vegas. Other Mayfield shows include Chicago, Cabaret, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, The Wizard of Oz and The Full Monty. Bob has appeared on many albums, most notably “Tommy Banks live at Montreux”, PJ Perry “Sessions”, and Jay McShann “Jumpin’ the Blues”.