I heard about this musical back in November 2016, and have been so excited to see it. I really wasn’t prepared for how deep the message within this fun musical would strike me.
Expecting a happy-go-lucky, feel good musical, The Bubbly Black Girl Sheds Her Chameleon Skin doesn’t disappoint, but actually goes further by questioning our stereotypical opinion of ourselves as well as others.
As a ‘Bubbly’, (maybe not so young, anymore) black girl, I could easily relate to some of the issues that Viveca encounters, growing up – not acting “black enough” being one of them!
Take a look at the trailer to get a feel for this fantastic musical…
The show opens with a lively number, where we are introduced to young Viveca (Karis Jack) , growing up in Los Angeles in 1963.
We watch her play innocently with dolls and learn about her desire to become a dancer on the Broadway stage. Her role models are all white women, her favourite in particular is Gwen Verdon.
At dance class the light-skinned girls, like Yolanda ( Shelley Williams) are always selected to play the princess roles, and society in general is saying that ‘White is pretty, black is not‘.
News stories of young black girls getting blown up at church by the Ku Klux Klan scare her and she wonders will she be targeted too, her father reassures her and her sunny disposition returns.
The Civil Rights and Black Power movements are running through the background whilst Viveca has her mind on her own issues, living in her own happy ‘Bubble’.
The second half of the story takes us to 1980’s New York, where Viveca is now auditioning for jobs on Broadway, but comes across sexism and racial stereotyping, with all these obstacles, will she get her dream role?
There is such a smooth and natural transition between young and older Viveca.
Sophia Mackay plays older Viveca brilliantly and we watch as she deals with casting directors, playboys and New York!
To see if Viveca makes it in New York, you’d better grab a ticket to see the show before the run ends on Saturday 11th March at Theatre Royal Stratford East.
This show manages to be entertaining whilst highlighting some serious issues, there is alot of humour and the choreography was exciting too.
Lots of fun, I would go to see it again, I just might… 😉
Theatre Royal Stratford East, London, until 11 March.
Box office: 020-8534 0310.
Tickets: £12 – £26.00
Then at the Belgrade theatre, Coventry, 5-15 April.
Box office: 024-7655 3055.