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Walking in Dorothy Dandridge's Shoes..Her Final New Beginning's setting is Dorothy on the last day of her life. She's surrounded by clothes, music, scripts, suitcases and cushions in her modest apt on Fountain Avenue in West Hollywood, her last place of residence. She's practicing her dances, going over scripts, music and packing to travel to New york, and Mexico for the lineup of shows and the two films she was contracted to do while singing, dancing and enacting her life in timeline like fashion. Her preference of dialogue is particularly of her music and wide assortment of firsts and industry and societal accomplishments she achieved which helped to pave the way for women of color in the industry. She's exhilarated and happy to embark on another new beginning....
With the legendary HB Barnum's or Marvin King Brown's or CB Cal Bezemer's expert music fines on keys during the production through some of the dialogue, dance and songs, this production will have you even more interested and knowledgeable about one of America's icons, Dorothy Dandridge with emphasis also on her societal and industry achievements.
WANDA RAY WILLIS- (SCRIPT & MUSIC)
This marks the SIXTH PRODUCTION among Wanda's variety of performing artist work about Dorothy Dandridge that Wanda , Bermudian singer, musician, actress, writer, and ensemble performer has been a part of.
When she was growing up, and singing and dancing around her parent's home as a young child, her late Aunt Dora, who lived in the US would always say, "You need to take her to Hollywood, She really reminds me of that Dorothy girl over there". With life similarities and features that favored Dorothy throughout her life, Wanda has gotten rave reviews , articles and comments from Directors, audience members and periodicals regarding her portrayals and creative material about the legend Dorothy Dandridge.
She, as many have said can really chanel Miss Dandridge while on stage........After years of research , portraying Dorothy on stage, and the beckoning from a director to write her own Dorothy Dandridge show years ago, the completion of this project seemed to just "flow from my pen and music voice........."
CAL BEZEMER- (MUSIC DIRECTOR)
CB"- Bandleader of "The Mouzon Franklin CB Trio", Mainstream, Fusion, Blue, Originals & Improvisation..Cal performs Piano, Synth and Vocals.
Cal's credits include Music Dir/Pianist for Herb Jeffries (35= years); Yma Sumac (12 Years). Some of the greats he has recorded with and was Music Director for are, Al Jarreau; Anita O'Day; 'Scatman' Crothers; Barbara Mc Nair; David Sanborn; Eddie 'Cleanhead' Vinson; Linda Hopkins; 'Senator' Eugene Wright and many more.
More to come...Stay tuned.
MARCH, 2019 BEGAN THE 4th YEAR OF THESE ONGOING PERFORMANCES!
* THE MUSICAL'S SONG CD AND AUDIO OF WALKING IN DOROTHY DANDRIDGE'S SHOES, HER FINAL NEW BEGINNING MUSICAL IS AVAILABLE!
Photo Montage of script with songs is also available on Youtube for your listening and viewing pleasure.
WANDA RAY WILLIS WON THE LANFA TRIPLE THREAT AWARD, RECEIVED THE BEVERLY HILLS BEST DIRECTOR NOMINATION FOR THIS MUSICAL AND IS NOW A BMA BEST TRIBUTE PERFORMER NOMINEE/BEST THEATER OR STAGE PERFORMANCE/BEST LIVE PERFORMER NOMINEE.
WANDA ALSO RELEASED HER 2ND OF 5 RECORDINGS WITH UNIGLOBAL RECORDS THIS YEAR.
WANDA'S PERFORMANCE DATES:
SEPT. 28, 3PM.
WHITTIER CENTRAL PARK
SIX FIVE THREE TWO FRIENDS AVE. WHITTIER CA.
SPECIAL GUEST PERFORMER AND NOMINEE:
ANNUAL LOS ANGELES BLACK MUSIC AND FILM AWARDS:
SEPT. 29, 5PM
NAEJA 18TH ANNUAL BANQUET
OCTOBER TWENTY SIX, PM.
THE PROUD BIRD
11022 AVIATION BLVD, LOS ANGELES, CA.
NOVEMBER 18, WANDA IS HOST AND SPECIAL PERFORMING GUEST AT THE INTERNATIONAL MUSIC AND DANCE FESTIVAL: DETAILS TBA.
ORIGINAL SONG RELEASE OF:
I GOT TO BE STRONG on www.uniglobalrecords.com
*Wanda is part of stella cast for www.ifeelsincominon.com who leave for an East coast tour, opening in July.
Wanda performed her piano/vocal act at the Ladera Senior Center's Spa Day event on May 7 and will do this act again with drummer, Jerrell Burrell at The Palos Verdes Senior center on June 1.
Wanda also continues to sing in concerts with HB Barnum's Life Choir and The Los Cancioneros Master Chorale conducted by Allan Petkner,
June 17, Wanda Portrays Carolynne Snowden and Dorothy Dandridge in a "MOCHA PRODUCTION" Junetenth event at the Culver City Library.
June 24 & 25, Wanda does a presentation of her Children's reading readiness television show , "SPUNK BUBBLE" at the long Beach Biyou Blues Festival.
Wanda, an 18 year vetreran of 5 NAACP Theatre Award Winning Musical, North on south Central portrayed Dorothy Dandridge and a Club Alabam Patron on March twenty six at the Warner Grand Theatre, San Pedro.
As participants and audience members who have followed the musical from it's beginning 18 years ago, remarked how Wanda does not age and her portrayal of Dorothy has only gotten better through the years!"
SUN. APRIL 9, 1PM,
PIANO RECITAL FOR WANDA'S STUDENTS:
TWO ZERO ZERO SIX NELSON AVE. REDONDO BEACH.
WANDA WILL ALSO PERFORM A PIANO VOCAL RENDITION OF NATURAL WOMAN AND MAYBE ONE OTHER.
SOME OF THE STUDENTS WILL ALSO PLAY A SONG WHILE THE AUDIENCE JOINS IN WITH THEM PLAYING!
SUN. APRIL 23, 4 UNTIL 5:30
SUN. MAY 21, 4 UNTIL 5:30
HER FINAL NEW BEGINNIING
THEATRE: 710 PIER AVE. HERMOSA BEACH
OR $25 CREDIT/CASH ENTRY
DINE AND SHOW EVENT!
HER FINAL NEW BEGINNING
SAT. MAY 13, 7 UNTIL 8:30
THEATRE: 1809 MANHATTAN BEACH BLVD. MANHATTAN BEACH
**March 5-2016 First Staged reading- Los Angeles, California
**May 7- Performance of scene excerpt- Fairmount Southampton Princess Hotel- Bermuda
Full page article before the show and page after the show- Royal Gazette Newspaper- Bermuda
**May 29- First full show- Redondo Beach, California
**June 12, 7-9pm- Performance- Redondo Beach, California
Video & photo script excerpts posted on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook daily to Celebrate Dorothy...Her September Month.
October 14 & 21- 7pm.... 2nd Story Theatre,
Pier Ave, Hermosa Beach, CA, 90352
2 Performances of this 1:15 hr. One Woman Musical with Cal Bezemer on Keys.
Press coverage and artifacts on display. Bring any you would like to share to spread more knowledge about Dorothy's story!
-% of performances go to a Charity-
SAT, NOVEMBER 19, 1:30PM
2ND STORY THEATRE, 710 PIER AVE, HERMOSA BEACH
Cal and Wanda performed the finale of this 7 song and finale, music, dance and acting production at Kulakswoodshed with rave reviews from the Estatic audience in March of this year. The first staged reading was held successfully also in March of this year. Their music marriage seems to be made in heaven , (words from the esteemed legend HB Barnum), who brought them together. Audience members proclaim how the duo performs their singing acting and dance show as if they were one entity!
-Singer, actress,dancer Wanda Ray Willis
-Music Director: Cal Bezemer on keys
-Stay tuned for new dates and full schedule!!
-This duo would make a lovely Dinner Theatre event for your organization fundraiser!