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Vallimar Jansen is Ethel Waters - One4Review

ValLimar Jansen’s re-creation of Ethel Waters in words and song is powerful and spell-binding. Ethel Waters during the 1920’s, 30’s and 40’s was one of the most important, and indeed highly paid, black artists of her time. Her early years were difficult and traumatic. She was the offspring of a 12 year old girl who was raped. She was unloved by her mother and raised by her grandmother who died of cancer. She was married at 13, separated at 14 after being the victim of abuse. However, blessed with a beautiful blues singing voice, she developed a growing reputation in clubs and touring with the Fletcher Henderson Band. ValLimar Jansen brings out her strong and independent character in a tough world.   She invented the ‘Shimmy Shimmy Dance’ and there is a bit of good natured audience participation when Ms Jansen invites a couple of guys to ‘shake their thang’ with her. The real success of this show is ValLimar Jansen’s rich and full sounding singing voice to create the drama of Ethel Waters’ performances in songs such as ‘Supper Time’ by Irving Berlin and ‘Stormy Weather’, one of the outstanding standards of the 20th century. The final scene is moving and I won’t reveal the details. This production is most enjoyable musical theatre and worth seeing to catch a singer and actress who can really deliver. ****

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