Opens Jan 21

Josephine: A Burlesque Cabaret Dream Play

Members say: Entertaining, Great singing, Delightful, Enchanting, Great acting
6 reviews
36 reviews

This solo show explores the life of international superstar Josephine Baker through theater, song, and burlesque. 

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Born in St. Louis in 1906, Josephine Baker achieved only moderate success in the United States, but became an international superstar after moving to France in the early 20s. Her adopted country gave her the opportunity to live freely without the racial oppression of her home nation, though she never stopped yearning for acceptance in America. Written for and performed by Tymisha Harris, 'Josephine: A Burlesque Cabaret Dream Play' won "Best Show" and "Outstanding Solo Performance" at the 2016 San Diego Fringe Festival and "Production of the Year" at last fall's Fringe Encore Series at the Soho Playhouse.


Cast & Creatives (4)

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Reviews (42)

See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews
Avg Score

Orlando Sentinel

for a previous production “To play a woman that fabulous requires one mesmerizing performer. In Tymisha Harris, the engaging, involving ‘Josephine’ has just that…She’s an expressive dancer and a strong, emotional singer...Her greatest strength is her ability to convey the mix of nervousness and fearlessness that fueled Baker’s life…The cabaret concept is one of the show’s strongest elements…Kimbro’s script is a fully realized story, though I would have liked a few more concrete details added to the mix.” Full Review

San Diego Union-Tribune

for a previous production “Harris is a magnetic performer, strong singer and high-powered dancer, who brings to life Baker’s trademark African banana dance, as well as numerous 20th century hit songs by Billie Holiday and others...Harris’ script is faithful to facts, but it still bears the marks of a work in progress and could use some tightening. Baker was free with her body, and so is Harris, who performs a portion of the show in a G-string and pasties, so it has an NC-17 rating." Full Review

Orlando Weekly

for a previous production “Harris makes the audience feel Baker’s pain and pride at every turn, both through songs and heartfelt soliloquies. Director Marinaccio showcases Harris’s talents to a T…Under Marinaccio’s direction she gets to demonstrate her considerable acting chops as well, digging deep into the sadness beneath Baker’s sunny showbiz exterior.“ Full Review


for a previous production “The source material is fascinating...Beyond the biography, we're also given thought-provoking commentary about racism and how black women's bodies are consumed as entertainment: ideas as relevant today as they were in 1926. Harris' performance is a tour de force. Not only can this gal sing, her burlesque numbers are captivating and her dalliances with audience participation are perfection…A triumphant homage to a life worth remembering. Go see this one.” Full Review

San Diego Reader

for a previous production "At the heart of the story is a complex, unapologetic woman who exhibits her sexuality on her own terms…Harris tantalizes the audience with song, dance, and feathers. Tunes like ‘Blue Skies’ and ‘La Vie en Rose’ intermix with onstage costume changes, a bit of casual dialogue, and — of course — the sultry dance moves of the burlesque icon.” Full Review


for a previous production “'Josephine' is this year’s must-see Fringe show simply because, for an hour, the audience is treated to the haunting voice and commanding presence of Tymisha Harris...Billed as a ‘burlesque cabaret dream play,’ ‘Josephine’ is much more than that, rising to the top of its form under the skilled direction of Marinaccio and a smart, well-balanced script by Kimbro. Sunday night’s crowd gave Harris a rousing standing ovation, which I’m sure will be one of many." Full Review

See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews
Avg Score

Ambitious, Clever, Delightful, Great acting, Great singing

See it if You love and /or want to learn more about Josephine Baker, and enjoy one person shows

Don't see it if You want something that is primarily burlesque or if you can't face hearing about the realities of racism

Funny, Disappointing, Entertaining, Great singing, Sexy

See it if U r ok with a cronological piece that reveals important highlights about the subject without much depths to it. Very entertaining.

Don't see it if You don't enjoy burlesque performances and is expecting a play.

Delightful, Enchanting, Intelligent, Resonant, Entertaining

See it if You want to spend some time getting to know legendary performer Josephine Baker, or just want to enjoy a great cabaret act. She sizzles!

Don't see it if semi-nude women, one woman shows; or biographical cabaret acts aren’t your thing.

Also Tymisha Harris captures the charm of Ms. Baker, and relays enough of t... Read more Read less

Delightful, Exquisite, Must see, Riveting, Great singing

See it if you want to get a taste of the extraordinary life of Josephine Baker told in words, songs, and action that will captivate and delight you.

Don't see it if you would be offended by the colorful life of the international super-star Josephine Baker

Also Tymisha Harris is a delightful entertainer. She embraces her character... Read more Read less

Delightful, Quirky, Raunchy, Refreshing, Entertaining

See it if Good solo performance of J. Baker life highlights. Dancing was excellent, singing and acting not quite as strong. Audience loved it.

Don't see it if Script was a bit boring, especially if you already know her story. Music consists of solo voice on top of prerecorded instrumental.

Slow, Entertaining

See it if You enjoy highly crafted movement and gesture work (and beautiful costumes!) You want to learn about Josephine Baker.

Don't see it if You want a tight one-person show. You want something with pace.

Clever, Delightful, Entertaining, Great singing

See it if you ever dreamed of what it was like living in Paris in the Roaring ‘20s, when Josephine Baker was the biggest name in town!

Don't see it if you’re not comfortable with nudity or off color jokes.

Absorbing, Delightful, Relevant, Great singing, Memorable dancing

See it if you want to see an impressive performance. JBaker enraptured Parisian society...and you'll get a glimpse of why. Harris is terrific as JB.

Don't see it if you want lots of info about JB (just go to Wikip). Here, you'll get the essence. Fabulous, dance (fan) & songs (Times Changin, La Vie En Ro)

Also This is a particularly engrossing solo/biographical show, in part beca... Read more Read less

Ambitious, Clever, Edgy, Entertaining, Great singing

See it if you are curious about Josephine Baker, her life, her dancing, her singing. This is one of the best solo-bio shows I have seen.

Don't see it if nudity distresses you. Josephine Baker was famous for her minimal costumes some of which have been recreated for this production.

Enchanting, Intelligent, Thought-provoking, Entertaining, Great singing

See it if you want to be taken back in history with the life of an entertainer extraordinaire. Delightful messages with fantastic singing.

Don't see it if one person shows are not your thing or if you are in any way unable to bear rough language or nudity.

Delightful, Enchanting, Intelligent, Raunchy, Entertaining

See it if if you are a Josephine Baker fan. Mustn't be missed. This lady is a winner!

Don't see it if you don't know anything about Josephine Baker and don't care.

Great acting, Intense, Thought-provoking, Riveting, Entertaining

See it if You are interested in Josephine Baker and social issues both then and now. Like biography with wonderful singing gancingband story telling.

Don't see it if If you are not interested in biography, history or how history still needs to Move forward

Delightful, Great acting, Must see, Entertaining, Great staging

See it if As a theatre goer you want to be entertained then go before it closes, show is entrancing and the actress is fantastic

Don't see it if If you want big productions and musical scores instead of recorded music, nudity bothers you, touchy topics (still sadly) are not your thing

Also I noted that it said show already closed when I logged onto this page,... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Edgy, Great acting, Entertaining, Great singing

See it if you want to learn about an important piece of entertainment history and be entertained in the process.

Don't see it if you are uncomfortable with some light audience participation or seeing breasts.

Funny, Ambitious, Raunchy, Entertaining, Great singing

See it if a show about Josephine Baker would interest you. The star was making her NYC debut and was quite good. The show is definitely worth seeing .

Don't see it if a solo performer in a small setting does not interest you. This venue needs more comfortable seating so that can be an issue for some people

Enchanting, Entertaining, Beautiful performance, Glorious theatre.

See it if Would enjoy a delicious performer who loves the material and the person she's portraying. Strong Fringe show - worthy of recognition.

Don't see it if You might be offended by the burlesque and bawdier aspects of Baker's life. (That said, you don't have to know about Baker to enjoy this.)

Also Saw this on the first performance at the Fringe Encore Series at the S... Read more Read less

Funny, Delightful, Great acting, Entertaining, Great singing

See it if You have a chance. It was the best solo show I've ever seen. The actress was multitalented portraying such an iconic character & nailing it.

Don't see it if You're uptight and expect a big stage production. Simply amazing.

Entertaining, Fluffy

See it if you are a Josephine Baker fan...

Don't see it if you don't like solo shows and/or are expecting a show with lots of great sets and pizzazz...

Also It's evident that Tymisha Harris loves playing this character and has ... Read more Read less

Great acting, Riveting, Entertaining

See it if a must see! Tymisha Harris is a Knockout. She inhabits the character and keeps the audience mesmerized.Flawless,fearless performance .Bravo!

Don't see it if don't miss this show! It won Best Show and Outstanding Solo Performance, 2016 San Diego Fringe Festival,and it's totally justified.See it!

Also this is an important and inspiring story.Josephine Baker was a woman a... Read more Read less

Great singing, Experience depends as much on crowd as it does on the performer

See it if you like to hoot, cheer, and be a responsive audience member even if you aren’t selected for audience participation

Don't see it if you’ll be bothered by some holdups from frequent costume changes; you’re expecting Baker’s life in detail (this show sums up milestones)

Also The costume/tech issues will smooth themselves out in short order, but... Read more Read less

Charming, Entertaining, Great singing, Engaging, Standard bio

See it if you'd enjoy a performance by an excellent, talented, engaging singer elevating an otherwise standard one-person bio show

Don't see it if an old-school burlesque fan dance in pasties would offend you;are not interested in the life of the great Josephine Baker

Also The show glosses over Josephine Baker's complicated and dramatic life.... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Delightful, Entertaining

See it if Great energy and dance

Don't see it if You don't like one-woman shows

Enchanting, Great writing, Entertaining

See it if you want to experience a finely crafted re-creation of an interesting person from history

Don't see it if burlesque is not for you

Refreshing, Entertaining, Great singing, Energetic, Risque

See it if you want to see a spirited performance that touches on the highlights of her career.

Don't see it if you're not a fan of cabaret or pasties.

Delightful, Enchanting, Riveting, Entertaining, Great singing

See it if Tymisha Harris's smile lights up the stage and she is supremely talented singing and dancing her way through Baker's rich life. Wonderful.

Don't see it if Nudity makes you uncomfortable. You're looking for in-depth details on her life. This is a nonstop 75-min. show breezing through her life.