Broadway On to Smith Stage
As part of Otelia Cromwell
Day 2010, on Tuesday, Oct. 26, the Northampton Arts Council
will present a dynamic staged reading of Expatriate,
a two-woman musical play created by Northampton Poet
Laureate MFA’04. The free performance begins
at 7:30 p.m. in John M. Greene Hall.
A scene from Expatriate (photos by Vanessa
The critically acclaimed
play, which debuted off-Broadway in 2008, features Moïse
and actor/vocalist in an engaging and explosive
look at the complexities of fame, friendship, sexuality,
love and art.
The work tells of achingly platonic
soul mates Claudie (Moïse) and Alphine
(Mosley), unsung African-American musicians and longtime
best friends. Both wrestle with the addiction, abandonment
and sexual trauma that run in their respective family histories.
Diligent, dutiful, Julliard-trained
composer Claudie may or may not be celibate while sparkly,
indulgent Alphine has more natural star potential and sex
appeal than she knows what to do with. When the women flee
to Europe to pursue their American dreams, they forgo fruitless
solo careers and join forces as the sultry singing duo Black
Venus. Parisians dub them “the greatest act since Josephine Baker” and they
quickly rise to fame and fortune.
Tensions rise as Claudie
finds sexual freedom, artistic sustenance and spiritual regeneration
through her new life abroad while Alphine’s hunger for adoration
from a celebrity-mad culture spins tragically out of control.
York Times: “How inspiring
it is to be reminded how invigorating an Off-Broadway play
can be with just two appealing performers, compelling music
and a searching, intelligent script. Lenelle Moïse, a poet,
playwright and performer, has written, composed and stars
in Expatriate, a two-woman production...that delivers on
Go Magazine: “Armed only with their phenomenal voices and a JamMan loop machine,
Moïse and Mosley perform Expatriate’s electrifying original musical score...From
the concrete jungle to the Paris elite, the characters’ mutual evolution is both
seamless and textured. Moïse and Mosley play their finely drawn roles with haunting
passion and precision. From scene to scene, the arc of their relationship is
beautifully and convincingly rendered in this refreshingly honest and deeply
moving two-woman tour de force.”
Backstage: “Lenelle Moïse’s music, created by a JamMan loop machine and a powerful
voice singing evocative lyrics, has a beat that gets under your skin, fascinating
rhythm, and a real theatrical power. It’s new."
Award-winning poet, playwright,
essayist, composer and nationally-touring performance artist,
Moïse creates intimate, fiery, politicized, texts about the
intersection of race, class, gender, sexuality, spirituality, culture and resistance.
Her hip-hop bred, jazz-infused delivery is at once conversational and polished.
Fueled by the motto “Words rouse worlds,” she regularly presents interactive
performances and workshops that empower diverse groups of people to creatively
speak up and act for social change. Moïse has been a guest artist at the United
Nations, the Culture Project, the Louisiana Superdome, the Omega Institute and
dozens of theatres, colleges and conferences across the United States and Canada.
Moïse's writing is published in a number of anthologies, including Word
Warriors: 35 Women Leaders in the Spoken Word Revolution,
We Don't Need Another Wave: Dispatches from the Next Generation
of Feminists and Brassage: An Anthology of Poems by
an NYU graduate, has appeared in many productions. Her favorite
roles include: on film/TV, Guiding Light (CBS), Burn
After Reading (directed by the Coen Bros.), Hi-5 (TLC), Gossip
Girl (CW), Law and Order: Criminal
Intent (NBC), The Knights
of Prosperity (ABC), Redhook (Showtime); in theater, Expatriate,
The Culture Project; Max and Ruby, Lucille Lortel; Drift,
NYMF; Young Sistas, Vital Theater Company. Mosley has also
performed in jazz concerts with her cousin, the late 'Doc'
Cheatham, and Dakota Staton. She is also on the International
Board of Covenant House and does awareness work with the
National Eating Disorder Association. For more information,
visit www.karlamosley.com opy