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Cultural Fusion's debut at the Alexis & Jim Pugh Theater was Crowns: A Gospel Musical Play, which used women's hats to explore such themes as cultural identity and love of family. It featured (left to right) Jade Jones, Caila Carter, James Brown, Sissly Peoples, Phedre Brown and Chrystol Ingram. Carter will be back to play Billie Holiday in the upcoming Lady Day at Emerson's Bar & Grill. A Gospel Musical Play, presenting two shows at the 297-seat Alexis & Jim Pugh Theater. In Crowns, a young woman heals from tragedy — and learns more about her family — through the exquisite hats worn by her grandmother and her friends on special occasions. In February of this year, Cultural Fusion was back with Anna in the Tropics, which tells the story of Cuban immigrants working in the Ybor City cigar industry at the turn of the 19th century. Written by Nilo Cruz, Anna won the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for Drama. The two-show run earned critical kudos. Coming up is Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill, by Lanie Robertson, which is tentatively set for September 9 and 11, also at the Alexis & Jim Pugh Theater. Because ���������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� �������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� of dates, times and ticket prices. Expect this one to be riveting. Lady Day reveals a heroin-addicted Billie Holiday (played by Caila Carter, a Disney performer who also appeared in Crowns) only a few months before her death from cirrhosis and heart failure in 1959. The setting is South Philadelphia, where 28 artsLife | FALL 2016 the down-and-out jazz legend is struggling through a painful gig at a seedy bar. Accompanied by a pianist, she sings her hits — including her immortal version of the haunting “Strange Fruit” — and shares stories about her harrowing life. Also at the Alexis & Jim Pugh Theater, Brown will restage Anna on October 30, in conjunction with Hispanic Heritage Month. Next, on December 4 and 5, will be Peter Udell’s Christmas is Comin’ Uptown. The holiday show is based loosely on A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, but with a ������������ ���������� �������� ���� �������������� �������������� ������������������ Hines played Scrooge during the show’s Broadway run in 1979.) Next May, Brown wants to produce Radio Golf,��������������������������������������������������������������- �������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� performed in 2005 by the Yale Repertory Theatre and had its Broadway premiere in 2007, winning the New York Drama Critics' Circle Award for Best Play. It was Wilson’s �������������������� For Brown, Cultural Fusion is a logical extension of what he’s done his entire life. He attended Ohio State University, but dropped out to work as a laborer in a steel mill. All the


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