Jazz and Soul at Brooklyn’s Café Denim

Nikita White as Ella Fitzgerald.
Photos by Yugo Pittman
Photo by Yugo Pittman

“SS Nirvana” a story of love and Jazz on the high seas will make its Brooklyn premiere on Sunday, June 24, at the new Café Denim, 1114 Franklin St. from 3:00 p.m.

The swinging play will be presented as dinner theatre to celebrate the grand opening of this new fine dining venue. The SS Nirvana’s stage is set as “Madame Royale’s” supper club, a marvelous, magical room that spotlights legendary artists both past and present.

This entertaining fantasy takes place aboard an imaginary cruise ship called the “SS Nirvana” where the passengers list is international and very, very prestigious. Nightly performances in costume, song and verse include the music of Nikita White as Ella Fitzgerald, TC III as Johnny Hartman, Joy Ryder as Anita O’ Day, Ghanniyya Green as Sarah Vaughan and Natasha C. Coward as Madame Royale.

The show is brilliantly highlighted when Louis Armstrong (played by trumpeter Charles Bartlett) unexpectedly comes aboard the ship and decides to sit in with the band. Audiences are taken aback by Bartlett’s “just like Armstrong sound.”

According to Roselle Hayward, co-producer for June 24 show, “when I closed my eyes it’s just like going back in time and hearing all these great artists again.” As the show musically sojourns through the 30’s, 40’s, 50’s and 60’s, the cast performs the music of our lives.

Under the musical direction of Marcus Persiani, SS Nirvana boasts a collection of 30 tunes that are high-spirited up-tempo arrangements as well as memorable heart wrenching ballads. The show is flavored with witty and brief, true-life dialogue that links one song to the next. As the audience sings along they will instantly connect for the entire show and become reminiscent of a sweeter time.

More from Around NYC