Backstage Pass with Lia Chang

Lia Chang: Marva Hicks and the Columbus Jazz Orchestra light up the Southern Theatre with a “A Night at the Apollo”

Marva Hicks_photo by Lia Chang
Broadway actress/vocalist Marva Hicks shares the stage with the Columbus Jazz Orchestra, under the direction of Artistic Director Byron Stripling, at the Southern Theatre for “A Night at the Apollo,” in Columbus, Ohio from April 13-17, 2011. The Jazz Arts Group of Columbus (JAG) is celebrating music greats like Dinah Washington, Ella Fitzgerald, Gladys Knight, James Brown, Otis Redding, Sam Cooke and many others whose careers were launched by this legendary finishing school, in honor of Jazz Appreciation Month. Click here for the interview between Columbus Jazz Orchestra Artistic Director Byron Stripling and Ms. Hicks.

Marva Hicks Photo by Lia Chang

Marva Hicks Photo by Lia Chang

Born in Petersburg, Virginia, Marva Hicks first started her early career as a gospel singer. After a short stint with the group Eighties Ladies, Ms. Hicks appeared on Broadway in Lena Horne: The Lady and Her Music for nearly three years. During a tour in London, she met Stevie Wonder. She began touring with him during the mid-80s and sang background vocals on his album, Characters. She then signed with Polydor in the late ’80s and released her debut album, Marva Hicks, in 1991, with the R&B hits “I Got You Where I Want” and “Never Been in Love Before.” As a gospel singer, Ms. Hicks is a featured vocalist on the Broadway Inspirational Voices Choir’s Christmas CD, GREAT JOY. She has toured the world with Whitney Houston, James Ingram, and Michael Jackson for HisTORY tour. In this 1996 video clip, Ms. Hicks duets with Michael Jackson on “I Just Can’t Stop Loving You” in Royal Brunei.
In addition to Lena Horne: The Lady and Her Music, other roles on Broadway include Rafiki in The Lion King and The Radio in Tony Kushner’s Caroline or Change. Off-Broadway, she appeared in Caroline, or Change (The Public Theater); with Leslie Uggams in Thunder Knocking on the Door (Minetta Lane) and Leslie Lee’s The First Breeze of Summer, directed by Ruben Santiago Hudson (Signature Theatre); with blues great Ruth Brown and Allan Toussaint in STAGGERLEE (Second Avenue Theater); and The Bikinis (Queens Theatre in the Park).

A favorite at Arena Stage in Washington, DC, the award-winning performing artist has worked on five productions including Duke Ellington’s Sophisticated Ladies, starring Broadway legend Maurice Hines, for which she is nominated for a Helen Hayes Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress, Thunder Knocking on the Door (Helen Hayes Award for Outstanding Lead Actress), The Women of Brewster Place, Crowns and Charles Randolph Wright’s Cuttin’ Up. Other regional credits include her role as Etta Mae in the world premiere of The Women of Brewster Place at The Alliance Theatre (Atlanta’s Suzi Award for Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical); as Bess in a Jazz and Blues adaptation of Porgy and Bess (B. Iden Payne Award) at the Zachary Scott Theater Center in Austin, Texas; It’s Better With a Band (Prince Music Theater); Elliot Ness in Cleveland(Cleveland Playhouse), Twist (Walnut Street Theatre), One Mo’ Time, Sing Mahalia Sing, Bubbling Brown Sugar, and the US Tour of A…My Name Is Alice. Her film and TV credits include Assunder, starring Blair Underwood, Virtuosity, starring Denzel Washington, as Jacarra Principle on the ABC Daytime Soap Opera “One Life to Live” from 1997-1998, and guest starring roles on “L.A. LAW,” “Star Trek: Voyager,” “Mad About You” and “Sister, Sister“. She has been commissioned by Arena Stage to create and star in a solo musical piece about her journey in show business as a woman of faith.

Single tickets are available through the CAPA Ticket Office for $49 (main floor), $46 (first balcony) and $41 (second balcony). Tickets are available by phone at 614-469-0939 and through all Ticketmaster outlets. For more information call 614-294-5200 or visit for more information.

The Columbus Youth Jazz Orchestra (CYJO) is proud to perform prior to Sunday’s afternoon matinee at 1 PM. Admission to CYJO is free with 2 PM matinee ticket.

The Swingin’ at the Southern music series is presented by the Jazz Arts Group with ongoing support from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Ohio Arts Council, the Greater Columbus Arts Council, the Columbus Foundation and the Westin Columbus.

“A Night at the Apollo”
April 13-17, 2011
Southern Theatre – CAPA
21 East Main Street
Columbus, OH 43215

Here is the link – – to post this article on Facebook.
Below Vintage Marva Hicks singing “One Good Reason”

Reviews and Listings:
The Columbus Dispatch Review: Columbus Jazz Orchestra -Band and soloists soar in tribute to the Apollo Marva Hicks with the Columbus Jazz Orchestra Gospel Truth with Marva Hicks

Other Articles by Lia Chang:
Marva Hicks to Star in Concert of Pat Holley’s R&B/Pop Musical, Me & Caesar Lee at Triad Theatre, 3/27, 4/3 & 4/10
House of Payne-“Payneful Visit” Episode features Denise Burse as Claretha Jenkins on TBS
André De Shields stars in Chicago Premiere of Charles Smith’s The Gospel According to James at Victory Gardens 5/14-6/12
Peter Jay Fernandez in Theatre for a New Audience’s Macbeth at The Duke through April 22
Ruby Dee, Alicia Keys and Sidney Poitier Among Honorees at Woodie King, Jr.’s New Federal Theatre’s 40th Anniversary Gala at Edison Ballroom on May 22
Up Close and Personal with Darren Pettie, Star of The Milk Train Doesn’t Stop Here Anymore
Photos: David Duchovny, John Earl Jelks, Amanda Peet,Tracee Chimo opening night of Neil LaBute’s The Break of Noon
Photos and Video of Kenny Endo Taiko Artist at Skirball in NYC
Multimedia: Exclusive photos and video of Disney’s The Lion King Las Vegas -In the Makeup Chair with Thom Sesma
Multimedia: Promises, Promises’ Stars Kristin Chenoweth and Sean Hayes at Lord & Taylor Fifth Ave
Living Colour NYC Concert Photos
Click here for the Lia Chang Articles Archive.

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All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2011 Lia Chang Multimedia. All rights reserved. All materials contained on this site are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of Lia Chang. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content. For permission, please contact Lia at

Lia Chang Photo by Brianne Michelle Photography

Lia Chang Photo by Brianne Michelle Photography

Lia Chang is an actor, performance and fine art botanical photographer, and an award-winning multimedia journalist.

As a photographer and videographer, Lia collaborates with artists, organizations and companies in establishing their documentary photo archive and social media presence. She has been documenting her colleagues and contemporaries in the arts, fashion and journalism since making her stage debut as Liat in the National Tour of South Pacific, with Robert Goulet and Barbara Eden. Lia currently plays Nurse Lia on “One Life to Live”. She has appeared in Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon, Taxman and “New York Undercover”.

Selections of Lia’s archive of Asian Pacific Americans in the arts, fashion, journalism, politics and space are now in the newly created LIA CHANG THEATER PHOTOGRAPHY PORTFOLIO in the ASIAN PACIFIC AMERICAN PERFORMING ARTS COLLECTION housed in the Library of Congress Asian Division’s Asian American Pacific Islander Collection.

Lia’s portraits and performance photos have appeared in Vanity Fair, Gourmet, German Elle, Women’s Wear Daily, The Paris Review, TV Guide, Daily Variety, Interior Design, American Theatre,, Life & Style, OUT, New York Magazine, InStyle,,,,,, The Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, USA Today, The Boston Globe, New York Times and Washington Post. A former syndicated arts and entertainment columnist for KYODO News, Lia is the New York Bureau Chief for She writes about culture, style and Asian American issues for a variety of publications and this Backstage Pass with Lia Chang blog.

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