Backstage Pass with Lia Chang

Atlantic Theater Company’s MARIE AND ROSETTA Starring Kecia Lewis and Rebecca Naomi Jones Extends Until Oct. 16

Atlantic Theater Company’s world premiere production of George Brant’s play with music, Marie and Rosetta, starring Kecia Lewis (Mother Courage, Once on This Island) and Rebecca Naomi Jones (American IdiotHedwig and the Angry Inch) and directed by Atlantic Artistic Director Neil Pepe, has been extended an additional two weeks by popular demand.

Rebecca Naomi Jones and Kecia Lewis in George Brant's Marie and Rosetta. (© Ahron R. Foster)

Rebecca Naomi Jones and Kecia Lewis in George Brant’s Marie and Rosetta.
(© Ahron R. Foster)

Marie and Rosetta began previews Wednesday, August 24, officially opened September 14 and will now play through Sunday, October 16 Off-Broadway at Atlantic Theater Company’s Linda Gross Theater (336 West 20 Street).

Marie and Rosetta recently received a 2016 Edgerton Foundation New Play Award.

A huge influence on Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Ray Charles and Jimi Hendrix, Sister Rosetta Tharpe (Lewis) was a legend in her time, bringing fierce guitar-playing and swing to gospel music. Tharpe was the queen of ‘race records’ in the 30’s and 40’s, a woman who played guitar as passionately as Clapton, who performed mornings at churches and evenings at the Cotton Club, who was a big enough star to fill a baseball stadium for her third wedding, but ended up buried in an unmarked grave in Philadelphia. Marie and Rosetta chronicles Sister Rosetta’s first rehearsal with a young protégée, Marie Knight (Jones), as they prepare to embark on a tour that would establish them as one of the great duet teams in musical history.

Kecia Lewis recently starred in the title role of Mother Courage Off-Broadway. She made her Broadway debut as “Effie” in the original company of Dreamgirls, originated the role of “Asaka, Mother of The Earth” in Once on This Island and has appeared in the Broadway musicals Big RiverAin’t MisbehavinThe Gospel at ColonusThe Drowsy ChaperoneChicago and earned a Drama Desk Award nomination for her performance in Dessa Rose at Lincoln Center Theatre.

Rebecca Naomi Jones has performed in the Broadway musicals American IdiotPassing Strange, and most recently as Yitzhak in the hit revival of Hedwig and the Angry Inch. She has appeared Off-Broadway in Murder Ballad, Big Love and The Fortress of Solitude and recently starred in Martyna Majok’s play Cost of Living at Williamstown Theatre Festival.

Sister Rosetta Tharpe was widely acclaimed among the greatest Sanctified gospel singers of her generation; a flamboyant performer whose music often flirted with the blues and swing, she was also one of the most controversial talents of her day, shocking purists with her leap into the secular market – by playing nightclubs and theaters, she not only pushed spiritual music into the mainstream, but in the process also helped pioneer the rise of pop-gospel.

Marie and Rosetta will feature scenic design by Riccardo Hernández, costume design by Dede Ayite, lighting design by Christopher Akerlind, sound design by Steve Canyon Kennedy, music direction by Jason Michael Webb and casting by Telsey + Company.

Atlantic Theater Company’s Linda Gross Theater is located at 336 West 20 Street (between 8 and 9 Avenues).


Regular tickets begin at $75, with a limited number of $49.50 tickets available for performances Tuesday-Thursday, plus weekend matinees. Order online at, by calling OvationTix at 866-811-4111, or in person at The Linda Gross Theater box office (336 West 20Street between 8 and 9 Avenues).


Tuesday at 7pm, Wednesday-Saturday at 8pm, Saturday and Sunday at 2pm.

Wednesday matinee at 2pm on October 5, October 12.

Season A-Passports can be purchased online at, by calling OvationTix at 866-811-4111, or in person at the Linda Gross Theater box office (336 West 20 Street, between 8 and 9 Avenues) Tuesday through Saturday from 12:00 – 6:00pm.

For information on Atlantic Theater Company A-Passports, visit or email

Click here  for the Lia Chang Articles Archive and here for the Lia Chang Photography Website.

My Birthday Visit to MARIE AND ROSETTA with André De Shields, Garth Kravits, Anthony Chisholm and More at Atlantic Theater

Lia Chang_photo by Garth Kravits

Lia Chang_photo by Garth Kravits

Lia Chang is an actor, a multi-media content producer and co-founder of Bev’s Girl Films, making films that foster inclusion and diversity on both sides of the camera. Bev’s Girl Films’ debut short film, Hide and Seek was a top ten film in the Asian American Film Lab’s 2015 72 Hour Shootout Filmmaking Competition, and she received a Best Actress nomination. BGF collaborates with and produces multi-media content for artists, actors, designers, theatrical productions, composers,  musicians and corporations. Lia is also an internationally published and exhibited photographer, a multi-platform journalist, and a publicist. Lia has appeared in the films Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon, Taxman and Hide and Seek. She is profiled in Examiner.comJade Magazine and

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