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DCMetroTheatreArts   “Black Pearl Sings! is an absorbing production with an uplifting message. Don’t miss! It is a memorable performance, replete with history and magic.”



"Pearl has a decision to make, give Susannah what she wants or keep the song hidden for the next generation. This is just one of the many soaring moments of Black Pearl Sings! that not only touches on the importance of preserving our history, no matter how painful and thorned, but also how just plain hard it is to be a woman, no matter what the color of your skin."


On Tap Online

"...exploding with songs and narratives that delicately address timely social issues while exposing the harsh, yet comical, realities of the past. “

Black Pearl Sings!

Frank Higgins' play features two extraordinary women in Depression-era Texas. An ambitious Library of Congress musicologist, searching for the African roots of slave songs, discovers the musical gifts of an African-American woman with a soulful voice and steely spirit.

Black Pearl Sings! is a powerful evocative story of how they must work together to fulfill the goals of both these women. Theirs is a journey of race and reconciliation, religion and tenacity, the historical search for the origins of indigenous folk music, the preservation of the musical heritage of a people, and ultimately of healing and understanding.

Based on legendary folk singer/guitarist Huddie William Ledbetter “Lead Belly” and his work with LoC folklorists John and Alan Lomax, the work adds the additional dimension of gender and the courage it took for women to break outside of their jails.

Thomas W. Jones II directs, whose production last year of the play in San Diego won critical and popular acclaim. Local singer-actress Roz White reprises her lead role from a 2016 production at MetroStage in this drama with over 20 American folk and spiritual songs and “inhabits the role of Alberta 'Pearl' Johnson like it was created for her blessed with a voice that resonates and captures the soul of the music with a strong gospel uplift.” Susan Galbraith steps out of her New Music-Theatre Artistic Director role, returning to the stage in the supporting role of Librarian Susannah.

After each show,we will have a post-show discussion to provide audience members the opportunity to deepen their experience by engaging with other group members in an informal gathering and sharing in discussions to understand the deeper intentions of the show’s creators.


Tickets available on-line and at the door


Universalist National Memorial Church

In the Spooky Action Theater

1810 16th Street NW (NW corner of 16th & S Streets)

Free Parking available - Masonic Temple lot

1 hour before & after each show

Enter from Riggs Place off 16th St

View larger map here

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April 17- May 5, 2019

Running time: ~2 hrs with intermission.

Performance Schedule:

Wednesday, April 17, 8pm

Thursday, April 18, 8pm - Press/Opening Night

Saturday, April 20, 3 pm -Matinee

Saturday, April 20, 8pm

Monday, April 22 8pm - Industry Night

Wednesday, April 24, 8pm

Thursday,April 25, 8pm

Friday, April 26, 8pm

Saturday, April 27, 3 pm - Matinee

Saturday, April 27 8pm

Sunday, April 28 3pm

Wednesday, May 1, 8pm

Thursday, May 2, 8pm

Friday, May 3, 8pm

Saturday, May 4, 3 pm - Matinee

Saturday, May 4 8pm

Sunday, May 5 7pm

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