N'Kenge: Dat's Love
International award-winning songstress N'Kenge has been heralded by The New York Times as "a classically trained diva that can stretch from Broadway to Pop, Soul, and Opera". Trained at both The Juilliard School and Manhattan School of Music, N'Kenge's vocal and musical range spans 5 octaves and 11 languages.
N'Kenge made her Broadway debut in "Sondheim on Sondheim", and slayed the game on Broadway originating the role of Mary Wells in "Motown: The Musical", which garnered a Grammy Award nomination for Best Musical Theater Album.
On January 24, 2018, as part of the "Broadway at The Pierre" cabaret series in association with Broadway Sings for Pride, a concert was held at Two E Bar/Lounge — the sophisticated saloon located inside the New York City luxury hotel, The Pierre. The concert featured a performance by N'Kenge, backed by pianist and musical director Chris Curcio.
N'Kenge performed the song "Dat's Love" (Habanera in Bizet's opera) during the concert, where Shefik served as Videographer. "Dat's Love" is from "Carmen Jones", a 1943 Broadway musical with music by Georges Bizet (orchestrated for Broadway by Robert Russell Bennett) and lyrics and book by Oscar Hammerstein II which was performed at The Broadway Theatre. Conceptually, it is Bizet's opera Carmen updated to a World War II-era African-American setting. Bizet's opera was, in turn, based on the 1846 novella by Prosper Mérimée. The Broadway musical was produced by Billy Rose, using an all Black cast, and directed by Hassard Short. Robert Shaw prepared the choral portions of the show.
The original Broadway production starred Muriel Smith (alternating with Muriel Rahn) in the title role. The original Broadway cast members were nearly all new to the stage.
The 1954 film was adapted by Hammerstein and Harry Kleiner. It was directed by Otto Preminger and starred Dorothy Dandridge and Harry Belafonte.
The musical has also been revived in London, running for a season in 1991 at London's Old Vic and most recently in London's Royal Festival Hall in the Southbank Centre in 2007.
In 2018, it was revived off-Broadway at the Classic Stage Company, under the direction of John Doyle and Anika Noni Rose in the title role.
- Videographer: Shefik
Last Updated: December 6, 2022