Blackbird: The Story of Josephine Baker

By Sherman Yellen

MUSIC BY: Wally Harper

April 18 – May 13, 2012

This funny, sexy, exuberant world premiere, written by an award-winning playwright, traces the life of Josephine Baker from Jim Crow America to Paris, where she became a stage sensation. Hold on to your seats as the Bronze Venus takes our theater by storm with her barely-there dresses and no-holds-barred dance routines. Baker is the ultimate rags-to-riches story despite the difficult times in which she lived.

The play opens in 1919 with Josephine as a young girl determined to escape the grinding poverty and racial violence of her world through nerve, talent, wit, and an unbreakable will. She grows from unschooled ghetto teenager from East St. Louis to a sophisticated, self-educated entertainer right before your eyes.


Official Josephine Baker site


Women in History

Red Hot Jazz: Josephine Baker's biography

Internet Movie Database (MD)

Interesting facts about Josephine Baker

  • Dropped out of school at 12 and lived on the streets of East St. Louis
  • Toured U.S. with vaudeville show, dancing and performing comical skits
  • Opened in Paris in 1925, where she became an instant success for her exotic dancing
  • Rose to celebrity status in France but not in the US until 1973
  • Said to have received 1,500 marriage proposals