Anyone who listens to my advice for performers starting out knows that I recommend putting yourself on. That is creating your own projects that showcase your talents to the fullest. The lesson is this: don’t wait to be discovered.
Local actor Charisma Wooten has “put herself on” in her fantastic one-woman show, A Night with Jackie “Moms” Mabley, which she has performed for the last 17 years at Germano’s Trattoria Cabaret Theatre in Baltimore.
Accompanied by pianist Gwendolyn Jennifer, who plays piano player Luther, Wooten sang many of Mabley’s signature tunes (“Mom’s Medley”, “Uptown Blues”), and puncuated the performance with many jokes that were, if not exactly “blue”, where just a little shade a of gray.
“Moms” Maybley also known as Loretta Mary Aiken, like Wooten, was born in North Carolina and took her stage name from an ex-boyfriend. Billed as “The Funniest Woman in the World,” Maybley was a poplular comedian on the Chitlin’ Circuit in the South (i.e. performance venues in the southern United States that were acceptable for African-American musicians, comedians, and other entertainers to perform at during racial segregation.)
Nominated for a WAMMIE for Best Cabaret Theatre by the Washington Area Music Association, Wooten put on a memborable performance, full of songs, jokes an vignettes, that will leave you clapping, laughing and toe-tapping.