In recent years the Capri Theater has done a splendid job of revitalizing the arts in North Minneapolis. The latest triumph being a performance by iconic vocalist-songsmith JD Steele with renowned singer-actor Dennis Spears and sterling performer Greta Oglesby for the music program All Together Now, Sing! Capri Glee. Also pitching is ace theatre veteran, actor-director Kevin D. West. The outreach endeavor began early last month and continues through March 11 with a public performance March 12.
JD Steele (he and his siblings are famed ensemble The Steeles) is well known for reaching out to educate and empower people through music. Point in case, in 2009, he worked with kids from Kenya as the group Shangilia Mtoto Wa Afrika. He brought them to the Ordway Center for a tour that included New York City, Chicago and Singapore. He told Twin Cities Daily Planet at the time that with the African youngsters interacting with American students, “It gives the kids here an international connection. Makes them more global in their thinking. In their artistic thinking, academic thinking, intellectual thinking. Just thinking globally, ‘cause the world is shrinking.” Between then and 2012, he basically shuttled back and forth between the U.S. and countries like Kenya and Tanzania to work with youth choirs. So, Capri Glee is right up his alley. “I am looking very much forward to doing the performances at the Capri Theater. I have the fortunate opportunity to collaborate with Dennis Spears and Greta Oglesby along with Kevin West. I am performing with members of our community at whatever level they are at. It’s been exciting rehearsing and collaborating with everyone that’s been attending the rehearsals. We are doing a wide variety of musical stylings. I have had the great pleasure of collaborating with Dennis and Greta over the years on a variety of projects. Looking forward to this community based projects allows us to share our creative talents.” Sounds like a plan.
Offering four musical experiences for students and adults, Capri Glee has a pair of 6-week sessions. It runs early April through mid-May and culminates with a community musical theater production in the summer of 2015. All programs are free, open to the public and are held at the Capri on West Broadway. You can register at www.thecapritheater.org or call 612-643-2024. The programs are: Elementary After-School Choir, High School After-School Music Club, Adult Community Choir and the Summer Community Musical directed by West and Moore By Four’s Sanford Moore.