Decades of Divas

Decades of Divas

Bio

A little over a year ago, I happened upon an entertainer singing at an outdoor concert on the beach in Point Pleasant, NJ, who just grabbed me. I found myself thinking, "This is one of the best singers I've heard in a while," and then I watched my thoughts validated when she got one standing ovation after another. Before I knew it, I had quickly joined the audience in their roaring appreciation.

So I immediately sought out Lisa Sherman after the show, and she told me she had been a Radio City Music Hall Rockette, had done several Broadway shows, and even had starred in her own TV show in New Zealand for nine years. She then mentioned she was preparing for her third annual headlining appearance at the historic Count Basie Theatre, in Red Bank, NJ, and asked my thoughts on her next project, DECADES OF DIVAS, a musical journey with the world's most influential women who have re-invented and revolutionized music. Not only did I love the idea, but it sparked a fire in me that refuses to go out.

For the past year, I've been building a production around Lisa's concert concept with a whole new twist. My thought was to have the stage flanked by two distinct nightclub sets - one called G-Dog's Jazz Café and the other called the Roxie Lounge. Running between them is a street with lamp posts called - what else? - Memory Lane. Behind it all is a silver screen showing films and stills of all of the great show biz divas from the 1940s to the present, and some of their unmistakable moments that have changed music history.

One year later, DECADES OF DIVAS has become a reality. The bands are rehearsing and the dialogue has been written connecting the Divas to their eras. Soon DECADES OF DIVAS, the musical production show, will be born, and shortly thereafter, it will hit the road and cross the country, and who knows where after that.

After a lifetime of producing records and performing, and 25 years since earning an Academy Award, Golden Globe and Grammy nomination, I'm realizing an entirely new dream. DECADES OF DIVAS is my first attempt at producing a show, and while I certainly hope you'll wish me luck, I know from experience when that good feeling inside is going to bring its share of luck, too. Hope to see you there!

– Franke Previte, Academy Award-winning composer from the movie "Dirty Dancing."

PERFORMANCES:

Saturday, Nov. 8, 2014 - Count Basie Theatre, Red Bank, NJ

Saturday, Feb. 21, 2015 - Strand Center for the Arts, Lakewood, NJ

DECADES OF DIVAS is a Songbird Production, created by Franke Previte and Lisa Sherman, and written by Franke Previte - Executive Producer: Franke Previte - Musical Director: Gerald Carboy - Director and Choreographer: David M. Beris - Production Consultant: Dennis D'Amico - Production and Administration Manager: Patrice Samara.

Press Releases

February 10, 2015
New Musical Journey Down Memory Lane Celebrates Songs of Billie Holiday, Aretha Franklin, Dolly Parton, Carole King, Janis Joplin, Diana Ross, Barbra Streisand, Whitney Houston, Madonna, Adele, and Many More

POPULAR NJ SHORE VOCALIST-DANCER LISA SHERMAN LEADS ARSENAL OF SINGERS AND MUSICIANS IN ACCLAIMED NEW ALL-AGES PRODUCTION

SATURDAY, FEB. 21 AT STRAND CENTER FOR THE ARTS IN LAKEWOOD, NJ

"There were lots of mountain highs... and they didn't spare any 'wow' moments."
– Asbury Park Press

"I can't wait to get on the air tomorrow to tell everybody how great this show is."
– Big Joe Henry, NJ 101.5

WATCH THE ‘DECADES OF DIVAS’ VIDEO EPK

LAKEWOOD, NJ (Feb. 10, 2015) - Academy Award-winning songwriter Franke Previte (Dirty Dancing) is helping his show biz friends realize their musical dreams by volunteering his guidance in producing DECADES OF DIVAS, a dazzling musical journey with the world's most influential women in re-inventing and revolutionizing music from the 1940s through the present.

DECADES OF DIVAS plays the second show of its national tour Saturday, Feb. 21, 2015 at the Strand Center for the Arts, 400 Clifton Ave., Lakewood, NJ. Show time is 7:30 p.m. Tickets $59, $49, $39, and $29 on sale NOW at www.strand.org or through the box office at 732.730.5925.

DECADES OF DIVAS stars popular New Jersey shore vocalist-dancer Lisa Sherman, the show's co-creator, who leads an arsenal of singers and musicians across a pair of nightclubs (G-Dog's Jazz Café and the Roxie Lounge) and right down Memory Lane, which runs between them, to evoke and pay tribute to the greatest divas we've embraced through the decades. DECADES OF DIVAS features the songs of Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, Etta James, Aretha Franklin, Tina Turner, Dolly Parton, Carole King, Janis Joplin, Celine Dion, Donna Summer, Whitney Houston, Bonnie Raitt, Diana Ross, Barbra Streisand, Madonna, Adele and so many more! Indeed, there is something in every genre for EVERY generation to enjoy.

"These legendary divas and songs are part of the fabric we, and the generations before us, all grew up with and loved," says Previte, who's donating his consulting efforts because of his steadfast belief in the project. "So the show follows each singer passing the torch to the next. The performers show how they're influenced by each diva . They don't just sing the songs and sound like the artist. There's a theatrical thread throughout. It's a journey of five singers celebrating the divas who have influenced them."

Previte, who earned an Academy Award, Golden Globe, and Grammy nomination for writing "(I've Had) The Time of My Life," the iconic No. 1 hit from Dirty Dancing, is helping Songbird Productions bring to fruition a multi-media experience which comes to life in large part through the multiple performing talents of Sherman, the show's creator, and a former Radio City Rockette, veteran of several Broadway shows, and star of her own TV show in New Zealand. She's supported by some of the tri-state region's most dynamic and "unsung" singers - Layonne Holmes, Eryn Shewell, Reagan Richards and Jilly Sentino - and backed by musicians who've played with Bruce Springsteen, Jon Bon Jovi, Mariah Carey, Lou Reed, Art Garfunkel, Les Paul, Dave Mason, Gloria Gaynor, and the Nelson Riddle Orchestra, among others.

DECADES OF DIVAS is a Songbird Production, created by Lisa Sherman - Creative Consultant: Franke Previte - Musical Director: Gerald Carboy - Director and Choreographer: David M. Beris - Production Consultant: Dennis D'Amico

High-Res Images

October 20, 2014
Decades of Divas Salutes Music's Greatest Leading Ladies From The 1940s To The Present

Academy Award-Winning Songwriter FRANKE PREVITE Presents Musical Journey Down Memory Lane with Songs of Billie Holiday, Aretha Franklin, Dolly Parton, Carole King, Janis Joplin, Diana Ross, Barbra Streisand, Whitney Houston, Madonna, Adele, and Many More

POPULAR NJ SHORE VOCALIST-DANCER LISA SHERMAN LEADS ARSENAL OF SINGERS AND MUSICIANS IN WORLD PREMIERE SATURDAY, NOV. 8 AT COUNT BASIE THEATRE IN RED BANK, NJ

RED BANK, NJ (Oct. 20, 2014) – Academy Award-winning songwriter Franke Previte (Dirty Dancing) is realizing an entirely new musical dream in his debut as a show producer with DECADES OF DIVAS, a dazzling musical journey with the world’s most influential women in re-inventing and revolutionizing music from the 1940s through the present.

DECADES OF DIVAS makes its world premiere ahead of a national tour Saturday, Nov. 8, 2014 at the Count Basie Theatre, 99 Monmouth St., Red Bank, NJ. Show time is 8 p.m. Tickets $59, $39, $29 and $19 on sale NOW at www.countbasietheatre.org or through the box office at (732) 842-9000.

DECADES OF DIVAS stars popular New Jersey shore vocalist-dancer Lisa Sherman, the show’s co-creator, who leads an arsenal of singers and musicians across a pair of nightclubs (G-Dog’s Jazz Café and the Roxie Lounge) and right down Memory Lane, which runs between them, to evoke and pay tribute to the greatest divas we’ve embraced through the decades. DECADES OF DIVAS features the songs of Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, Etta James, Aretha Franklin, Tina Turner, Dolly Parton, Carole King, Janis Joplin, Celine Dion, Donna Summer, Whitney Houston, Bonnie Raitt, Diana Ross, Barbra Streisand, Madonna, Adele and so many more! Indeed, there is something in every genre for EVERY generation to enjoy.

“These legendary divas and songs are part of the fabric we, and the generations before us, all grew up with and loved,” says Previte. “So the show follows each singer passing the torch to the next. The performers show how they’re influenced by each diva. They don’t just sing the songs and sound like the artist. There’s a theatrical thread throughout. It’s a journey of five singers celebrating the divas who have influenced them.”

Previte, who earned an Academy Award, Golden Globe, and Grammy nomination for writing “(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life,” the iconic No. 1 hit from Dirty Dancing, has put together a multi-media experience which comes to life in large part through the multiple performing talents of Sherman, a former Radio City Rockette, veteran of several Broadway shows and star of her own TV show in New Zealand. She’s supported by some of the tri-state region’s most dynamic and “unsung” singers – Layonne Holmes, Eryn Shewell, Reagan Richards and Jilly Sentino – and backed by musicians who’ve played with Bruce Springsteen, Jon Bon Jovi, Mariah Carey, Lou Reed, Art Garfunkel, Les Paul, Dave Mason, Gloria Gaynor, and the Nelson Riddle Orchestra, among others.

DECADES OF DIVAS is a Songbird Production, created by Franke Previte and Lisa Sherman, and written by Franke Previte - Executive Producer: Franke Previte - Musical Director: Gerald Carboy - Director and Choreographer: David M. Beris - Production Consultant: Dennis D’Amico - Production and Administration Manager: Patrice Samara.

Decades of Divas

Randy Alexander

President & CEO
906 Jonathan Lane
Marlton, NJ 08053
856.596.1410

High-Res Images