It’s billed as a musical of love songs by women for women, but that’s only half the story. The fourth annual production of Ladies Preferred, a benefit for the Kick Agency for LGBT African-Americans that takes place Sunday, Sept. 21, includes a twist. The women singing love songs to other women are singing to them songs made famous by men.
That’s right, the lovely ladies of song featured in this production – Carla Beasley, Kim Kat and Andrea Wilson – will be singing songs originally sung by such soulful heavyweights as Marvin Gaye, Teddy Pendergrass and The O’Jays.
“The musical tells a love story in three acts – wanting, drama and admiration,” explained Kick’s Curtis Lipscomb, who conceived the show and developed it along with Damon “Magic” Percy and M. Terrence Sampson.
Directing this year’s performance is Wilson, who made her debut in the show two years ago.
“I had never really performed in front of an audience with a band,” Wilson recalled. “So it was scary and exhilarating at the same time. The live response from an audience, it’s like a rush.”
Wilson and her co-stars picked out the 16 songs they’ll be singing themselves.
“I told them to listen to the radio and think about songs they really liked and just start writing down a list,” she said. “Then we got together and compared our lists and categorized them under the three act headings. It was a collaboration between the three of us, and Curtis allowed us to do that.”
Wilson said that this year’s performance also includes a new spin.
“In the past, it’s always been feminine women and now with year’s cast we’re appealing to the fems and the studs,” she said. “We’re just trying to give it a new spin. That’s what my primary function has been. We’re just trying to make it a more elegant and full evening.”
Emceeing the show will be poet Kalimah “Lock Mama” Johnson, and the band K’MoSOUL will be accompanying the singers. Following the performance, there will be a reception with the cast. The show takes place at 1515 Broadway, across from the Detroit Opera House. Doors open at 6:30 and the show will begin promptly at 8 pm. Tickets are $25 and can be ordered in advance at http://www.e-kick.org.