Stepping Out

'Rosetta' rocks on

Kevin Berne/Special to the Town Crier
Sister Rosetta Tharpe (Michelle E. Jordan, left) and Marie Knight (Marissa Rudd) perform together in “Marie and Rosetta.”

TheatreWorks Silicon Valley presents the musical “Marie and Rosetta” through Sunday at the Lucie Stern Theatre, 1305 Middlefield Road, Palo Alto.

Developed at TheatreWorks’ 2015 New Works Festival by Lucille Lortel Award winner George Brant, “Marie and Rosetta” is based on the true story of musician Sister Rosetta Tharpe, who stirred up churchgoers in the morning and rocked the Cotton Club at night. She inspired Elvis Presley, Ray Charles and other famous singers on her way to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Growing competition on the 1940s gospel circuit finds Rosetta auditioning a new partner with a voice made in heaven. Will she and Marie Knight break, blend or find harmony at last?

“Marie and Rosetta” opened Off-Broadway in 2016 at the Atlantic Theatre Company, won the Edgerton New Play Award that year and has since been seen on stages throughout the country.

Robert Kelley, TheatreWorks’ founder and artistic director, directs.

Bay Area actors Michelle E. Jordan and Marissa Rudd star as Rosetta and Marie, respectively. Both are TheatreWorks veterans. Jordan received a Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle Award for her performance in the TheatreWorks production of “Dreamgirls.” Rudd was recently seen in the holiday musical “Tuck Everlasting” at TheatreWorks as well as in the New Works Festival.

Performances of “Marie and Rosetta” are scheduled 2 and 7:30 p.m. today, 8 p.m. Thursday and Friday, 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday and 2 and 7 p.m. Sunday.

Tickets are $40-$100.

For tickets and more information, call 463-1960 or visit

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