The Frankie Lymon Story’ Brings Doo-Wop Back to D.C. Theater
by: Micha Green Special to the AFRO November 9, 2017
A local nonprofit organization dedicated to fostering cross-cultural understanding, increasing awareness and preserving the legacy of Black heritage in the Black Theatre, recently put on a production of Fool in Love: The Frankie Lymon Story in Silver Spring, Md.
While it still may not be apparent why fools fall in love, Live Garra Theatre’s production, currently playing at Silver Spring Black Box Theatre, chronicles the rise and fall of the teen, doo-wop and rhythm and blues sensation.
Cast members Lori Williams, Rayshun Lamarr (Frankie Lymon) and Roz White perform during the “Fool in Love: The Frankie Lymon Story” stage play in Silver Spring, Md. Directed by D.C. director Thomas W. Jones II, the fast-moving, finger-snapping, and foot-tapping show transports audiences to the early 1950s when Lymon was just a little boy, singing with his family, working as a grocery boy, and pimping on the streets, to the very end of his life, when he died of an overdose at 25.
Despite the tragic ending of Lymon’s life, the powerhouse cast, featuring the high-energy and impressively high-pitched singing of Rayshun Lamarr (Lymon), and the sweet, soulful, and sometimes, sensual sounds of Roz White and Lori Williams help audiences to understand what made the young artist great and memorable almost 50 years after his death in 1968.
“It’s a classic retelling of a story that should be heard historically and you have someone who is a pioneer in this music. We know about the Little Stevies of the world… but the Frankie Lymons of the world become obsolete. You don’t hear so much about them or their lifestyles so we want to make sure their story is told accurately and authentically,” said ensemble member, and professional singer and music teacher, Lori Williams.