“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
DECADES OF DIVAS is a dazzling musical journey through time with the world’s most influential women of song. DECADES OF DIVAS re-invents and revolutionizes music from the 1940s through the present. Popular New Jersey shore vocalist-dancer Lisa Sherman, the show’s creator, leads an arsenal of singers and musicians across a pair of nightclubs (G-Dog’s Jazz Café and the Roxie Lounge) and straight down Memory Lane, which runs between them, to evoke and pay tribute to the greatest divas we’ve embraced through the decades. Featuring 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.
• DECADES OF DIVAS has performed to rave reviews and wildly enthusiastic audiences since premiering in November, 2014 at the Count Basie Theatre in Red Bank, NJ
• DECADES OF DIVAS features timeless music to an multigenerational, ageless demographic – a barrage of hits , capturing one unforgettable song after another, from the 1940s to the present
• Core demos: Men & Women 25 and up; LGBT
• Adaptable in customizable formats and time lengths, with orchestra or core band (4 to 12 pieces with horns and violins), and option to insert legacy stars
• View the Electronic Press Kit at www.decadesofdivas.com
CAST AND CREATIVE
Decades of Divas’ creative team has over 10 “decades” – more than 100 years– of combined production experience, and includes a Tony Award winner, Academy Award winner, and Golden Globe winner, as well as a producer with Paul McCartney and many other Grammy winning artists. Sherman, also a former Radio City Rockette, veteran of several Broadway shows, and star of her own TV show in New Zealand, is supported by some of the East Coast’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.
Writer / Director
Mark Medoff is a Tony Award-winning, Oscar-nominated writer and actor, known for CHILDREN OF A LESSER GOD (1986), HOMAGE (1995) and CITY OF JOY (1992). Medoff won Broadway's 1980 Tony Award as author of Best Play winner for CHILDREN OF A LESSER GOD. The show also earned Medoff an Olivier Award and Drama Desk Award. He was nominated for an Academy Award and a Writers Guild of America Best Adapted Screenplay Award for the film script of CHILDREN OF A LESSER GOD and for a Cable ACE Award for his HBO Premiere movie, Apology. Mark also received an Obie Award for WHEN YOU COMIN' BACK, RED RYDER? Medoff's feature film REFUGE was released in 2010. He also is co-founder of the American Southwest Theatre Company and head of the Department of Theatre Arts at New Mexico State University, and currently is teaching Screenwriting and Acting for Film, Short Film Production, and Film Directing and Producing.
Franke Previte is an Academy Award winning composer from New Jersey who before co-writing the iconic No. 1 hit, “(I’VE HAD) THE TIME OF MY LIFE” and “HUNGRY EYES,” the two DIRTY DANCING smashes that rocketed the blockbuster movie’s soundtrack to No. 1 on the Billboard charts for 18 straight weeks and have propelled it to worldwide sales of over 50 million. Previte won the Oscar and Golden Globe and was nominated for a Grammy for “(I’ve Had) the Time of My Life,” a songwriter’s songwriter’s trifecta that surpassed his wildest dreams in a career that started in the ‘60s as lead singer in the Oxford Watch Band and continued in the ‘70s with the metal band Bull Angus. He was well-known in the ‘80s as the leader of hit-makers Franke and the Knockouts (the Top 10 hit “Sweetheart”).
Dennis J. D’Amico
With over 40 years in entertainment, Dennis owns a very well rounded expertise in a career that began as an actor and songwriter and performer on the NYC club circuit. Migrating to the business side of show biz, Dennis cast many Broadway shows such as SINGIN’ IN THE RAIN, FIDDLER ON THE ROOF, and IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE, His work in film includes best picture OUT OF AFRICA, SANTA CLAUS THE MOVIE, 9 1/2 WEEKS and A WOMAN OR TWO. Dennis has written, directed and produced many TV commercials, produced a world premiere ballet at Lincoln Center and produced and directed many Off- Broadway shows, and contributed his many talents to STANGE INTERLUDE starring GLENDA JACKSON and AREN’T WE ALL with REX HARRISON and CLAUDETTE COLBERT. Every year Dennis produces charity events that raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for breast cancer, children’s cancers, autism, scleroderma and animal’s rights. Composer of over 500 songs, he has contributed music to several TV commercials, theatrical productions and films. Dennis served as Executive Producer of THE GARLAND MUSIC SERIES, and Exec Director of The Garland Appeal USA which commemorates the incredible life of LINDA McCARTNEY and fights cancer through the healing power of music. The projects are all supported by SIR PAUL McCARTNEY.
Creative Advisor / Marketing
Founder and president of Randex Communications entertainment publicity firm, Randy has been named a “tastemaker” by the Philadelphia Inquirer, one of “24 People to Watch” by SJ Magazine, and one of South Jersey Magazine’s “Names to Know,” preceded by 20 years as a three-time award-winning entertainment columnist covering music, TV, radio, Atlantic City casinos and numerous lifestyle stories for The Trenton (NJ) Times. Randex Communications was nominated “Publicity Firm of the Year” in the New Music Awards/Hollywood, and Randy was twice nominated as “Top Publicist” in the NARIP Best in the Biz Awards. Randy is an executive board member of the Philadelphia Music Alliance (Walk of Fame), and member of the Entertainment Publicists Professional Society, Broadcast Pioneers, and Grammy® Recording Academy. A 2013 guest speaker of the Kresge Artist Fellows in Detroit, he also is a frequent guest lecturer in university classrooms, as well as moderator, panelist or mentor for SXSW, CMJ Music Marathon, NARAS, and Garden State Film Festival. He has been sought for national TV appearances and often gets quoted nationally as an industry expert.
Gerald Carboy formulated THE METHOD, an instructional methodology widely used and accepted by musicians and music instructors across the nation. He has performed around the world at Montreux Jazz Festival, Switzerland with Kevin Eubanks and Dee Dee Bridgewater, and toured Europe with David Sancious and the Chris Hinze Combination. He also has performed with Tal Farlow, Vic Juris, Vinnie Corrao, Bob Devoe and Doug Clark Alex Ligertwood, Rob Paparozzi, Jeanie Bryson, Jackie Jones, and dozens more, and also has shared the stage Return to Forever, Larry Coryell, Chick Corea, Pat Martino, George Duke, Stanley Clarke, Peter Frampton, Ahmad Jamal, Kansas, Hot Tuna, Santana, and countless others. Carboy is also an original member of the charity organization Holiday Express, whose mission is to deliver music, food, gifts, financial support and friendship to those with the greatest need for the gift of human kindness during the holiday season and throughout the year.
Drums & Percussion
Asst. Music Director
Asst. Music Director
Lisa has spent 15 years on Broadway as a singer-dancer and shared the stage for 4 years with the NYC Rockettes at Radio City Music Hall. She’s been seen in many TV commercials and soap operas, in addition to being a Maidenform lingerie model. Lisa has a degree in Dance-Exercise Kinesiology and spent nine years in New Zealand as creator and star of her own TV exercise program. Lisa has performed at many theaters, including: the historic Apollo, the Algonquin, the Count Basie, the Strand, and BB King’s in Times Square. In 2014, Lisa performed with the Asheville Symphony Orchestra in a tribute to Paul McCartney. Lisa has shared the stage with Mary Wilson (The Supremes), LuLu( “To Sir With Love”), Gary US Bonds, Southside Johnny, Danny Aiello, and Bobby Bandiera (Bon Jovi) just to name a few. With the tribute craze taking over, Lisa has created and presented: “The Disco Connection,” “The Best of Three Dog Night,” and her latest production “The Best of Bonnie Raitt.” DECADES OF DIVAS is certainly one of Lisa’s most intriguing productions, however, Lisa’s greatest achievement is being a Mom to her daughter Chelsea.
Layonne Holmes has a repertoire that includes funk, soul, jazz, blues and rock ‘n’ roll. Layonne has stage and studio experience, and continues to broaden her horizons by performing with world-class musicians and adding songwriting to her credentials. Layonne has been featured in many Rock ‘n’ Soul Revues produced by Bon Jovi guitarist Bobby Bandiera, and is a member of Bon Jovi’s side project, Kings of Suburbia. Layonne has shared the stage with many music luminaries, including Darlene Love, Phoebe Snow, Southside Johnny, Gary U.S. Bonds, Ben E. King, Lesley Gore and Beth Nielsen Chapman. In 2001, she backed Bruce Springsteen at Madison Square Garden for the internationally-televised “9/11 Tribute to Heroes” telethon.
Reagan has sung with the likes of Les Paul, David Gray, Lisa Loeb, Michael Des Barres, Darlene Love and Jon Bon Jovi. Currently half of the rising country duo, Williams Honor, Reagan says, "Getting to work with such great artists has given me even more passion to do this. My inspirations are endless. As early as I can remember, this is all I've wanted to do. Singing, writing, performing and connecting with people is what I do best, ‘cause God knows, I can't cook."
A Southern-flavored vocalist known as the Jewel of New Jersey, whose influences range from the O’Jays to Joni Mitchell, Eryn is an 18-time Asbury Park Music Award Nominee and 3-time winner who has performed all over the U.S., with incredible vocals that have given chills to the most hardened critics. She has recorded and shared the stage with Gregg Allman, Don McLean, Gin Blossoms, Johnny Winter, Walter "Wolfman" Washington, Marcia Ball, Eric Lindell, Bernard Purdy, and many more. Performing since she was 10, she currently leads her own band, Eryn Shewell & the Whiskey Devils.
THE MAKING OF ‘DECADES OF DIVAS’
A couple of years 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 earned one standing ovation after another. Before I knew it, I had quickly joined the audience in its 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 helping his show biz friends realize their musical dreams by volunteering my guidance in building a production around Lisa’s concert concept with a whole new twist. The stage would be 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, has been born, and already, it is preparing to hit the road and cross the country, and who knows where beyond 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 helping anyone produce 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.”
DECADES OF DIVAS is a Songbird Production, starring created by Lisa Sherman ▪ Writer / Director: Mark Medoff ▪ Creative Consultant: Franke Previte ▪ Musical Director: Gerald Carboy ▪ Producer:
Dennis J. D’Amico ▪ Creative Advisor: Randy Alexander
© 2014 - 2015 Decades of Divas All Rights Reserved
Booking: I FLY Entertainment • Dennis Diamico • 973 903 7665