In the upcoming bioplay A Lady Must Live, Salli Richardson-Whitfield is set to play legendary singer and actress Lena Horne. The show will explore a major span of Horne’s life, taking place “backstage after the first preview of ‘A Lady and Her Music,’ as Horne wrestles – emotionally and physically – with her ghosts, struggling to rework her show to recount her life story with more candor and complexity.”
The project has been in the works for years, and Richardson-Whitfield and her team have launched a fundraising campaign to workshop the play.
Back in 2011, Richardson-Whitfield performed as Lena Horne for the Jenesse Silver Rose Gala which sparked something in her. After that event, so many people came up to her, some of which knew Lena and said stated how she was “Lena”. In an interview with Shadow & Act, Richardson-Whitfield expressed her love for Lena Horne and how she’d really love to do it as a movie, but she loved singing and being on Broadway in New York.
Salli actually left Hollywood to go back to performing on stage. Which is why she thought that, A Lady Must Live should be a Broadway show, because that really was true to her heart. Her manager introduced her to Rikki Beadle Blair to assist with the playwright and it was written. And now they need the money to do the workshop. The workshop is the first step of a production, and then you present that for the really big investors to take it to Broadway or start in LA at one of the bigger theaters.
The reason Salli chose to raise funds for this first step of doing the workshop, was to have a certain amount of control. She is really counting on this help and support because it’s just such an important story to be told.
Salli Richardson-Whitfield is calling on her friends, fans and family to help her make this happen, not just for herself, but really to get another one of our icon’s stories out there, and done right, and done by us, not a movie about us that’s directed and written by people that aren’t us.
For more information about A Lady Must Live, find Salli Richardson-Whitfield on Facebook @sallirw and Twitter @sallirichardson. To support this project visit, www.kickstarter.com/projects/782467956/a-lady-must-live.