Prime Video subscribers fell in love with Girls’ trip the new series from designer Tracy Oliver, Harlem. The show follows four friends in their 30s who lean on each other for support as they try to balance life, love and careers. The series is bursting with talent, with the lead roles belonging to Meagan Good, Jerrie Johnson, Grace Byers and Shoniqua Shandai. He gives real black girl magic in all 10 episodes of the first season, including in a scene set around a fictional musical adaptation of Get out (written by Sukari Jones.)
In the series, Shandai plays Angie, a struggling actress who reluctantly auditions and is hired for a background role in a musical adaptation of Get out. If you scroll through any Twitter timeline with the #Harlem, it becomes clear that Go out: the musical is one of the highlights of the series.
Many fans of the show believed the musical was real and immediately searched for tickets now that Broadway is open again. But they were disappointed to find out that the musical is indeed fictional. Now fans are asking for the TV version to be translated on stage.
Pop Culture spoke with the playwright responsible for the fictional musical show. Jones says it was a dream to merge his love of seeing positive images of black women on television with his passion for musical theater. she also hopes Get out of creator Jordan Peele has their eyes set on the series and that in due course they can potentially collaborate on an actual musical adaptation of the popular thriller.
PC: Pop Culture is delighted to speak with you. Obviously, we watched The Amazing Harlem on Amazon Prime Video, and you are responsible for the brilliant creation of Go out: the musical. Everyone is now wondering if there is going to be a real one Go out: the musical and how has the fan reaction been to you?
SJ: I like people to talk about musical theater. I wish there was a Go out: the musical in real life. I am here for this. The fans have been really generous and excited and it’s great because it’s such a wonderful show that I wish I had years ago. So I feel very honored to be a part of this.
Have you actually heard or consulted Jordan Peele for his endorsement or advice, before or since the series was available to stream? We can’t say too much in case everyone isn’t in the final episode yet. But, he is mentioned in the series. Have you heard of him? Have you heard of any of his people or any of the other stars in the movie?
I love that you think I’m about to be Jordan Peele’s best friend. I think we should continue to manifest this and I hope it will all come true someday. So no. Hopefully, he’ll see it, bless it, and think we’re all really talented. But, I know Amazon Studios and their production company are a vibe together. I just hope he sees it, and loves it, and me, and that we can become besties in real life.
So obviously the show Harlem chronicles the lives of four African American women and their magical black girl essence at different stages of love life and careers, and their friendships travel with them and help them navigate life in the big city and to the city. outside. And above all, with the whole Go out: the musical focuses on the character of Angie, played by Shoniqua Shandai. She is one of the background characters in Get out. So what was it like working with her to prepare for the role of the mock musical?
It’s so great to work with a real actor who also loves musical theater. We definitely vibed about it and got a bit of a fan-girl about it. And it was just like some kind of like spirit. And she’s really great. And we went to this party together and she had big butterflies in her afro and we were immediately like twins.
Overall, what attracted you to the project Harlem, to even want to participate in something like that apart from being able to infuse musical theater into your work of life?
Honestly, I wish there were more shows about beautiful black women who are friends. Like where is it really? I want more. I want more of a show. I was drawn to the show in the project because my raison d’être on planet Earth is to create and advocate works centered on three-dimensional black women who are trope-less, who are not back- plan. And it was so exciting to bring the satire, the comedy to life in a show that already does everything right.
I don’t know how involved you were in being able to contribute to the script outside of the musical and the choreography and songs and all that, but there was a very pivotal moment where the character of Angie must deal with micro-aggressions with the main character or his role in the play would be compromised. I was speaking to Broadway star Yurel Echezarreta recently about his work on Broadway about whether or not there had been a push for diversity in the cast so that stuff doesn’t necessarily happen. Where are you on that spectrum and what has been your experience in terms of what we’ve seen Angie’s character take care of?
Oh, so we go from micro to macro? I think it is, it goes without saying that I am 100% here for the continued and endless civil rights movement in America that is happening not only for black people, but for people of color around the world, not only in musical theater, but in all aspects of the arts, which is so important because it creates a mirror for us and the only people who don’t are the monsters. I feel like I’m doing everything in my power, which is everything artistically, to continue to help create mirrors for the baby girl version of me and hopefully other versions. for small children of other people who do not match the kind of price standards. So obviously Shoniqua and I are really twins because all of us, I think, part of coming to this world for many women of color is figuring out how to be together in a world that sometimes wants to cut you into size pieces. ‘a mouthful.
In what ways do you feel like the Go out: the musical is an additional benefit for the series?
Well, hopefully that’s some extra laughter in a show that already gives you a lot of similar breaths and what’s going to happen next, and I need to play right now. I think it’s kind of like satire, themed, full of comedy, but also depth, so hopefully it’s like something to chew on that looks like a gummy candy that lasts longer. a moment.
Do you hope to be a part of the show in the coming seasons to be the backdrop to Angie’s career?
Obvi. Anything, any path I can get in. It’s such a fabulous show and it’s such a wonderful and instantaneous new institution not only for black people but for anyone who loves to laugh, anyone who just loves to tell good stories. Clearly, I would love to be a part of it. Tracy knows this technology. So just scream.
And before you leave, if you could just talk a little bit about the process of making something for a show because it’s so unique – I’ve never really seen it done that way.
So, it was definitely an exciting experience for me coming from the hidden world of theater. Basically it was just me and my two buddies, Benj and Justin who are known, I guess, like famous guys Pasek and Paul, but for me they were just cool guys that we did BMI together, the BMI Lehman Engel Musical Theater workshop. And it was just us hearing from Tracy what the idea was, talking with Mimi and Ferrell, which is such a ridiculous line, hearing Mimi and Ferrell what the concept was, and then having fun and then either way of pushing. to push it or not to push it, push it. And that was sort of our process and the making of the songs.
And you were responsible for creating all the songs and lyrics and everything, or was it a collaboration between the whole team besides your two friends?
No. We were the creative team that concocted the songs and inside of that we kind of collaborated on the music and the words, but strangely enough the way this is supposed to work is that the songwriter is supposed to be firmly in its lane and then the lyricists are supposed to be resolutely in the other lane. But there is like an unbroken collaboration and a bit before we are a romantic couple, I would say. From the outside we look like a weird couple, but we’re actually the greatest love story ever because I never had to beg for space to be heard or to attract. attention. It was more like “Yeah, do whatever. Tell us what to do” in some kind of benevolent dictatorship I was in.