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Buzz on PEARL

LIU Kumble Production Video 2014

By Hayley Levitt     July-2015

The Midtown International Theatre Festival finds a gem with Pearl, a musical homage to legendary singer, actress, and African-American pioneer Pearl Bailey. Soulfully directed by Ben Harney, CB Murray writes a book that effectively portrays Bailey's unorthodox — and often dangerous — position straddling white and black culture in mid-20th-century America. Jennie Harney is brilliant both vocally and dramatically as this titan title character, evolving from a naïve young girl into a seasoned, eye-catching performer, hardened by life and love. 









"Pearl is a must-see play and it will enable the audience to emulate her life and foster empowerment at a time when real courage is at an all-time low."


Buzz on PEARL!









Playing the role of Pearl is the brilliant and stunning Jennie Harney. Her classic and timeless performance of this once in a lifetime role is easily categorized in “must see performances.”  Behind her is a cast of men who take on the deep themes, and multiple character roles, with ease. “Pearl” is a testament to everything that is good about seeing live theatre, especially an original work. With a script containing the perfect amount of complexity and fun, an amazing cast, and a driving artistic team, anything is possible for this show.


Buzz on PEARL!
"Pearl" is a real treat! I loved every bit of it. Stephen Dexter, you rock! As did the entire cast. What a mammoth undertaking in 90 minutes, and you all handled it with such grace and fluidity. Bravo to the writer and director, as well. So much fun to sit in an audience and have the "call" and "response" button pushed, and we played along-----felt like a groundling listening to one of Henry's rousing speeches. I love theatre when this happens. Within minutes, we were all participating in the show (so to speak) and we lost ourselves in the story. Job well done, Everyone.

~Benard Cummings~ Professor at SMU Meadows School of the Arts



Buzz on PEARL!

"Pearl" is quite wonderful--and has more heart than some shows on Broadway! Who would know more about the late, great, Pearl Bailey than her relative, whose created this new musical? Jennie Harney as "Pearl" is simply a shining star! Writer/choreographer CB Murray and director Ben Harney have done wonderful work! Proud of my Dreambro's! Go see it folks!

~Lee Summers~ Butterfly Theatricals


Buzz on PEARL!

There's a diva in the house and, believe me, you're going to pay attention. The incomparable Pearl Bailey, as embodied by the lovely and talented Jennie Harney in "Pearl", will have you laughing, crying and marvelling at the strength she brings to life's challenges and at the crystal clarity of her powerful voice.

C.B. Murray's book, direction and choreography move the show along briskly through the highlights of Ms. Bailey's private and public lives with a combination of touching vignettes, elegant hoofing and classic songs that will trigger many fond memories in the minds of Baby Boomers. Mr. Murray, a great nephew of Ms. Bailey, discloses numerous details of his great aunt's life (some quite surprising) without sacrificing one second of riveting entertainment.

Jevon McFerrin and Eric Whitehead, competent song-and-dance men, play multiple supporting characters ranging from waiters to celebrities like Nat King Cole and Bob Hope who were prominent figures in Ms. Bailey's life. The three-piece band provides excellent accompaniment throughout the show. Mr. Murray's book gives the supporting cast and the band opportunities to shine without deviating from the story line.

However, the show belongs to Ms. Harney, lock, stock and barrel. The daughter of Tony award winner Ben Harney ("Dreamgirls"), she's a triple threat legacy whose performance will mesmerize any conscious being fortunate enough to witness her considerable talents.

"Pearl" is a must see which deserves much more than the limited run it had at Studio 501 @CAP 21. I'd see it again without hesitation.
~Charles White~  New York City Black Theater Network

Buzz on PEARL!
A Celebration of Pearl Bailey, the Untold Story!

~Richard Skipper~

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"The reviews for PEARL have been overwhelmingly positive. This is a true gem!"


Buzz on PEARL













Buzz on PEARL







"A Must See!" ~ Stephanie Simon 


Buzz on PEARL

Saw "Pearl" a musical love-letter tribute to the incomparable Pearl Bailey tonight. It was delightful!The cast is outstanding. Kudos to CB Murray on this production.

~Cheryl Lane~ - Playwrights Horizons

Buzz on PEARL

"The perfect choice for the part of Pearl Bailey – Jennie Harney.

A Must See."


​Buzz on PEARL!

Just came from seeing Pearl based on the life of Pearl Bailey. Wonderfully directed by CB MUrray.Starring the beautiful and talented Jennie Harney and flanked by talented actors and singers Eric Whitehead and Jevon McFerrin.The production was extremely well recieved by the audience. Please go out and see this show.TREAT YOURSELF to a PEARL.October 17th through 21st. Enchanting and enlightening.

~Rynel Johnson~


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"This show is better than several Broadway shows I've seen recently. It should be on Broadway!"

​~AllOverNewYork~Events New York Dailey News

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"The audience was informed that Pearl is a work in progress and that they will continue polishing and refining it toward higher levels of artistic perfection. Hmm, from the standing ovations and the many soul-touching moments, one wonders how in the world it could get any better."



Buzz on PEARL!
"Pearl" was fantastic!! Jennie Harneys' voice cannot be stopped!!! Why is she not on Broadway?!?
~Denise D.~

Buzz on Pearl!
I loved the show! The 3 actors and the band all gave stellar performances.  I am interested in seeing it again, maybe even the final performance on Sunday. I think this is the type of performance that should have a longer run. Bravo to all!

~Josie P.~


Buzz on Pearl!

I saw a show today in the Midtown International Theatre Festival written by fellow LISTer Charles B. Murray IV that blew me away.  I didn't want it to end.  So I'm sharing the glad tidings and letting you know when you too can fall in love with Pearl Bailey all over again.  I'm going back.Or you could wait til it hits Broadway.

~ Misti Tindiglia~ THE LIST

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