Review: Josephine

The story of Josephine is one heck of a story.

By Katrina Turchin: BTR Writer and Minimalist Explosion

It’s hard to capture an entire person’s lifetime in 75 minutes, especially someone as exciting as Josephine Baker, but Josephine succeeds.

Josephine tells the story of Baker, an American-born performer who moves to Paris and becomes an international star. Baker was revolutionary, being the first black woman to star in a major motion picture. However, she was more than just an entertainer — Baker was also a French Resistance agent during the Second World War and an American Civil Rights activist. 

The play sums up Baker’s life in a performative way and highlights the most exciting, challenging, and glamorous moments of Baker’s career. From living during the race wars to stringing along a line of ex-lovers to performing to raving reviews — Baker did it all.

In terms of Fringe shows, Josephine will likely be one of the smoothest shows you see. Tymisha Harris was made for the role of Baker, and her melodic voice carries the show with ease. The stunning costume changes will amaze you, as will the costumes themselves. Each one is extremely detailed, especially the banana girdle which is a replica of Baker’s most iconic prop. 

The show is plenty playful with raunchy humour and some audience participation. It’s exuberant, fun, and watching Harris own the stage is a wondrous sight to behold.

Josephine is a triumphant story about a star-born woman who never stops running, even when she’s on top. The remaining in-person performances are sold out, but you can still catch the show streaming on Fringe TV, and I highly recommend you do.


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