I have always been in love with television, movies, musicals, variety shows and the stars that were a part of it all. There is not a time – even to this day – when I am not excited about a performance, a big variety, a musical’s debut or an opportunity to make this musical happen.
From “Shades Of Harlem” at the Village Gate in New York that launched my musical theatre career to the Ray Charles musical, “I Can’t Stop Loving You” from Reno, Nevada to Lyons, France musical theatre has helped me define my life.
My Father brought the gift of voice into my DNA and I am grateful. He was an exquisite Concert Tenor and spent most of his career concertizing ---- Negro Spirituals and European operas and Sacred Works.
Thank you Daddy for the vocal “genes”. My cousin Phillis remembers when Daddy would be coaching me at 2 years old. She said he would be teaching a song and would stop me when I got even one note wrong…Mind you, I was two! And he would say to me, as my cousin recounts, “No, Branice Earline, that’s not the note, sing it again!” Of course, I don’t remember that at all – but I believe it.
I started piano lessons at six years old and was a somewhat prodigy. After six years of lessons, I asked my parents if I could stop and surprisingly they said yes! Those six years continue to be my rock.
So much of my professional career has been musical and music revues…And also co – creating musicals: "Celebrate Kwanzaa" at the New Jersey Performing Arts and the up and coming musical, partnering with the magnificent Becky Potter, the family musical “Planet For Children” that is on its way into every household.
I have also been honored to be acknowledged and nominated -
Theatre Bay Area Awards
Nomination: for “Dance Of the Holy Ghosts” at Ubuntu Theatre Project (2018)
Marquee Theatre Journalists Association (MTJA)
Nomination: for “To Kill a Mockingbird” at 6th Street Playhouse
Shades Of Harlem, 1984
Branice McKenzie with Jeree Wade and Ty Stephens in the Cotton Club Musical: Shades Of Harlem. Opened at The Village Gate, New York City in 1984
“Dance Of the Holy Ghosts”, Ubuntu Theatre Project (2018)
--- Posters of 3 productions musically directed by Branice ---