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'Super Freak: The Rick James Story' makes its way to Shea's Buffalo


Wed, Feb 7th 2024 05:35 pm

Celebrate the king of punk-funk March 20

Press Release

A charismatic, flamboyant, provocative musician, Rick James dominated the airwaves with his infectious song “Super Freak.” His fusion of funk, groove and rock made the unruly pioneer the trendsetter of the ’80s.

Always outrageous, James was a master of celebration – and now the party lives on through “Super Freak: The Rick James Story,” coming to Shea’s Buffalo Theatre for a limited performance on March 20.

With a stellar cast, breathtaking choreography, and popular hits such as "Give It to Me Baby," "Mary Jane" and "Super Freak," this musical odyssey bursts to life on the gritty streets of Buffalo – the backdrop for the arrival of the king of punk funk.

With his iconic braids and leather-clad body, James’ flamboyant and rebellious stage persona takes center stage as we follow his turbulent life: tracing his rise to stardom, his chart-topping hits, and the profound impact he made on modern music as a brilliant hitmaker, and influential producer.

Produced by acclaimed writer/producer/director Je'Caryous Johnson and Ty James (James’ only daughter, and president of the Rick James estate), “Super Freak: The Rick James Story” is based on the books “Glow” by Rick James and David Ritz, and “Memoirs of a Superfreak,” by Rick James, and is written by Johnson, J Kyle Manzay and Troy Byer.

Johnson, who has earned acclaim for his dynamic and immersive theatrical productions, expressed his excitement about bringing James' story to the stage.

"Rick James was a true trailblazer whose influence continues to resonate in today's music landscape,” he said. “With 'Super Freak: The Rick James Story,' we aim to honor his unparalleled talent and captivating persona, giving audiences an unforgettable experience."

Ty James, who has been instrumental in preserving and promoting her father's musical legacy, shared her enthusiasm for the production: "This project is a labor of love and a tribute to my father's extraordinary life. I’m thrilled to collaborate with Je'Caryous Johnson to create an authentic and exhilarating portrayal of Rick James' journey, showcasing his musical genius and larger-than-life spirit."

James was Motown’s hottest artist in the ’80s, releasing chart-topping hits "Super Freak" and "Give It To Me Baby" on his 1981 LP, “Street Songs.” These tracks showcased James' mesmerizing bass lines and infectious grooves that beckoned listeners to the dance floor. He was a sought-after producer, working on hits for Eddie Murphy (“Party All the Time”), The Temptations (“Standing On The Top”), The Mary Jane Girls and Teena Marie.

"Super Freak: The Rick James Story” takes audiences beyond the glittering facade. The musical explores the layers of Rick's internal struggles and insane lifestyle filled sex, drugs and music. From humble beginnings to the glitzy, hedonistic world of Hollywood, "Super Freak: The Rick James Story" captures the essence of a musical icon, leaving audiences with an unforgettable experience and the resounding declaration, "He's Rick James, B*tch!

Tickets for this limited time engagement start at $52.75 and can be purchased at jecaryous.com or ticketmaster.com.

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