Simone Says

Musical prodigy and civil rights activist Nina Simone was a fiercely independent, vocal woman. Shadow Theatre's musical Simply Simone touches on all aspects of her life, from her long musical career — she started playing the piano at age three and continued recording until her death, in 1993 — to her romances, her relationship with her family, her self-exile in Liberia and her ultimately fatal bout with cancer. "We have four extraordinarily talented ladies playing Nina at four periods in her life, from a child to a seasoned adult," says Shadow stage manager Arnold King.

Opening tonight at 7:30 p.m., Shadow brings Simone’s inspiring story to life through her music, with songs including "I Loves You Porgy," "The Look of Love," "My Baby Just Cares for Me," "Take Me to the Water" and "I Put a Spell on You."

"The performance builds to an interesting ending — not a surprise ending, but I think it will catch people off guard," says King. "The show is meant to uplift people and celebrate life."

Shadow is at 1468 Dayton Street in Aurora; tickets are $25. For more information, call 720-857-8000 or go to
Fridays, 7:30 p.m.; Saturdays, 3 & 7:30 p.m.; Sundays, 6:30 p.m. Starts: April 30. Continues through May 23, 2010

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Mark Dragotta