HELP ME, WANDA!
CAPITAL FRINGE FESTIVAL 2017
Gutsy, original, boundary-busting, bad-ass.
One of the original rock n’ rollers, Wanda Jackson toured with Elvis and Jerry Lee Lewis while making records as uninhibited as any of her male counterparts. Inducted into the Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame in 2009, Jackson created a powerful legacy that can be heard in everything from the in-your-face attitude of the riot grrrl movement to the raw emotion of Adele.
Taking inspiration from the “sweet lady with the nasty voice,” veteran entertainer Toni Rae Salmi performs her original one-woman rock cabaret celebrating the barrier-bashing Queen of Rock as part of the 2017 Capital Fringe Festival.
Inspired by Jackson’s far-reaching influence, Help Me, Wanda! includes interpretations of both rockabilly favorites from Jackson’s catalog to more contemporary songs from the likes of Jack White and Elle King.
Our original performances at Capital Fringe Festival 2017 were at Solly's U Street Tavern, but Help Me, Wanda! is now part of the 2017 Capital Fringe Extension Week at the Logan Fringe Arts Space Trinidad Theatre!
IN THE MEDIA:
'HELP ME, WANDA!' HELPS FRINGE WIND DOWN WITH A BANG
"Creator and star Toni Rae Salmi takes major inspiration from rockabilly wailer Wanda Jackson to craft an entertaining and well thought-out cabaret act that could have you crushing on both songstresses. 'Help Me, Wanda' feels like a party, and Salmi is a charmingly vulnerable and wickedly talented host."
- Review via The Washington Post
2017 CAPITAL FRINGE REVIEW: HELP ME, WANDA!
"Backed by a four-member band upstairs at Solly’s Tavern, Salmi also weaves through her set an inspiring and autobiographical woman-centric narrative about mustering confidence and gumption to stand one’s ground in a world staked out by men. It was rockin’ music mixed with moxie, and a crowd-pleaser from beginning to end."
- Review via DC Metro Theatre Arts
(5 Stars: BEST OF FRINGE!)
A CAPITAL FRINGE PEEK OF HELP ME, WANDA!
"Early in the process... I asked Toni to sing some of Wanda’s “Let’s Have A Party.” Always up for a challenge, Toni let out her first Wanda growl, and there was only one way to describe it: Sweet lady. Nasty voice."
- Preview via DC Theatre Scene
THE CAPITAL FRINGE FESTIVAL IS BACK FOR 2017...
"The night's first big jolt of energy came from Toni Rae Salmi, whose one-woman cabaret Help Me Wanda pays loving tribute to Rock and Roll Hall of Fame legend Wanda Jackson... Salmi blazed the stage with her rendition of Elvis Presley's "Hard Headed Woman."
- Fringe Preview via DCist
PRESS RELEASE →
Creator: Toni Rae Salmi
Director: Shane Solo
Music Director: Felix Pagés
Technical Director: Mike Salmi
Toni Rae Salmi (Lead Vocals)
Hector Moncada (Guitar)
Moe Hendawi (Bass)
Ryan Ciliax (Drums)
Felix Pagés (Keys, Vocals)
Brittany Alyse Willis (Vocals)
HELP ME, WANDA! is presented as part of the 2017 Capital Fringe Festival, a program of the Washington, DC non-profit Capital Fringe.
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DISTRICT MISFITS is a DC performing arts collective dedicated to providing a creative home for artists who don’t always fit a particular genre and rebelling against any system that expects them to.
We want to conspire with people of all disciplines to create and unleash experiences that cultivate a sense of community for the artists and audiences we bring together.
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