Jackie Moms Mabley was born Loretta Mary Aiken in 1894 or 1897, depending on which tombstone you choose to believe. She was born in Brevard, North Carolina to the town’s most successful Negro businessman, Jim, and his wife, Mary Aiken. Lorretta hit the road performing in 1915 as a dancer and singer and eventually planted roots in our nation’s capital as a stand-up comedian. She was eventually invited to the White House by both Jimmy Carter and Lyndon B. Johnson who sought her advice on social issues. This play takes place in the 1950’s through the 1970’s when Jackie Moms Mabley was a vaudeville singer and dancer. She begins to audition as a solo performer in hopes of earning more money to move her family to Washington, DC.
The role of Jackie Moms Mabley is inhabited by Washington DC native Dr. Sylvia Traymore Morrison, who is the first celebrated and renowned African American Female Impressionist in the history of this country. Dr. Morrison has worked as an associate writer for Saturday Night Live, hosted a roast of Muhammad Ali, and toured with Whitney Houston. She is the author of “Almost There, Almost: The Many Faces of Sylvia Traymore Morrision” which is based on her true life story.