Everyone has a story. Some people choose to tell their story through writing, speaking or music. Mt. Laurel resident Renee Chambers, a Broadway veteran, television star and local choreographer, tells her and her father’s story through the combination of all of these mediums.
Chambers will be performing a live, musical story called “Genre: A One Woman Show” about her and her father’s lives in the music and entertainment business. The performance is scheduled for Saturday, April 11 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Jersey Java and Tea in Haddonfield. Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door.
“I think people should come because we as people need an outlet. Sometimes life is tough, and we need to express ourselves. For me, this is a celebration, and I’m inviting everyone. Come to my party, we’re going to laugh and just for us to have fun and enjoy each other’s company,” Chambers said.
Chambers always had a love for music, growing up in a musical family. She was born to Sandra Person-Pratt of the doo-wop group “The Orlons” and Roland Chambers III, a famous songwriter and producer at Philadelphia Sound/Philadelphia International Records. In and out of her house were famous musicians such as Patti LaBelle and B.B. King from her father’s work.
However, Chambers wanted to do more with her life; she wanted to use her triple threat talent and get on Broadway. At the age of 19, Chambers achieved her goal and performed in various shows and with various groups all across the world in places such as Japan, Germany and Switzerland.
She did that for years until 14 years ago when she moved back to the area to raise a family. Since then, she got involved behind the scenes by choreographing shows, such as with the Haddonfield Plays and Players, directing commercials and offering private lessons to local students. She was also on a television show called “The Moment” on the U.S.A. Network two years ago.
But before that, 12 years ago in May, her father passed away from lung and liver cancer. During his time in the entertainment business, he had taken to the darker side of the business with drugs and alcohol, and it had caught up with him.
While he was sick, Chambers wrote the first act of “Genre,” telling the story of growing up in the music business, her father, how he was affected by the business, and her story of avoiding such temptations and her success in her own musical way. She performed that act in her local area two years after his death.
“Even though it was painful, it was cleansing. I needed closure, and this was the only way to get it out, by being creative and artistic,” Chambers said.
Now, 10 years later, Chambers has written the second act of “Genre” and will be performing it in Haddonfield. The second part of her story begins with her father’s burial and from there how she has gone on as a wife, mother and performing arts educator.
As an educator, Chambers, also known as “mama,” wants to provide her audience with “edu-tainment,” what Chambers calls a combination of education and entertainment she likes to use for her performances. She wants to provide entertainment, but also educate all involved individuals, both performers and audience members. For “Genre,” Chambers hopes the audience takes away that they can follow their dreams, but they need to be responsible.
“I want them to know that no matter how old they are, never to stop dreaming and keep moving forward no matter how hard life gets,” Chambers said.
Chambers invites everyone of all ages to come see “Genre.” There will be music in every genre from pop to jazz to Broadway, tap dancing, singing, acting and a “cool surprise.”
“This is one way to tell my story, through live entertainment. I hope I touch someone through my story,” Chambers said.
Jersey Java and Tea is located 140 N. Haddon Ave. in Haddonfield. Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door. Tickets can be purchased at www.ReneeLiciaga.com/LIVESHOW. To get a bit of a taste about the show check out https://youtu.be/5P2H9xtm2dY.