OCCC’s Performance Art Series closed the season with Tony Award and Grammy Award winning Broadway and television star Renèe Elise Goldsberry.

She’s the original “Angelica Schuyler,” from the hit musical Hamilton

Goldsberry, a trained jazz singer with a silky, crisp voice with a gospel switch performed pop, jazz, and gospel songs, she personally selected. She travels with her four-piece band and a trio of backup singers.

Her presence was magical and graceful, effortlessly switching genres, in her silk, coral, black, and white handkerchief halter dress. The extra-long, loose bow tied at her neck seemed to catch the wind with every move she made, at times she appeared to hover just above the floor.

Rochelle Mosby, Division Assistant with the Arts, English, and Humanities Division had her own stage role that night; she jumped at the chance to act as Goldsberry’s Wardrobe Mistress, when she was asked. 

Mosby smiled when she shared her backstage experience with Goldsberry, she was captivated and shared how Goldsberry on stage is Goldsberry #IRL.

 “She was first of all, very gracious, a beautiful woman, but more than that her spirit,” Mosby said. 

Mosby prepared herself to help Goldsberry anyway she could, wardrobe mistress or wardrobe dresser, she said “If she needed a shoe buckled, I’d been down and buckle her shoe.” 

However, Goldsberry would refuse at every turn, making sure that Mosby was having a good time and reassuring her Mosby, “Oh no, I got this, You good.”

According to Mosby, Goldsberry is as phenomenal a woman as she is a performer. 

Goldsberry’s charm endeared the audience to her. Her pianist/keyboardist played, she sang, the guitarist strummed a tune and she floated, the drummer hit the beat, she danced, the bass guitarist hit his strings, Goldsberry got funky, and when the song compelled her to move her trio of backup singers busted a move too.

Justin Van Nest, OCCC Operations Specialist also volunteers as an usher and greeter for the Visual and Performing Arts programs. 

“That was one of the first things I signed up for because I wanted to see that amazing singer and amazing actress on our stage here at OCCC,” Van Nest said of when he learned that Goldsberry was coming. 

Goldsberry is a Broadway and theater baby, she talked about her favorite musicals throughout the show, but when “Angelica Schuyler,” arrived the audience was ready. 

Goldsberry sang Satisfied from the musical Hamilton, which originally has several actors singing multiple parts. 

“She sang her parts, but the audience would sing the Alexander Hamilton parts back to her, and that was just absolutely really cool to see how many people new the words from Hamilton that well,” Van Nest said.

Goldsberry is uber talented and successful. In addition to creating and performing her own concert series, she stars in the show Girls5Eva on Peacock. Soon she’ll be working on the new Marvel Series She-Hulk.

If you missed the 2021-22 OCCC performance series and an incredible season closer, stay tuned VPAC division promises next season will be just as exciting.

Renée Elise Goldsberry. Wikimedia Commons

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