Mama, I Want to Sing: The Groundbreaking Black Musical
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Wesley Naylor
D'Atra Hicks as Doris Winter

D'Atra Hicks (Doris Winter) in a scene with the Halos (L-R) Fatima, Lynette Dupree, and Kim Edmond, circa 1984. Photo credit: Carol Rosegg.

Desiree Coleman, Randy Higginson and Doris Troy
Wesley Naylor

Wesley Naylor shared his musical genius as music director for Mama and the sequels from 1985-2000. Photo, circa 1990.

Take the Music Home!

For CDs, DVDs, books, posters, sample sound clips, and everything you need to make the Mama experience yours, visit the Mama Foundation Online Store.

Visit the online store

Mama, I Want to Sing CD
Mama, I Want to Sing—Part Two CD

A World of Music

Bring Mama, I Want to Sing to your town! Book the traveling company at the Mama Foundation Show Page.

More about the show today

The Musical Talent

Doris Winter

Tisha Campbell 1983
Octavia Lambertis 1984
Desiree Coleman 1983-1985
Lynda McConnell 1985
D. K. Dyson 1985
D’Atra Hicks 1986-1990
Ramona Keller 1987
Noreen Clayton 1988-1990
Sharlene Nelson 1989
Stacy Francis 1992-1996
Ahmaya Knoelle 2004-Present

Mama Winter

Queen Esther Marrow 1983-1984
Doris Troy 1984-2000
(In the role of her mother)
Dejahnee Richardson 1992-1993
Shirley Caesar 1994-1996
LeJuene Thompson 2004
Bettina Pennon 2011-Present

Ahmaya Knoelle as Doris Winter

On the opening night for Mama, I Want to Sing, Vy’s doctor called to tell her that she was pregnant. In the 20th-anniversary performances in 2004, her daughter Ahmaya Knoelle performed as Doris Winter, the character based upon her aunt, Doris Troy. Photo credit: G. N. Miller.

Minister of Music

Steven Williams 1983-1985
Charles Stewart 1985-1990
Pierre Cook 1990-2000
Dejahnee Richardson 1998-2000
Darryl JoVan 2004
Elijah Ahmad Lewis 2011-Present


(L-R) Desiree Coleman, Randy Higginson and Doris Troy in Mama, I Want to Sing at the Heckscher Theatre, circa 1984. Photo credit: Carol Rosegg.

Reverend Winter

Randy Higginson (Vy and Doris's only brother, in the role of his father) 1985-1988
Alexander Plummer 1988-1990
Ronald Grant 1989
Craig Wiggins 1995-2004
Tyrone Flowers 1992-1996; 2011-Present


Deniece Williams played the role of Sister Carrie in Mama in London and Japan. Program cover from the Japanese production, circa 1996.


Sister Carrie

Carolyn Dennis 1983-1984
Trina Thomas 1985
Evans 1986
Kathleen Murphy-Jackson 1986-2004
Dejahnee Richardson 1993-1995
Chaka Khan 1995
Williams 1996
Sandra Huff 2011-Present

Kathleen Murphy-Jackson as Sister Carrie

Kathleen Murphy-Jackson (Sister Carrie) illustrates walking on the water in the song "Faith." Photo, circa 1995.