Former Kool & The Gang Singer Writes Play

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NEW BRUNSWICK — The journey of enlightenment sometimes begins in the dark, but in the new play by Renee Connell Walker, formerly of Kool & The Gang, just the glow of a candle can help lighten the way to your Spirit, Mind and Body.

The Phoenix Ensemble Theater Company & Shirley’s Daughter Productions present The Candle Party, an original Gospel play written and directed by Renee Connell Walker, to be performed at Crossroads Theatre in New Brunswick on Saturday, May 21.


Walker’s play tells the story of seven women from different generations, who are at different stages in life, love and relationships. They come together for an evening of fellowship at Rhonda’s house (played by Ms. Walker) to show their support for their friend Christine (played by Minister Ericka Streeter-Adams) who has set sail with her new candle business.

Each woman is on her own journey, coping with spirituality, marriage, widowhood, dating, single parenting and divorce. The six Christian women, and one who is indifferent, share stories of their lives through the bond of “Spiritual Sisterhood. The production is current, relevant, funny and heartwarming. There are many surprises as the evening progresses – and in the glow of their friend’s fragrant candles – secrets start to unfold as they rediscover things about themselves and each other.

The cast features; Phoenix Ensemble’s co-founder and Executive Producer, Marsha Trice (Lily), Wanda Brooks (Miss Sadie), Charlene Aiken (Monica), Margarite Mitchell (Margie), and Deirdre Franklin (Brenda). Renee Connell Walker is also the founder of the newly formed Shirley’s Daughter Productions. The evening will open with a special dance presentation by Work Of Art Dance Theater, of Piscataway under the artistic direction of Quincy Pronker.

Advocates from the American Heart Association, Diabetes Center of New Jersey & more, will sponsor pre-show information fair to accentuate the Healthy Spirit, Mind and Body experience at 6-6:45 p.m.

The Candle Party will be presented at Crossroads Theatre, 7 Livingston Avenue, New Brunswick. Show time is 7 p.m. and doors open at 6 p.m. Tickets are $25 in advance and $30 at the door. For more information call 1-732-235-1441, email or visit

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