Baker’s moneymaker still shaking

Josephine Baker and her famous banana skirt are still charming Paris more than eight decades since she first mesmerized the city’s girly show patrons. The production Looking for Josephine has been selling out there ever since opening in November. Though tinged with burlesque, it deals with the complexity of Baker’s life as an artist and activist.

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Apparently the “splashy musical revue,” according to The New York Times, manages to not only weave in the history of black American music but also pay homage to New Orleans, both pre- and post-Katrina. The show heads to Barcelona next, then moves on to New Orleans in April.

It’s unclear whether Ms. Baker’s pet cheetah Chiquita (with his diamond-studded collar) or any of her multi-ethnic “Rainbow Tribe” of adopted children make appearances in the production.

Twenty-seven-year-old New Yorker Nicolle Rochelle plays Josephine — scantily clad but not completely topless, and to rave reviews. I guess you don’t always have to give up the goods to bring down the house.

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