- Theme Song "Jenifer Lewis and Shangela" follows the comic adventures of Ms. Lewis and Shangela (actor D.J. Pierce) as the show business diva mentors the up-and-coming drag performer -- who lives in the basement apartment of her Hollywood McMansion.
Jenifer Lewis and Shangela Theme Song
"Jenifer Lewis and Shangela" premieres Wednesday, September 5. The series follows the comic adventures of Ms. Lewis and Shangela (actor D.J. Pierce) as the show business diva mentors the up-and-coming drag performer -- who lives in the basement apartment of her Hollywood mansion.
Jenifer Lewis and Shangela Star in New Webisodes on YouTube
D.J. Pierce (Shangela) and Jenifer Lewis in a scene from an upcoming episode.
Emmy-winner Mary Lou Belli Directs
Jenifer Lewis, the veteran actress known as the “Black Mother of Hollywood,” who was last seen in the #1 crossover hit movie Think Like A Man, stars in Jenifer Lewis and Shangela, a new comedy web series launching September 5, 2012 on YouTube (youtube.com/user/jenlewisandshangela). Her co-star, D.J. Pierce, is best-known as “Shangela,” the breakout star from the TV series RuPaul’s Drag Race. Emmy-winning sitcom maven Mary Lou Belli directed the scripted shorts.
Jenifer Lewis and Shangela follows the comic adventures of Ms. Lewis and Shangela as the show business diva mentors the up-and-coming drag performer -- who lives in the basement apartment of her Hollywood mansion.
“Jenifer Lewis and Shangela is a fun romp for our fans. We want to share the good times and unpredictable foolishness we enjoy just hanging out together,” said Ms. Lewis, whose 300-plus movie and TV credits include What’s Love Got To Do With It?; The Preacher’s Wife; Jackie’s Back!, and “Aunt Helen” on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. Additionally, Ms. Lewis is a Disney favorite, voicing “Flo” in Cars and “Mama Odie” in The Princess and the Frog. The New York Times recently hailed Ms. Lewis as a “mega-diva” for her one-woman show titled Black Don’t Crack.
“Halleloo!” said Mr. Pierce, voicing the trademark phrase of his alter-ego Shangela Laquifa Wadley, aka the Debuntantess of the Deep South. “It is a dream come true to work with one of Hollywood’s most legendary divas.” Mr. Pierce is an actor/comedian whose credits include NBC’s Community, the CBS show The Mentalist and an upcoming episode of CBS’ 2 Broke Girls.
Mary Lou Belli is an Emmy winning producer, writer and director and is the author of “The Sitcom Career Book.” With more than 100 TV episodes to her credit, Ms. Belli has directed countless favorites including Monk, The Game, Charles In Charge and Major Dad. She directed Jenifer Lewis and Shangela from scripts by the writing team of Mark Alton Brown & Dee LaDuke (Girlfriends, Designing Women) and by the team of Deborah Dean Davis (It Takes Two) & Margaret Oberman (Saturday Night Live).
Jenifer Lewis and Shangela is self-produced by Lewis with The Collaboration Factory. New episodes in the four-part series will debut weekly on Wednesdays in September. Fans can also join the fun at Facebook.com/jeniferlewisandshangela, and Twitter @jeniferlewis @itsshangela #jeniferlewisandshangela.
Jenifer Lewis is one of Hollywood’s busiest actresses, with more than 60 films and 250 TV appearances to her credit, including the recent number one hit movie Think Like A Man. Her uniquely recognizable voice is adored by Disney fans worldwide in animated roles such as "Flo" in Cars and as "Mama Odie" in The Princess and the Frog. Jenifer earned the title "Black Mother of Hollywood" thanks to memorable performances as Tina Turner's mother in What’s Love Got to Do With It? and alongside Denzel Washington in The Preacher's Wife. In 2010 she portrayed the distraught mother, "Candace," opposite Matt Damon in Clint Eastwood's Hereafter.
For director Tyler Perry, Jenifer created unforgettable characters in Madea's Family Reunion and Meet the Browns. In the movie Castaway, Jenifer portrayed Tom Hanks' boss.
Jenifer's versatility is at the heart of her long and diverse career. In October 2011, she garnered widespread acclaim for her performance in Lifetime's prestigious TV movie Five, under the helm of first-time director Alicia Keys. Her TV roles have ranged from regular appearances as "Aunt Helen" on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air to guest star roles on Friends, Boston Legal and Girlfriends. For six seasons, Jenifer portrayed "Lana Hawkins" on Lifetime's hit series Strong Medicine. Also on Lifetime, Jenifer achieved "Diva" status as star of the mock-umentary Jackie's Back!
In September 2012, Jenifer premieres in a self-produced webseries, Jenifer Lewis and Shangela, available on YouTube.
Music and Theater
Although best known for her Hollywood success, Ms. Lewis has enjoyed a wide-ranging and varied career in music and theater for more than 30 years. Most recently, the New York Times hailed Ms. Lewis as a “mega-diva” for her one-woman show titled Black Don’t Crack.
Jenifer began performing on Broadway within one month of graduating with a degree in theater arts. Over the years, she has graced the Broadway stage in four shows, most recently in the hit show Hairspray as “Motormouth Maybelle.” Also in New York, Jenifer enjoyed critical acclaim co-starring opposite Meryl Streep in the Shakespeare in the Park production of Brecht’s Mother Courage and Her Children. In Seattle, Jenifer wowed audiences as Dolly Levi in the venerable 5th Avenue Theatre’s production of Hello Dolly!
In February 2012, Jenifer returned to her hometown in a guest performance with the 90-piece St. Louis Symphony, accompanied by a chorus of more than 100 voices. In 2011, she achieved a lifelong dream when she sang at Carnegie Hall as a special guest of Michael Feinstein.
As a solo performer early in her career, Ms. Lewis toured colleges with her tribute From Billie to Lena and delighted audiences worldwide with a string of cabaret shows, including the award-winning The Diva is Dismissed. Briefly, she toured as a “Harlette” with Bette Midler. All told, Ms. Lewis has presented more than 200 concerts, performing in 49 states and four continents.
In addition to her achievements as a performer, Jenifer is committed to community issues. As a longtime supporter of youth, Jenifer became involved with Big Brothers/Big Sisters and ultimately adopted her daughter, Charmaine, through this program. Jenifer’s dedication to young people also extends to those in the LGBT community. In recent years, Jenifer has presented four one-woman shows to raise much-needed funds for youth housing at the L.A. Gay and Lesbian Center.
Having lost many friends to the AIDS epidemic, Jenifer is a forceful proponent for AIDS education and treatment and has performed at more than 15 AIDS walks around the country.
Jenifer also advocates on behalf of mental health issues. In 2007, Jenifer chose The Oprah Winfrey Show as a platform to reveal that she has bipolar disorder. She continues to speak nationally for the eradication of stigma against people with mental illness.
Jenifer Lewis was born and raised in Kinloch, Missouri. She holds a bachelor's degree in theater arts from Webster University in St. Louis. Fans can follow Jenifer on Twitter (@JeniferLewis) and Facebook (Jenifer Lewis For Real.)
D.J. Pierce (“Shangela”) is a high-energy, multi-faceted entertainer who was named one of OUT Magazine's “Most Compelling People of 2011.” Recognized internationally as one of the breakout stars of reality television's Rupaul's Drag Race, Mr. Pierce has transitioned his talents into sitcoms, film, music and stand-up comedy. His trademark phrase, “Halleloo” was named one of the “Top 10 Words from Reality TV” by the Los Angeles Times and is featured on a variety of online merchandise.
A native of Paris, TX, Pierce graduated with honors from Southern Methodist University with a B.A. in corporate communications and public affairs. He soon after moved to Los Angeles to pursue his dream of working in entertainment, and in 2009 created his drag character “Shangela Laquifa Wadley.”
Lights, Camera, Action!....Since filming Drag Race, Pierce has continued to grow as an actor, guest starring in and out of drag on primetime network shows like 2 Broke Girls, The Mentalist, Community, Terriers, and Detroit 187. In 2011, he filmed two network pilots -- A. Mann's World (created and directed by Michael Patrick King) for NBC and Spring/Fall with Sigourney Weaver and Tea Leoni, for HBO. He also starred in the award-winning short film Body of a Barbie, which aired on BET in the fall of 2010. Pierce has appeared on E! Network's The Soup, mentored kids on Lifetime's Dance Moms and TLC's Toddlers & Tiaras, and has been featured in three commercials. In fall, 2012 Pierce co-stars alongside legendary actress Jenifer Lewis in a web series called Jenifer Lewis and Shangela.
Bring on the laughs!....Pierce hosted and starred in the One Night Stand Up comedy special on LOGO, launched a national comedy tour called “LaQuifa is Halleloosin' It”, headlined at The World-Famous Comedy Store in Hollywood and opened for original Queen of Comedy Mo'Nique at Milwaukee PrideFest. He has also performed in stand-up comedy fundraisers for the HRC and the LA Gay and Lesbian Center.
And there's no slowing down....in 2012, Pierce released his second dance single “Werqin' Girl” which was a follow up to his hit “Call Me LaQuifa” - -both of which were featured on Lifetime television's Dance Moms. He recently wrapped up a six-city Canadian Pride tour with OutTV Network and continues to perform to sold-out club crowds around the globe. An advocate for equality, Mr. Pierce partners with the organization Hope's Voice in a program called “Divas of Diversity,” through which he conducts anti-bullying and diversity workshops on college campuses. For more information or photos, visit www.shangela.com.
Theme Song Credits:
Title Sequences Designed By
"Drag Queen In My Basement"
Music and Lyrics By
Grant W. Nicholas
Christopher J. Emmons
© Copyright 2012 Jenifer Lewis. All Rights Reserved.