NEW ORLEANS (April 20, 2020) – The Dillard University community knows sophomores David and Lauren Rhodes for their stunning duets, but the brother-and-sister duo is expanding their brand and reach with a new production company.
David and Lauren Rhodes, who are majoring in Music Industry and English, respectively, produced and performed four sold-out shows of “The Color Purple” at Nicholls State University as the first major production Jan. 31 through March 1. They reported spectators were lined up on opening night, and additional seating was added to the Danos Theatre’s 380 seats to accommodate the large crowd.
Their next performance will be the classic musical, “The Wiz,” at a time and place to be determined.
The Rhodeses said they started Rhodes and Rhodes Productions, LLC in 2019 to bring awareness to the Thibodaux community that blacks can do musical theatre performances.
“We wanted to build a brand that was both inclusive and true representation of who we are,” said Lauren Rhodes.
Rhodes and Rhodes productions were initially contracted for only two shows through Nicholls State University for Black History Month.
As David Rhodes recalled, “We were a new company and [Nicholls State] didn’t know if we would be successful.” However, after the first two sold-out shows, Nicholls State added two more show dates, Feb 29 and March 1, and these two sold out as well.
Lauren Rhodes runs Thibodaux High School’s drama department while her brother David was the first black lead in the local production of “Les Miserables” for Lafourche Parish in 2018.
Growing up, the duo recalled being the “weird” kids. Both their parents sang around the world. Lauren Rhodes has been singing and performing since she was a little girl, but David Rhodes didn’t start performing until college.
Even so, said David Rhodes, “While other kids were going to basketball games, we were saving our money to go to live performances like ‘Wicked’ at the Sanger Theatre in New Orleans,”, said David Rhodes.
The siblings’ five-year plan is to own a theatre in the next five years in the Thibodaux area. They want to eventually expand their brand to the New Orleans area.