The names are in the upper echelon of music history, icons of rock, R&B and soul whose voices resonate still.

Even still, they’re known on a first-name basis. Whitney. Diana. Aretha. Tina. Gladys.

Over the next two weekends, music lovers can hear their trademark sounds and shows lovingly recreated by a bevy of talented musicians on a Greenwood stage.

“Legends,” a musical tribute to artists such as Whitney Houston, Diana Ross, Aretha Franklin, Tina Turner, Gladys Knight and more, opens Friday at On Stage Live! at the Luxe. The musical whirlwind weaves the hits from these and other female artists who changed the trajectory of music forever.

“It’s part of a throwback to the music of the ’60s and ’70s. For me, it’s been a trip down memory lane. Diana Ross has been one of the singers I’ve listened to and looked up to,” said Tamara Carpenter, who portrays Ross in the show. “She’s such a modern woman, like a lot of the singers out there now, like Beyonce. A lot of them took a page out of Diana’s book.”

“Legends” is the second show from the On Stage Live! at the Luxe, a partnership between founder Christopher Tompkins and owners of the Luxe Event Center. The venture grew out of Stage to Screen Catered Cabaret, Tompkins’ former effort to bring professional theater experiences to southside audiences.

Though Stage to Screen was forced to close due to the pandemic in 2020, Tompkins’ dream has been revived with On Stage Live!

Their debut show was a tribute to Elvis, which was well received by the community. The hope is that “Legends” builds on that success even more.

Carpenter had been part of Stage to Screen before, and when Tompkins was looking for talented Black musicians to pull “Legends” off, she jumped at the opportunity.

“Right before it closed, I was going to a solo show, and part of the show included some Diana Ross songs. I had really been a fan, and told by people that I do a good job impersonating her,” she said. “When Chris started doing shows again, he reached out about maybe doing a show. It sounded so exciting, and I’m so glad I agreed to be a part of it.”

Tomkins has assembled a talented cast of Black singers, each of whom brings her own swagger and electricity to the show.

In addition to Carpenter, the group includes Jasmine Elliott, LaQueisha “Q” Bell, Taylor Franklin, Jodi Holmes and Shenita Golder.

For Elliott, the show was an opportunity to pay tribute to an artist who has meant so much her life — Whitney Houston.

“This show is about highlighting Black artists who trailblazed the way for us over time,” she said. “I just came off doing ‘The Bodyguard,’ so it was already in me to continue singing Whitney’s music. I grew up with her music; my mom would teach me her songs. One of my first solos in church was one of hers from the movie ‘The Preacher’s Wife.’

“She gave me the inspiration I needed growing up.”

Because of her experience in the musical version of “The Bodyguard,” Elliott had already stepped into Houston’s songs and stage presence. But preparing for “Legends” was a completely different experience.

“It’s been a ride, it’s been different. Coming from a theater show, you get to do your acting then go backstage. In a cabaret show, you have to stay up there and sing all of the songs,” she said. “Her songs are not easy to do, so you work on execution and things like that.”

Bell had the task of stepping onto one of music’s most intense performers. As Tina Turner, she has tried to capture both the vocals and the persona that made Turner so popular.

She has studied videos and concert recordings of the singer, spending hours getting a sense of Turner’s bombastic approach to music.

“You look at her hair, her style, picking up on her personality to try to understand what she was trying to capture,” Bell said. “And you look at what she wanted to give her fans. They came out to see her, they spent all this money and came a long way to see her, and she gave them a show. She not only respected her craft, she respected her fans.”

Being part of the show has been an honor, a feeling shared by the whole cast regarding the musicians they’re portraying.

“All these wonderful artists are in it. Everybody is honoring these artists, and we all have a deep love and respect for them,” Bell said.

“Legends” runs Friday and Saturday, as well as July 28 and 29. Friday’s schedule includes 2 and 7:30 p.m. shows, with 7:30 p.m. performances on Saturdays. Tickets are $25.

Cast members are excited to showcase the iconic songs and music in the shows, using their own talents to hopefully leave people grooving in their seats.

“I know people are going to have a blast. They’re going to have an amazing time, but I hope they take away the sense of connectedness and togetherness. This music, it’s a trip down memory lane,” Carpenter said. “It brings back those really good memories, whether that’s a summer barbecue or that first love or even a breakup. Those memories are tied to the music.”



What: A musical tribute to breakout Black female artists, such as Whitney Houston, Diana Ross, Tina Turner, Aretha Franklin and more.

When: Friday, Saturday, July 28 and 29

Showtimes: 2 p.m. Friday and July 28; 7:30 p.m. all four nights

Where: On Stage Live! at the Luxe, 916 E. Main St., Greenwood

Tickets: $25

Information and purchasing: