By Holli Harms

You want to be her friend. Sit down with her for coffee that moves through to a meal and wine and then back to coffee with dessert.

She is Detra Thomas, mother, daughter, friend, sister, survivor. She elucidates her story to us, especially for those of us who do not know her from Brandon Stanton’s Humans of New York Instagram.

It is an epic tragedy of the misuse of a child, a woman, a wife who eventually confronts her truths, works hard to find her way to the other side of them, and culminates with her inherent voice. A voice that was always singing, even when forced into silence. Her resilience is palpable, an uplifting hopeful reminder to all of us that we are stronger than we may believe ourselves to be.

She opens the evening of story and song with That’s Life, a tried and true number regaling all the ups and downs of life. That is life, her life, a life with beauty, joy, kindness, loss, and heartache all mixed together and embodying each of us.

She tells us about her life blowing up on May 27th, 2015, and how she crawled through the loss to the other side. Another side that has her now at the marvelous 54 Below performing tried and trues as well as her own songs with her band consisting of friends she’s collected through the years. The band Robert Bonhomme on the drums, Peter Brendler on bass, Jeremy Wall on saxophone, and Thomas Linger music director and pianist wonderfully create mood and summon quiet perfection.

The song that summates so much of Thomas’ journey and resilience, Brandi Carlile’s The Joke. The Joke tells of those who are discouraged, laughed at, and pushed around, but yet they still persevere. Thomas sings it from the depths of her soul carrying it up to the sky like a bird taking flight, and she IS taking flight, singing and jumping from humor to tragedy and back again.

Thomas’ talent as a singer and her true life tale has captured the hearts of so many including the playwright and screenwriter Doug Wright who was there at 54 Below cheering her on with the rest of us. Wright is writing a screenplay about Detra Thomas’ life and it will most definitely be amazing to watch. As she is amazing to watch in person.

54 Below 254 West 54th Street NYC 10019

Tickets and Information for 54 Below 646-476-3551

7:00 pm Show
5:30 pm Doors Open
$25 Food & Beverage Min.