It seems wrong that in this era, when just about every music act, from Hank Williams to Miles Davis, is getting its life story put on the silver screen, no producer has found a way to make a biopic of Exposé. The pitch would seem simple: It's Dreamgirls taking place in the time and setting of Miami Vice and Scarface.
Founded in 1984 as X-Posed by local producer Lewis Martineé, the group was originally fronted by Martineé's girlfriend at the time, Alejandra (Alé) Lorenzo. Their original 1984 version of "Point of No Return" — with its keyboards, drum machine beats, and Lorenzo's Madonna-by-way-of-Miami vocals — sounds like an artifact of its era. But at the same time, it fits in seamlessly with the '80s-tinged electro songs of today.
Despite scoring a number one hit on Billboard's dance charts, that version of Exposé evaporated because of infighting and Lorenzo's fear of flying. What came next was a replacement not seen since Ringo Starr took over for Pete Best. After discovering them one by one, Martineé handed Ann Curless, Jeanette Jurado, and Gioia Bruno the mantel of Exposé and broke records not even Ringo's Beatles touched. Their 1987 record, Exposure, became the first debut album to have four Top 10 hits. They also became the first girl group to earn seven back-to-back Top 10 hits on the Billboard Hot 100. Songs such as the freestyle "Come Go With Me," the ballad "Seasons Change," and a reworking of "Point of No Return" dominated the charts.
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But success led to acrimony. Though Exposé was selling out arenas such as Madison Square Garden and inspiring a nation of kids to lace up their roller skates, the group's popularity wasn't reflected in its members' bank accounts. Curless, Jurado, and Bruno alleged they were paid only $200 per show. The hard feelings and disrespect led to litigation and lawsuits, but instead of burning out, Exposé just kind of faded away. Bruno had throat problems that led to her being replaced, and after their label dropped them, Exposé disbanded in 1996.
But now comes their third act, or at the very least the final scene before the closing credits: The three members of the "popular" version of Exposé have reunited to sing their freestyle hits. This Saturday at Magic City Casino, Curless, Jurado, and Bruno will take us back to the days of break dancing and nights of clubbing.
Exposé and Sweet Sensation
9 p.m. Saturday, February 25, at Magic City Casino, 450 NW 37th Ave., Miami; magiccitycasino.com; 305-649-3000. Tickets cost $15.