Acclaimed Louis & Keely, the Musical Bio of Prima & Smith, Extends to Aug. 2

News   Acclaimed Louis & Keely, the Musical Bio of Prima & Smith, Extends to Aug. 2
The award-winning musical Louis & Keely: Live at the Sahara has been extended by five weeks at the Geffen Playhouse's Audrey Skirball Kenis Theater, now to Aug. 2.
Vanessa Claire Smith and Jake Broder
Vanessa Claire Smith and Jake Broder Photo by Michael Lamont

The show, borrowing the brash style of big-band jazz musician-singers Louis Prima and Keely Smith, celebrated its 100th performance in Los Angeles the evening of June 13.

Louis & Keely's awards include Best Musical at the Ovation Awards, Best Production at the Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Awards, Best Production at the Garland Awards and Musical of the Year at the LA Weekly Theater Awards.

This is the third extension of the work at Geffen's intimate space. Created by Jake Broder and Vanessa Claire Smith, who also star as Louis and Keely, respectively, Louis & Keely: Live at the Sahara "follows the life and love of Las Vegas' infamous onstage couple," according to production notes.

Directed by acclaimed Hollywood director/biographer Taylor Hackford, the current production is a revamped version of Broder and Smith's 2008 show, originally developed by them at the Sacred Fools Theatre Company.

Louis & Keely has been "substantially reworked" for its current production at the Geffen. Hackford, who worked with the creators to guide the revision process, estimates about 40 percent of the script is different from the original production. New to the show are seven songs — "I Wish You Love," "Hey Boy, Hey Girl," "What is this Thing Called Love," "Night Train," "Ai, Ai, Ai" and "I Can't Believe that You're in Love with Me" — as well as new characters.

New cast members Nick Cagle and Erin Matthews play various other characters in the couple's story (Frank Sinatra makes an appearance). In addition to the four actors, Louis & Keely Live at the Sahara features a seven-piece live swing band that brings down the house as the orchestra for the play and as well as Louis Prima's Vegas band, The Witnesses.

The cast also includes Crystal Keith (Keely Smith u/s, Female Swing) and Michael Lanahan (Louis Prima u/s, Male Swing).

The creative team includes choreographer Vernel Bagneris, set/projection designer Joel Daavid, lighting designer Anne Militello, sound designer Lindsay Jones, costume designer Melissa Bruning and production stage manager Young Ji.

The performance schedule is Tuesday–Thursday at 8 PM, Friday at 7:30 PM, Saturday at 3:30 PM and 8 PM; and Sunday at 2:30 PM and 7:30 PM.

For tickets, visit or call (310) 208-5454 or Ticketmaster at (213) 480-3232.

Student rush tickets are available one hour prior to curtain for $15.


Louis & Keely Live at the Sahara opened March 19 after previews from March 15 at the Geffen's Skirball Kenis Theater and was first scheduled to play to April 26.

Jake Broder leading the band
Jake Broder leading the band Photo by Michael Lamont
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