“I listened to Blind Lemon Jefferson every day for five years. He was the voice of Black America at that moment,” said Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright August Wilson of the legendary musician. This June, the blues man's life will be brought to the stage in a new Off-Broadway musical titled Lonesome Blues starring Akiń Babatundé.
Created by Alan Govenar (Texas in Paris) and Babatundé (Blind Lemon Blues), Lonesome Blues will begin performances June 12 at The York Theatre Company at Saint Peter’s in a co-production from The York and Documentary Arts.
Babatundé will star as Jefferson, in addition to portraying more than 10 different roles (including musical contemporaries Blind Willie Johnson, Lillian Glinn, Hattie Hudson, Bobbie Cadillac, and Lead Belly). David Weiss will accompany on guitar.
The New York premiere will be directed by Katherine Owens (How Is It That We Live or Shakey Jake + Alice) and is scheduled to run through July 1.
The creative team includes James Morgan (scenic design), Steve Woods (lights), and Jason Spinos (sound and projections).
For tickets and more information visit YorkTheatre.org.