Satchmo at the Waldorf will play Chicago's Court Theatre. Artistic director Charles Newell directs.
The show is described as such: "The greatest trumpet player in the world has just finished a set in the Empire Room of the Waldorf Astoria hotel in New York. It’s 1971, and Louis Armstrong is at the end of his incredibly successful career. After retiring backstage, he begins to reminisce about his life, revealing an intimate, unknown portrait of the man behind the trumpet and the ever-evolving struggle to live with dignity as a Black musician in a White world. Armstrong’s story is told through the voice of a single actor playing both Armstrong and his Jewish manager Joe Glaser, bringing to life an emotional journey of deep friendship and its tragic destruction. Satchmo at the Waldorf is an intimate exploration of Armstrong’s life, legacy, and above all, jazz."
In a statement, director Newell said, "I'm so excited that Barry Shabaka Henley found the time between his work on two feature films and decided to come to Chicago and embody the iconic role of Louis Armstrong in Satchmo at the Waldorf. Barry's work as an actor has been seen on TV and movie screens all over the world. This is going to be a rare opportunity for theatre lovers to see him in our intimate space. With Barry's involvement and the other events happening around the Louis Armstrong Festival, Satchmo at the Waldorf becomes a must-see event."
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