Originally presented for a brief run in 2007, the return engagement of Blind Lemon Blues began previews Sept. 8 and will continue through Oct. 4. Akin Babatunde, who stars as the celebrated blind street musician, also directed and choreographed the production. In addition to Babatunde, the cast features Cavin Yarbrough, Alisa Peoples Yarbrough, Inga Ballard (Hairspray), Carmen Ruby Floyd (Avenue Q), Timothy Parham (2007 Blind Lemon Blues) and Skip Krevens (Always… Patsy Cline) on guitar.
The musical, which boasts over 60 Blind Lemon Jefferson songs, was created by Alan Govenar and Akin Babatunde and features musical arrangements by Akin Babatunde, Cavin Yarbrough and Alisa Peoples Yarbrough.
The York staging has scenic design by Russel Parkman, lighting design by Steve Woods and costume design by Tommy Bourgeois.
Blind Lemon Blues, according to press notes, "is set in New York City in 1948 at the last recording session of the legendary Huddie Ledbetter, better known as Leadbelly, and combines elements of traditional blues, gospel, rhythm and blues, soul, doo-wop, and rap to evoke the enduring legacy of Blind Lemon and his contemporaries Blind Willie Johnson, Lillian Glinn, Hattie Hudson, Bobbie Cadillac, Lillian Miller and Leadbelly himself."