The resident Connecticut production stars Tina Fabrique (Dessa Rose) singing nearly two-dozen of Ella Fitzgerald's biggest hits as "Ella" shares memories and stories with her musicians in a recording session, and then with the audience in a concert setting. The show is set in 1966. Ella - Off the Record was conceived by Rob Ruggiero and Dyke Garrison. The work was scripted by Dyke Garrison; musical direction and arrangements are by Danny Holgate.
Expect such songs as "How High the Moon," "Our Love is Here to Stay," "They Can’t Take That Away From Me," "That Old Black Magic," "Cheek To Cheek," "Blue Skies" and more.
Also featured in TheaterWorks' production are George Caldwell on piano as Ella's longtime accompanist "Al"; Longineu Parsons on trumpet as Ella's closest friend "Lonnie"; Hartford area favorite Paul Brown on bass; and Arti Dixson on drums.
One of the challenges of creating the piece, Ruggiero previously told Playbill.com, is that Fitzgerald didn't have monumental conflict in her life. Reviews have pointed out that lack of drama in her world has led to a somewhat dramatically tension-free show. One suspects Ruggiero and company may address this in the continuing development of the work.
For information and reservations call TheaterWorks at (860) 527-7838 or visit www.theaterworkshartford.org.