Holmes' musical, based on the Emmy Award-winning TV series of the same name, will now world premiere at the Nyack theatre in April 2004. Ambassador Satch, André De Shields' one-man tribute to Louis Armstrong, will be mounted at the theatre in place of Remember WENN, which concerns a struggling Pittsburgh radio station prior to WWII.
In a statement composer-writer Holmes said, "One of my favorite projects in recent years was to create, write and score the TV series. Turning this show, with its talented cast drawn largely from the Broadway stage, into a musical seemed such a natural idea and I was thrilled for the opportunity to develop another world premiere at the HHTC. Unfortunately success has made this impossible. With Say Goodnight, Gracie on Broadway and the new musical Marty soon to join it, and a musical for television, and my first novel from Random House due this summer, the time I’ve had to devote to Remember WENN has been severely rationed. This show is too close to my heart for me to give it anything less than my best, and so I requested that the HHTC postpone the production to April 2004."
Ambassador Satch, The Life and Times of Louis Armstrong will be presented by the Helen Hayes Theater Company from March 22 to April 6. Starring André De Shields, the musical will also feature a five-piece jazz ensemble as well as Armstrong's many signature tunes.
Nominated for a Tony Award for his performance in the Broadway production of The Full Monty, De Shields re-created his role as Noah "Horse" T. Simmons for the London production. He received another Tony nomination for his performance in Play On! and also starred on Broadway in The Wiz, Ain't Misbehavin' and Haarlem Nocturne.
Tickets for Satch, priced between $32.50 and $47.50, can be purchased by calling the theatre's box office at (845) 358-6333 or (201) 358-6065. For more information, go to www.hhtco.org.