Maurice Hines hopes to star in a new musical about the life of bandleader and singer Cab Calloway, but his plans will have to wait for the results of a September trial in Los Angeles.
Susan Weaving, who reps Hines, said (Aug. 11) the dancer-singer optioned the rights to Calloway's story four years ago. The rights were already held, however, by two attorneys. Since then, the Calloway estate has been trying to wrest control of the rights from the lawyers and return them to the family. The matter is to be settled in court in September. Until then, Weaving said, Hines' plans for the musical are in a "holding pattern."
Hines, brother of Gregory (Jelly's Last Jam) Hines, would also choreograph the show. Weaving did not say whether the musical would have a new score or use classic Calloway tunes.
Cab Calloway was a preeminent band leader of the Jazz Age, known for his flamboyant dress and performance style. He most famous number was "Minnie the Moocher," featuring the nonsensical "hi-de-ho" lyrics he supposedly made up one night when he forgot the words to the song. He played Sportin' Life in a 1953 production of Porgy and Bess and was featured in the John Belushi film The Blues Brothers.
-- By Robert Simonson