Beginning its journey in Africa, the musical revue It Ain't Nothin' But The Blues follows the roots of blues music from traditional acoustic chants through gospel, soul, R& B and country-western. After enjoying sold-out houses at the Denver Center and a special production in Ohio to coincide with the opening of the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame, this Denver Center production of Blues comes to Washington DC, opening at the Arena Stage, Nov. 20.
Written by Charles Bevel, Lita Gaithers, director Randal Myler, Dan Wheetman and Ron Taylor (based on an original idea by Taylor), the show celebrates blues history through the music itself. Arena artistic director Douglas C. Wager -- a former rock and roll musician himself -- was quoted as saying, "This is a production that grabs an audience and brings it to its feet. It applauds a musical tradition as diverse as D.C. Itself."
Starring in the show are "Mississippi" Charles Bevel, Carter Calvert, Lita Gaithers, Eloise Laws, Chic Street Man, Ron Taylor and Dan Wheetman, along with a four-piece band plus two back-up vocalists. Costumes are by Patricia A. Whitelock, lighting by Don Darnutzer, settings by Andrew V. Yelusich and sound by Timothy Thompson.
Arena Stage's dealings with the Denver Center won't end when the show completes its run Jan. 19, 1997. As part of the deal worked out to bring Blues to D.C., D.C. will bring one of its productions to Denver sometime this-coming year.
For tickets ($23-$42) and information, call (202) 488-3300.