Paging Dr. Jazz: Jelly's Last Jam Resurfaces With Orchestral Reduction at Atlanta's Alliance

News   Paging Dr. Jazz: Jelly's Last Jam Resurfaces With Orchestral Reduction at Atlanta's Alliance
 
Alliance Theatre in Atlanta is giving the Broadway musical Jelly's Last Jam its first major Equity revival in a decade, March 15-April 9.

Alliance associate artistic director Kent Gash directs and co-choreographs the show, which celebrates the life of musician-songwriter Jellly Roll Morton. Bryon Easley is co-choreographer.

Opening is March 22 at Alliance's home in the Woodruff Arts Center.

"This multiple Tony Award-winning musical explores the rollercoaster life of Jelly Roll Morton, acclaimed pianist and self-proclaimed inventor of jazz," according to Alliance. "Jelly's Last Jam is an extremely entertaining and provocative journey through Jazz, from New Orleans to Harlem, with 18 soulful songs and plenty of rhythmic tap and dance exploding from all corners of the stage."

The score includes "Dr. Jazz," "Michigan Water," "That's How You Jazz," "The Chicago Stomp," "Lovin' is a Lowdown Blues" and "King Oliver Stomp."

The musical was written by Tony Award-winning director and playwright George C. Wolfe, with music by Jelly Roll Morton and lyrics by Susan Birkenhead. The production opened on Broadway April 1992 and ran more than 500 performances before it closed September 1993. A cast album preserves the score. The musical adaptation and original music was composed by Luther Henderson from the original Jelly Roll Morton songs.

A grant was awarded for an orchestral reduction of the score. Musical director Darryl G. Ivey worked on it, and will also conduct the seven-member orchestra for the Alliance Theatre production.

The cast features Atlanta actors Alecia Robinson, Ken Robinson, Allison Upshaw Spragin, Andrea Washington and Laurie Williamson.

The creative team includes Emily Beck (set designer); William H. Grant III (lighting designer); Austin K. Sanderson (costume designer); Clay Benning (sound designer); and Celise Kalke (dramaturg).

For ticket information, call (404) 733-5000 or online at www.alliancetheatre.org.

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