Created by Waterwell and directed by Tom Ridgely, the work pieces together more than 30 pop, rock, folk and funk songs and was seen in July 2007 as part of a musical summer at the Barrow Street Theatre. According to press notes, The/King/Operetta "draws on speeches, writings and interviews to give a blistering account of King as he barnstorms the country squaring off against the most powerful forces in politics and commerce. Facing criticism on all sides and even doubts from his closest advisors, he speaks his mind fearlessly and fights to the end against war, poverty and even his own government."
The evening - hosted by Hanna Cheek and Kevin Townley - starred Grammy Award winner Corey Glover (lead singer of the band Living Colour) as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. with Joshua Henry (In The Heights) as Eldridge Cleaver.
Joining them in the performance were Eisa Davis (Passing Strange) as Coretta Scott King, Alison Pill (Lieutenant of Inishmore, Mauritius) as Joan Didion, Jay O. Sanders (Stuff Happens) as Lyndon B. Johnson, John Eric Parker as Huey P. Newton, Taylor Mac as J. Edgar Hoover, Sarah Saltzberg (The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee) as Toni Fortuna and The Apple Sisters as the Hula Hana Girls with Waterwell ensemble members Rodney Gardiner, Arian Moayed, Hanna Cheek and Kevin Townley.
For more information on the company visit www.waterwell.org.
Below are some photos from the performance and the reception that followed:
Photos by Kevin Yatarola