Patricia McGregor directs Yale's "cabaret-style" production of the musical, which was created from the music of Jelly Roll Morton, with a book by George C. Wolf and lyrics by Susan Birkenhead. Jelly's Last Jam runs through Feb. 18.
The cast includes Christina Maria Acosta, Eddie Brown, Trai Byers, Austin Durant, Marcus Henderson, Emily Jenda, Andrew Kelsey, Aja-Naomi King, Irene Sofia Lucio, Quincy O’Neal, Da'Vine Joy Randolph, Ken Robinson, Baback Tafti, Nondumiso Tembe and Emily Trask.
Press notes read: "On his last night on earth, Creole jazz man and self-proclaimed 'inventor of jazz' Jelly Roll Morton is visited by an otherworldly stranger. Helped by the denizens of the 'Jungle Inn,' The Chimney Man forces Jelly to replay, in a searingly honest key, the highest and lowest notes of his life."
The production features choreography by Clarence Agbi, Paloma McGregor, Jennifer Harrison Newman and Tiffany Rachelle Stewart.
Jelly's Last Jam has set design by German Cardenas Alaminos, costume design by Elizabeth Groth, lighting design by Marie Yokoyama and sound by Charles Coes. Jelly's Last Jam premiered on Broadway in 1992, earning Tony nominations for Best Book, Best Score, Best Choreography and Best Director. Stars Gregory Hines and Tonya Pinkins took home Tony Awards in the Best Actor and Best Featured Actress categories, respectively.
Tickets, priced $20, are available by phoning (203) 432-1234 or by visiting www.drama.yale.edu.