By Kenneth Jones
25 Sep 2012
|Photo by Kevin Sprague|
The play by Teachout, a critic, biographer and playwright, is "set backstage at the Empire Room of the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in March 1971," when Armstrong, the greatest trumpet player in the world, "sits in his dressing room trying to pull himself together following his celebrated performance." According to Wilma notes, "His mind wanders through the amazing journey of his life and his complex relationship with his manager Joe Glaser."
Thompson starred in the Wilma staging of Jesus Hopped the 'A' Train, which won him a Barrymore Award in 2004. He recently appeared at the Goodman Theatre in The Iceman Cometh. He played Richard III at Shakespeare & Co. in 2010, and won his OBIE for his portrayal of Othello in a 2009 production at Theater for a New Audience (later reprised for S&Co).
In earlier production notes, Teachout, author of the 2009 biography "Pops: A Life of Louis Armstrong," said, "Between 1947 and his death in 1971, Armstrong taped hundred of after-hours conversations with his wife, friends, and colleagues in which he revealed a very different side of his personality. Some of these tapes are startlingly intimate, and many of them contain very strong language that Armstrong never used on stage."
For tickets and information, call (215) 546-7824, visit wilmatheater.org, or go to the theatre at 265 South Broad Street in Philadelphia.