New Kind of Musical Like Jazz by Cy Coleman Opens in Los Angeles, Dec. 4

The world premiere of the new Cy Coleman musical, Like Jazz, opens at Los Angeles' Mark Taper Forum, Dec. 4. Lillias White, Patti Austin and Jennifer Holliday will star.

Lillias White and Cleavant Derricks in Like Jazz
Lillias White and Cleavant Derricks in Like Jazz (Photo by Craig Schwartz)

Like Jazz began previews at the California venue Nov. 21 for a run through Jan. 25, 2004. Songstress Austin and actress White star in the new musical. Holliday ( Dreamgirls) will fill in for Austin for five performances, Dec. 28-31. Devised from a "Portraits in Jazz" concert at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts created by Coleman and Marilyn and Alan Bergman, the work featuring 18 original songs will be a celebration of the art form and its artists. Taper artistic director Gordon Davidson will direct, with choreography by Patricia Birch.

The new work, not a traditional musical as suggested by its subtitle A New Kind of Musical, features the music of Cy Coleman ( Little Me, Sweet Charity, Barnum, City of Angels), lyrics from the husband and wife team of Alan and Marilyn Bergman ( Street Corner Symphony, Ballroom) and book by Larry Gelbart ( ...Forum, City of Angels).

Also in the cast are Harry Groener ( Imaginary Friends, Crazy For You), singers Jennifer Chada, Cleavant Derricks and Jack Sheldon with dancers Katy Durham, Dameka Hayes, Greg Poland, Timothy Ware, Carlton Wilborn and Natalie Willes.

The design team for Like Jazz will include D Martyn Bookwalter (set and lighting), Judith Dolan (costumes), Jon Gottlieb and Phillip G. Allen (sound) and Marc I. Rosenthal (projections). Tom Kubis will serve as music director.

Tickets for to productions at the Taper, 135 North Grand Ave. in Los Angeles, CA are currently available by calling (213) 628-2772 or visit

Lillias White (left) and Patti Austin in <i>Like Jazz</i>
Lillias White (left) and Patti Austin in Like Jazz (Photo by Craig Schwartz)