New Musical Obama On My Mind to Premiere in London
By Mark Shenton
A new musical entitled Obama On My Mind — featuring book, music and lyrics by American crime writer and filmmaker Teddy Hayes, who has been resident in the UK for the last 13 years — will make its world premiere in March.
According to press materials, "Celebrating the election and inauguration of America's first black president, Obama On My Mind takes a humorous look at the weird and wonderful world behind the scenes of a small Obama campaign office and the larger than life characters who make the wheels turn, the cogs whirr and bring in the votes. Pop, gospel, jazz and soft rock come together in a politically inspired romp featuring over 11 loyal, obsessive and downright peculiar personalities, striving to get their man into the White House."
In a press statement from author Hayes, he said, "The process of electing a President is very different from Britain. It's a long 15-month campaign with a lot of back-biting and conflict as the campaign impacts on personal lives and vice versa." He was inspired to write the show by the prospect of "his man" winning. Hayes is best known as the author of the Harlem-based "Devil Barnett" series of detective novels. He has previously produced the musical The Baskerville Beast, a musical adaptation of Dickens' "Great Expectations."
Obama On My Mind is directed by Tim McArthur, who is also responsible for the musical staging, with musical direction by Chris Jerome. McArthur's previous directorial credits include Casanova (Greenwich Playhouse and King's Head), Coloured Lights, Merman at the Jermyn, Jack the Ripper, Silver Heaven, Sex, Love & Retro-Femininity and Euro-magic-Vision (all at Jermyn Street Theatre), the European premiere of Jack Heifner's Seduction (Baron's Court Theatre & New York International Festival) and Waterloo Angel (Theatre Museum). Jerome is a pianist and arranger, presently working for as keyboard player for celebrated jazz saxophonist Courtney Pine. He has also worked with the legendary African band Osibisa, as well as with Maxi Jazz, lead vocalist for the rock group Faithless.
Casting is still to be announced, but soul singer and R&B diva Ruby Turner — featured in Jools Holland and his Rhythm & Blues Orchestra's latest CD "The Informer" — has recorded the title track, which can be heard on the show's website.
To book tickets, contact the box office at 020 7704 2001 or visit www.theobamamusical.com.
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