J.C. Johnson Musical Trav'lin Will Make Regional Premiere in Texas in 2013
By Adam Hetrick
Trav'lin – The New 1930s Harlem Musical, which premiered as part of the 2010 New York Musical Theatre Festival, will receive its regional premiere in spring 2013 at the Jubilee Theater in Fort Worth, TX.
The musical's score is culled from the songs of late Harlem Renaissance composer J.C. Johnson. Trav'lin, which takes inspiration from Johnson's life, has a book by his protegé Gary Holmes and Allan Shapiro.
Creative team and casting have not been announced for the production that will run March 29-April 28, 2013.
Trav'lin, according to the authors, "inspired by Johnson's tales of his life and times, follows three couples of different ages playing the game of love in 1930s Harlem. They learn an enduring lesson when George, a retired Pullman porter and church deacon, meets his match in the guise of a down-and-out stranger who is not the person she pretends to be."
Paul Stancato staged the NYMF production, which starred Tony Award nominee Brenda Braxton. Trav'lin has also been developed by the York Theatre Company.
Johnson wrote Bessie Smith's signature song "Empty Bed Blues" and collaborated with such artists as Fats Waller, Andy Razaf, Chick Webb, George Whiting and Nat Schwartz. Among the icons to record and perform his music are Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, Louie Armstrong, Fred Astaire, Duke Ellington and Count Basie.
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