Blues in the Night to Be Revived at London's Hackney Empire
By Mark Shenton
Blues in the Night, the revue that uses 26 great blues and jazz songs of the 1920s and '30s to tell the story of the lives of three women and a saloon singer in a cheap hotel during the course of a memory-filled evening, is to be revived at London's Hackney Empire, beginning performances April 24 prior to an official opening April 25, for a run of 13 performances only through May 4.
Susie McKenna will direct a cast that will include Sharon D. Clarke, Paulette Ivory and Clive Rowe. Musical director is Mark Dickman, design is by Lotte Collett, choreography is by Frank Thompson, lighting by David W. Kidd and sound design is by Avgoustos Psillas. There will be a five-piece Jazz band.
Blues In The Night was conceived and originally directed by Sheldon Epps. It was originally produced in 1980 at Playhouse 46 in New York. The Broadway production, directed by Sheldon Epps ran at the Rialto Theatre in 1982 and was nominated for a Tony Award. It was seen in a different production at the Donmar Warehouse in 1987, and transferred to the Piccadilly Theatre where it ran until July 1988, and was nominated for an Olivier Award.
Songs include "When a Woman Loves a Man," "Wasted Life Blues," "Taking a Chance on Love, "Lover Man," "Kitchen Man" and the title song.
Clarke has starred in the West End in the original casts of Ghost and We Will Rock You, and appeared regularly at the National Theatre including The Amen Corner and Guys and Dolls. She has also appeared frequently in pantomime at Hackney Empire, including the most recent production of Puss in Boots.
Ivory was last seen in London in Fela! at the National Theatre and also in the Broadway company and filmed performances worldwide. She played the title role in Elton John and Tim Rice's Aida on the U.S. national tour and has played Nala in The Lion King at West End's Lyceum.
Rowe was most recently seen as King Darius in the National Theatre production of The Light Princess and was also in Jamie Lloyd's production of Harold Pinter's The Hothouse at the Trafalgar Studios last year. Other recent credits include Kiss Me Kate (Chichester and Old Vic) and the original cast of The Lady Killers at the Gielgud.
To book tickets, contact the box office on 0208 985 2424 or visit www.hackneyempire.co.uk
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