Alberta Hunter Bio-Musical, Cookin' at the Cookery, Gets NYC Premiere

News   Alberta Hunter Bio-Musical, Cookin' at the Cookery, Gets NYC Premiere
Tony Award-winner Ann Duquesnay, who knows her way around both noise and funk, plays jazz singer Alberta Hunter in the New York City premiere of Cookin' at the Cookery, beginning Jan. 14, 2003.

Melting Pot Theatre presents the two-actor play with music, seen in regional theatres around the country. Marion J. Caffey is the writer-director. Debra Walton shares the stage with Duquesnay, who won the Tony Award for Best Featured Actress (Musical) for Bring in 'da Noise, Bring in 'da Funk. Melting Pot is known for its lauded run of Lee Blessing's Cobb.

Subtitled The Music & Times of Alberta Hunter, the work is billed as a "blues bio-musical" that "chronicles the dynamic life and career of legendary blues singer and international star Alberta Hunter. After the death of her mother, Alberta gave up her music career at the age of 61 to become a nurse.  As the play begins, Alberta, at the age of 82, is returning to one of her old haunts, The Cookery Club in Greenwich Village. After celebrating her triumphant return the story unfolds into a series of flashbacks of her younger self rising to stardom running along side the blues of her later life."

Broadway director Marion J. Caffey helped created Three Mo' Tenors, Street Corner Symphony and Blackbirds of Broadway. The Melting Pot Theatre Company is a not-for profit, Off-Broadway company "that creates, develops and produces New York premieres of plays and musicals that explore the themes, people and events that shape the American experience." Recent productions include the Drama Desk Award-winning Cobb, The Devil's Music:  the Life and Blues of Bessie Smith by Angelo Parra and Miche Braden, Miss Evers' Boys by David Feldshuh and Woody Guthrie's American Song by Peter Glazer.

The company is led by founding artistic director Larry Hirschhorn and managing director Sean Patrick Flahaven.

Opening is Jan. 22. Performances continue to March 2 at Theatre 3, 311 W. 43rd St. and Eighth Ave. Tickets are $45 and can be purchased via Ticket Central (212) 279-4200, or at the box office one hour prior to show time.     

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