ANNOUNCES THE FOURTH SHOW OF ITS 2018-2019 SEASON!
THE WALLIS ANNENBERG THEATRE PRODUCTION OF
BLUES IN THE NIGHT
Musical Direction by Abdul Hamid Royal
Conceived and Directed by Sheldon Epps
LIMITED ENGAGEMENT OPENS SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 24
AT THE LAGUNA PLAYHOUSE IN LAGUNA BEACH!
LAGUNA PLAYHOUSE is excited to present the smash-hit, Wallis Annenberg Theatre production of BLUES IN THE NIGHT, with musical direction by Abdul Hamid Royal and conceived & directed by Sheldon Epps. Comments Artistic Director Ann E. Wareham and Executive Director Ellen Richard, “We are delighted to have the opportunity to move the critically acclaimed Wallis Theatre production to the Laguna Playhouse. With Sheldon and Abdul leading our extraordinary cast and creative team, our subscribers and audiences should get ready to be knocked out by this roof-raising exciting new production!”
The soul of the blues wails out full and strong in BLUES IN THE NIGHT, the scorching, Tony and Olivier Award-nominated musical! The 26 hot and torchy numbers - by icons Bessie Smith, Duke Ellington, Johnny Mercer, Harold Arlen and more - tell of the sweet, sexy and sorrowful experiences that three women have with the lying, cheating, snake of a man, who represents the men who do them wrong.
ABOUT THE CAST AND CREATIVE TEAM
SHELDON EPPS (Conceived & Directed) was honored to be Artistic Director of the renowned Pasadena Playhouse for twenty years (1997-2017). Before beginning his tenure at the Playhouse he served as Associate Artistic Director of the Old Globe Theatre for four years. He was also a co-founder of the Off-Broadway theatre, The Production Company. Currently he continues to serve Pasadena Playhouse as Artistic Director Emeritus. Mr. Epps has directed both plays and musicals at many of the country's major theatres including the Roundabout, Manhattan Theatre Club, the Guthrie, Playwrights Horizons, Seattle Repertory Theatre, Arena Stage, and the Goodman Theatre and Houston's Theatre Under the Stars in Houston. He conceived the highly acclaimed musicals Play On! and Blues In the Night, which both received Tony Award nominations. He directed productions of both of those shows on Broadway, in London, and at theatres throughout the world. He also co-directed the Broadway production of Baby It's You!, which had its world premiere at The Pasadena Playhouse. He also has had a busy career as a television director, helming episodes of shows such as “Frasier,” “Friends,” “Everybody Loves Raymond,” “Girlfriends” and many others. Mr. Epps received the James Irvine Foundation Leadership Award for his efforts and accomplishments at the Pasadena Playhouse. Under his leadership the Playhouse has earned distinction for productions of artistic excellence, critical and box office success, and highly praised theatrical diversity. Sheldon is happy to be back at Laguna Playhouse, having directed Beauty and the Beast, A Christmas Rose here during the holidays.
ABDUL HAMID ROYAL (Music Director) received the Ovation Award; Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Award and SAGE Award as Best Music Direction for The Gospel at Colonus. He received the NAACP Image Award for the Tony-nominated Broadway musical Five Guys Named Moe, and the NAACP Image Award and Stage Scene LA Award for Outstanding Musical Direction on the Los Angeles production of Recorded in Hollywood. Broadway/ International/National: Music Director: Five Guys Named Moe, Twist, Sophisticated Ladies, Ain't Misbehavin', Jelly's Last Jam, The Wiz, Truly Blessed, Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, Sound of Music, Fiddler on the Roof, Betsy Brown, Concerts for the Earth, Colors of Christmas, Smokey Joe's Café, The Life. Composer/Arranger: Five Guys Named Moe, Truly Blessed, Body and Soul, Twist, Cole Porter Festival, Colors of Christmas.
Recording Artists: Natalie Cole, Peabo Bryson, Melissa Manchester, Cy Coleman, Al Jarreau, The Pointer Sisters, Liza Minnelli, Ashford & Simpson, Martha Wash, Jennifer Holliday, Jeffrey Osborne, Maurice Hines, Melba Moore, Patti Austin, Grover Washington Jr., Masashi Sada, Patti LaBelle, Christina Aguilera, Jason Mraz, Stevie Wonder, David Foster, Doc Powell, The LA Philharmonic, Ty Herndon, Freddie Waites, Brenda Russell, and Phil Collins.
The cast of BLUES IN THE NIGHT will feature: Yvette Cason (Shout Sister Shout, A Night With Janis Joplin, Ella The Musical, Dreamgirls, Play On! - Ovation Award), Jenna Gillespie (BAZ: Tour de Force - Vegas, Palazzo Theatre, Ovation Nominated - Recorded in Hollywood at the Kirk Douglas Theater), Chester Gregory (Broadway; Motown The Musical, Hairspray, Sister Act) and Paulette Ivory (Originated the role of Nala in London's The Lion King. National US tour of Aida as Aida; Helen Hayes Nomination for Best Actress).
The Design Team for BLUES IN THE NIGHT is as follows: Scenic Design by John Iacovelli; Lighting Design by Jared A. Sayeg; Sound Design by Cricket S. Myers; Costume Design by Dana Rebecca Woods and the Production Stage Manager is Art Brickman.
The season is generously underwritten by The Hale Family.
BLUES IN THE NIGHT will begin previews on Wednesday, February 20; will open on Sunday, February 24 at 1:00pm and perform through Sunday, March 10, 2019 at the Laguna Playhouse, 606 Laguna Canyon Drive in Laguna Beach.
Performances will be Wednesdays through Fridays at 7:30pm; Saturdays at 2pm & 7:30pm; Sundays at 1:00pm. There will be added performances on Thursday, February 21at 2pm; Tuesday, February 26 at 7:30pm; Sunday, March 3 at 5:30pm and Thursday, March 7 at 2pm.
Tickets range from $75 - $100 and can be purchased online at www.lagunaplayhouse.com or by calling (949) 497-ARTS (2787). Group discounts are available by calling 949-497-2787 ext. 229. Prices subject to change.
The box office is open Mondays – Saturdays: 11a.m. to 5p.m.; Sundays: 11a.m. – 4p.m. (open until showtime on all performance days).
For more information on all shows and programming visit www.lagunaplayhouse.com. LAGUNA PLAYHOUSE is located at 606 Laguna Canyon Road in Laguna Beach.