As I predicted a few weeks ago the revue, musical, or songfest, call it what you will, “Blues In the Night,” became a hot ticket,
But as I report on public radio 99.1 KBU and select websites, happily its run at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts in Beverly Hills, has been extended another week. And as I have recommended, it shouldn’t be missed
The production may be a little dated, as I am, but it still dazzles, and makes for a delightful, nostalgic, evening. Nostalgic indeed,
the revival is directed by Sheldon Epps, who worked on the show when it was conceived off-off Broadway some 40 years ago. After several productions over the years, I think he’s finally nailed it.
The set in a smoky seedy hotel in Chicago is evocative of the late down and out 30s, and so are the 26 torch songs of Bessie Smith, and Duke Ellington, among notable others.
They are woven together into the sorrowful stories of three women, and the men who have done them wrong, and delivered appropriately draped and pitch perfect by a right-on, outstanding cast of four, Yvette Cason, Bryce Charles , Chester Gregory and Paulette Ivory.
Yes, there could be more dancing, but the production like the man it portrays, is a worrisome thing, in the memorable words of composers Harold Arlen and Johnny Mercer.
In addition to Blues in the Night, there are several other productions scheduled locally that I expect also will be hot tickets, revivals actually that were hits in their time.
At the Japanese Garden on the West L.A. VA campus, from June 5th to July 1st, there will be a rare production of Shakespeare’s “Henry IV,” staged by Tony Award winning director Daniel Sullivan. Of particular note featured will be screen actor Tom Hanks in stage debut as Shakespeare’s greatest comedic character Sir John Falstaff. For tickets you are going to have to link via email to the Shakespeare center.
At the Wallis, June 8th through July 1, will be Eugene O’Neill’s Long Day’s Journey Into Night. This production will star the distinguished actors Jeremy Irons and Lesley Manville.
June 20th to July 1st, the Freud Playhouse, on the UCLA campus, will host a Reprise production of the Broadway hit play, Sweet Charity. Directed and choreographed by Kathleen Marshall.
Tickets for all should be a scramble. Go for it.