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Miles Davis deals with rebellious members of his combo, a contentious club manager, and a crooked cop on a night in August 1959.
Birdland Blue is not a documentary, but an engaging dramatic speculation about a time in the life of an unforgettable musical genius. If you are a fan of the coolest music or the glamor of the era, then Birdland Blue is the show for you.
At Broadway and 52nd Street in New York City, the nightclub Birdland was the legendary center of the jazz world, where the glitterati of Broadway, Hollywood and the sports world regularly filled its 500 seats. In August, 1959, the biggest star in jazz was Miles Davis, who earlier that year recorded Kind of Blue, regarded then and now as the most innovative and best jazz album of all time. The Miles Davis Sextet, as constituted that summer, was regarded as the best jazz combo ever.
Birdland Blue is a behind-the-scenes look at Miles on one evening that August. He flirts with a beautiful reporter for a jazz magazine. He copes with division within his ranks, as two of his musicians (Julius “Cannonball” Adderley and John Coltrane) are on the verge of leaving the Sextet to start their own groups. He deals with substance abuse problems, his own and that of one of his musicians. He argues with the club owner/manager over proper compensation. His biggest challenge may be coming from a violent, crooked, racist cop.
The cast includes (in alphabetical order) Jermaine Alexander, Tiffany Coty, Rogelio Douglas III, Eddie Goines, Charles Isen, Marcus Clark Oliver, Darrell Philip, Michael Ricks and Damon Rutledge.
Music is performed live by Ricardo Mowatt, Marion Newton and Randy Ross.
Ben Guillory directs. The Artistic Director and Co-Founder of The Robey Theatre Company, his many previous directing credits include For the Love of Freedom (The Haitian Trilogy), The Magnificent Dunbar Hotel, Bronzeville, Dr. Du Bois and Miss Ovington, Anna Lucasta, No Place to Be Somebody, The Reckoning,, The Emperor’s Last Performance and many more. He is also an acclaimed actor and producer.
Randy Ross Ph.D. is the playwright. His earlier play, 92 Grove Street, received several staged readings from Robey. He is the also the author of short stories and of public policy essays and non-fiction books ( including Government and the Private Sector: Who Should Do What?). Dr. Ross is also an accomplished saxophonist and is a member of the jazz group the Blue Morning Quintet.
Associate producer: Di Smith.
Birdland Blue is the first show in The Robey Theatre Company’s 25th Anniversary Season. It was developed in The Robey Theatre Company’s Playwrights’ Lab.
The Robey Theatre Company is funded in part by grants from the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs and The County of Los Angeles through Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas and the Los Angeles Arts Commission. Presenting Sponsors include Wells Fargo and Northrop Grumman.
Presenter / Producer: The Robey Theatre Company
Theater > Drama
Event Phone: 866-811-4111
Los Angeles Theatre Center
514 S. Spring St.
Los Angeles CA 90013
LA - Central / Downtown
Performance Dates: 4/4/2019 - 5/12/2019
Showtimes are Thursdays through Saturdays at 8:00 p.m., and Sundays at 3:00 p.m., except Sundays, April 21 and May 12, when showtime will be at 7:00 p.m.
$35. Seniors, students, veterans, LAUSD teachers, $22.50. Groups of ten or more, $20. Previews $17.50.
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