Saturday, May 29, 2010

Sophisticated Ladies

This is an excellent show and a must see for anyone near DC. Maurice Hines is superb and the Manzari brothers (ages 15 and 17) are outstanding.

Having heard several stories from my father about playing poker backstage with Duke and his band members and from my mother about the Lincoln Colonade, this show had a personal resonance for me.

From the Washington Post...
This revival show brings crowds night after night, making "Sophisticated Ladies" the highest grossing show in the history of Arena Stage. Its run at the Lincoln Theatre, which began April 15, was first extended through June 6, then to June 27.

The legacy of Ellington, considered one of the "most prolific composers of the 20th century," is entwined with the history of U Street. This is Ellington's old stamping ground. "He started in the basement of this theater," Hines says. "It was destiny we do it here."

The show, a musical revue, celebrates the life and music of Ellington, who was born in Washington in 1899. Ellington grew up around the corner from the theater, on 13th Street NW. He played in jazz clubs and joints on U Street, including the Lincoln Colonnade, a public hall in the basement of the Lincoln Theatre, which was built in 1922.

During the 1920s, U Street was called the Black Broadway and starred, among others, Count Basie, Cab Calloway, Louis Armstrong, Moms Mabley, Bessie Smith, Hattie McDaniel and Billy Eckstine.

1 comment:

Anita said...

I would love to see that! A long shot, but who knows - if I look into it, I may get inspired to make it happen.

Nice that your parents could pass a lot of DC history down to you and your siblings.


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