Soul, Rhythm & Blues : “Blues in the Night” @ the Wallis

“Blues in the Night,” (musical direction and vocal arrangements by Chapman Roberts ; additional vocal arrangements by Sy Johnson), is a wonderful musical collaboration from the brilliant mind of Sheldon Epps.  The four performers ( Yvette Cason, Bryce Charles, Chester Gregory and Paulette Ivory) completely  embody the concept created by Epps, which is a glorious homage to the likes of Bessie Smith, Duke Ellington, Johnny Mercer and Harold Arlen.  Classic songs are mixed in with originals, such as “Kitchen Man,” a real standout performed by Yvette Cason, who plays the Lady from the Road.  Raunchy at times, and always amusing, the play, or should I say, musical, takes place in a cheap hotel in Chicago, circa the late 1930’s. We are first introduced to Paulette (Ivory), who portrays the women of the world. She sings “Blue Blues” with incredible panache and sets the tone for the enrire show. Some of the classic songs performed include “Stomping at the Savoy” by Benny Goodman and “I’m Just a Lucky So and So” by Duke Ellington.  Other faves were “When your Lover Has Gone,” and “Willow Weep for Me.”  The audience was so thrilled with the show that they were clapping and swaying along with the performers and accompanying jazz band.  Standing ovations were in order, as appreciation of a bygone era in Americana lore, that is etched forever in our hearts.  The chemistry between the women and the dapper, stylish Chester Gregory is palpable. Go, and you will be entertained!

http://www.thewallis.org

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About Bonnie Priever Curtain Up!

I am a theatre reviewer extraordinairre. I attend and cover theatres ranging from large to small venues, and every subject from musical theatre to dramatic presentations. Also please check out my reviews at www.examiner.com and www.tolucantimes.com my email is bonniedeb13@hotmail.com
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