From PasadenaNow: The Pasadena Playhouse will receive the 2023 Regional Theatre Tony Award on June 11 in New York, joining the Mark Taper Forum as the only two Los Angeles theatres ever to be so honored.
The Tony Awards Administration Committee said the decision comes as a result of a recommendation by the American Theatre Critics Association.
Along with the prestigious award, Pasadena Playhouse will also receive a $25,000 grant provided by City National Bank.
Heather Hitchens, the President and CEO of the American Theatre Wing, and Charlotte St. Martin, the President of The Broadway League, expressed their enthusiasm in presenting the 2023 Regional Theatre Tony Award to Pasadena Playhouse. They commended the Playhouse for its significant contributions to the local and global theater scene, recognizing its commitment to developing innovative works and supporting talented artists.
Pasadena Playhouse’s Producing Artistic Director, Danny Feldman, called the award an extraordinary honor and a defining moment for the community.
Feldman praised the Playhouse as a unique and special place, emphasizing the exceptional community of artists, arts administrators, production professionals, volunteers, audiences, and supporters who have contributed to its success. He credited the Playhouse’s founding ideal of being a theater of, by, and for the community as the driving force behind its cultural significance.
As the official State Theater of California, Pasadena Playhouse has gained international recognition for its pivotal role in the growth and advancement of American theater. Since its establishment in 1917, the Playhouse has presented numerous original productions, including premieres of renowned playwrights such as Tennessee Williams, Eugene O’Neill, and Suzan Lori Parks.
The Playhouse’s School for Theater Arts has also played a vital role in shaping the careers of actors and theater makers who have made significant contributions to the entertainment industry.
Pasadena Playhouse stands as one of America’s oldest and most storied theaters. Founded as a community theater by Gilmor Brown in 1917, the Playhouse quickly gained recognition for its innovative concepts, including the influential “theater-in-the-round” staging technique. Its proximity to Hollywood led to the discovery of numerous celebrities on its stages, earning it the moniker “Star Factory.” The Playhouse became renowned for its contribution to the film industry, particularly during the transition from silent films to talkies.
However, the Playhouse faced challenges in the 1960s, experiencing a lack of leadership and direction. Competing theaters emerged in downtown Los Angeles, drawing patrons away from the Playhouse. Additionally, USC and UCLA established drama departments, resulting in a decline in enrollment for the Playhouse’s theater arts school. In 1969, the college closed, and the theater itself faced bankruptcy.
Despite these setbacks, the Playhouse’s future was secured through the efforts of The Friends of the Pasadena Playhouse, a volunteer group that worked tirelessly to preserve the theater and obtain its California State Landmark status. After several real estate transactions, the Playhouse reopened as a nonprofit theater in 1986. In 1997, Sheldon Epps became the Artistic Director and ushered in a new era for the Playhouse, emphasizing diversity in its productions and programs.
Danny Feldman took on the role of Producing Artistic Director in 2016, vowing to return the Playhouse to its community-centric roots. Under his leadership, the Playhouse has continued to innovate and embrace diversity in its programming. Notable successes include the groundbreaking production of “Little Shop of Horrors,” featuring George Salazar and Mj Rodriguez. The Playhouse has also explored new theatrical models and engaged both professionals and nonprofessionals in honoring the legacy of Stephen Sondheim.
With its centennial anniversary approaching in 2025, Pasadena Playhouse remains committed to artistic excellence, expanding educational opportunities, and securing funding for the preservation and modernization of its historical building. The Playhouse aims to continue making theater accessible to all and serve as a leading force in the field.
The 76th Annual Tony Awards, presented by the Broadway League and the American Theatre Wing, will be broadcast live on June 11 from the historic United Palace in Washington Heights, New York City. CBS will air the ceremony from 8:00-11:00 PM ET/5:00-8:00 PM PT, with live streaming and on-demand access available on Paramount+. A pre-show, “The Tony Awards: Act One,” featuring exclusive content, will be presented by CBS and Pluto TV on Pluto TV’s free streaming television service.
2023 REGIONAL TONY AWARD® RECIPIENT,
ANNOUNCES 2023/2024 SEASON PRODUCTIONS
The Sound Inside - The L.A. Premiere of Adam Rapp’s thrilling drama
Inherit the Wind - A fresh take on Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee’s Classic
KATE - Comedian Kate Berlant’s hit show direct from New York
One of the Good Ones - A World Premiere Comedy by Gloria Calderón Kellett, Showrunner of Netflix’s One Day at a Time
Jelly’s Last Jam - A landmark revival of the Tony Award®-winning Musical
Pasadena Playhouse Holiday Variety Show - A new Playhouse tradition created by Head Over Heels co-director Sam Pinkleton
Memberships now available at pasadenaplayhouse.org
May 25, 2023, Pasadena, CA | Producing Artistic Director Danny Feldman announces the five mainstage productions for the 2023/2024 season, plus a new holiday tradition for Pasadena Playhouse, the recipient of the 2023 Regional Tony Award. The season includes the world premiere of a new play by Gloria Calderón Kellett, One Of The Good Ones and the Los Angeles premiere of Adam Rapp’s The Sound Inside. The season will also include a fresh take on Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee’s timeless classic Inherit the Wind and a new production of the Tony Award winning musical Jelly’s Last Jam, featuring a book by George C. Wolf, music by Jelly Roll Morton, and lyrics by Susan Birkenhead with musical adaptation and additional music composed by Luther Henderson. Celebrated comedian Kate Berlant will also join the season with her acclaimed one woman tour de force KATE, direct from its smash New York engagement. There will also be an additional add-on offering from acclaimed theater maker, director and choreographer Sam Pinkleton, who will return to the Playhouse with the Pasadena Playhouse Holiday Variety Show. Creative teams and casting for all productions will be announced at a later date.
“Pasadena Playhouse continues to deliver a season full of bold theatrical adventures. At times suspenseful, hilarious, and always riveting, these extraordinary productions will give you a reason to leave the house and stay with you long after the curtain comes down” said Danny Feldman. He continues, “This season has it all: a masterfully written thriller, a classic courtroom drama for today, a one-woman show like you’ve never seen before, a world premiere comedy, and a wildly entertaining and powerful classic musical reborn. And a holiday show like no other you’ve seen. We can’t wait for everyone to join us!”
Memberships are now available at pasadenaplayhouse.org, or by calling 626-356-7529.
The Sound Inside (September 6 – October 1, 2023)
By Adam Rapp
Not everything is as it seems behind the ivy-covered walls of Yale, where an unlikely bond leads to an unthinkable favor. Writing professor Bella Baird is looking for answers, but a fateful encounter with a mysterious student could lead to life-changing consequences for both of them. Nominated for six Tony Awards, including Best Play, Pulitzer Prize finalist Adam Rapp’s haunting 90-minute thriller will leave you wondering who you can trust and remind you everyone has a story — the question is how it ends.
Recipient of the Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding New Broadway Play, The Sound Inside is “absolutely riveting theater” (The Wrap), “a remarkable psychological mystery” (Deadline), “a stunning character study of someone you’d like to know” (Variety) and “An astonishing new play. For 90 minutes, you are dying to know what will happen.” (The New York Times)
Inherit the Wind (November 1– November 26, 2023)
By Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee
Two of the nation’s leading lawyers go head-to-head in the ultimate battle of wit, wisdom, and will in this powerful drama. With freedom of speech hanging in the balance, will this small-town courtroom bring us together or tear the nation apart? In a fresh production boldly reimagined for today, Inherit the Wind will make you rethink what you know and dare you to question just how much society has evolved.
“The subject of teaching evolution and religion in public schools is even more topical than it was when Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee’s worthy war horse first galloped onto Broadway more than half a century ago” (New York Times)
KATE (January 17 – February 11, 2024)
Written and Performed by Kate Berlant
In her widely celebrated one-woman show, revered comedian Kate Berlant explores the events of her life that have brought her to this moment. Embodying many characters in this tour de force performance, she expertly morphs before our eyes and exposes a truth she has, until now, kept hidden. Originally directed by Bo Burnham.
Named a New York Times Critic’s Pick and one of the “Best of the Year” by the New York Times, Vanity Fair, Variety, Theatrely and more, Kate Berlant is KATE is “the one-woman show to end all one-woman shows” and “a dazzling hall of mirrors, a head-spinning exploration of narcissism, main character syndrome and our culture’s insatiable appetite for trauma. It’s also an undeniable celebration of Berlant’s Big Brain Energy” (The Guardian)
One Of The Good Ones (March 13 – April 7, 2024)
By Gloria Calderón Kellett
The ultimate family showdown is on in the world premiere of this new comedy commissioned by Pasadena Playhouse. When the "perfect" Latina daughter brings her boyfriend home to meet the parents, her family's biases and preconceptions are put on full display. As tensions run high and hilarity ensues, everyone must navigate the ins and outs of family dynamics and the boundaries of acceptance — all while tackling the age-old question: what does it truly mean to be an American? Meet your new favorite family in this laugh-out-loud, heartfelt story from Gloria Calderón Kellett, the co-creator and showrunner of Netflix’s One Day at a Time.
Recipient of the Alma Award for Outstanding Writing for a Television Series (How I Met Your Mother) and the Image Award for Outstanding Writing in a Comedy Series (One Day at a Time), Gloria Calderón Kellett “has built a career making stories about Hispanic characters that lead with joy — notably, as a showrunner of the critically adored reboot of One Day at a Time…she has the kind of big den-mother energy that makes you want to go out and sell a shipping container’s worth of Girl Scout cookies and also become a slightly better person.” (New York Times)
Jelly’s Last Jam (May 28 – June 23, 2024)
Book by George C. Wolfe
Music by Jelly Roll Morton
Lyrics by Susan Birkenhead
Musical Adaptation and Additional Music Composed By Luther Henderson
When legendary musician Jelly Roll Morton’s soul is forced to face the music, the self-proclaimed “inventor of jazz” is left at the ultimate crossroads. Follow Jelly from the back alleys of New Orleans to the sparkling stages of New York, as his remarkable journey unfolds in a stunning display of song, dance, and music. With soulful melodies, electrifying tap dancing, and fiery tunes that will leave you breathless, get your groove on with this dazzling musical masterpiece.
Recipient of three Tony Awards, six Drama Desk Awards, and three 1992 Outer Critics Circle Awards including Best Broadway Musical, Jelly’s Last Jam “makes the invention of jazz a miraculous, eruptive theatrical event… not merely an impressionistic biography of the man who helped ignite the 20th-century jazz revolution, but also a sophisticated attempt to tell the story of the birth of jazz in general and, through that story, the edgy drama of being black in the tumultuous modern America that percolated to jazz's beat” (New York Times)
Pasadena Playhouse Holiday Variety Show (December 9 – 23, 2023)
Created by Sam Pinkleton
You better watch out, you better not cry, because something magical is coming to the Playhouse this holiday season. Sam Pinkleton, the creative mind behind 2021’s production of Head Over Heels, returns to the Playhouse to sleigh audiences with a brand-new holiday show that’s sure to leave you feeling merry and bright. So get ready to jingle all the way and join us for a holly jolly spectacular you'll never forget.
Tony Award Nominee for Best Choreography (Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812) and
Co-director of Pasadena Playhouse’s acclaimed production of Head Over Heels, Sam Pinkleton, as he told American Theatre, is “kind of only interested in theater that is also an event, where, when you leave, if you think you just saw a concert or you think you just saw a play or you think you just went to a party—you did, right?”
Membership is our form of Subscription. It is the best and most cost-effective way to celebrate the season at the Playhouse and includes tickets/access to The Sound Inside, Inherit the Wind, Kate Berlant is KATE, Jelly’s Last Jam, One Of The Good Ones, and discount and advance access to Pasadena Playhouse Holiday Variety Show. With options starting at $150 for the PlayhousePass, there are packages for everyone. Members receive advanced access to tickets, significant discounts on tickets, waived fees and unprecedented flexibility, allowing patrons to experience live theater on their terms.
• Traditional Subscription/Classic Memberships: Receive tickets to all 5 mainstage productions with preassigned seats for the entire season. Packages start at $350.
• Dynamic Memberships: Prepaid access to all 5 mainstage productions, allowing you to pick your seats as you go (before tickets are available to the general public). Packages start at $300.
• PlayhousePass: $150 annual membership fee unlocks access to $65 tickets for the best available seats to any production you want to attend, with advanced access to tickets before they go on sale to the public. (available Summer 2023)
More information on all these packages, or higher-level Memberships, can be found at pasadenaplayhouse.org/membership.
ABOUT PASADENA PLAYHOUSE
Pasadena Playhouse, the official State Theater of California and recipient of the 2023 Regional Theatre Tony Award, is one of the most prolific theaters in the country. The Playhouse has staged thousands of original productions since its founding in 1917 including premieres of works by Tennessee Williams, Eugene O’Neill, Suzan Lori Parks and hundreds more. For decades, its pioneering School for Theater Arts was a training ground for actors and theatermakers who went on to make significant contributions to the entertainment industry. Under the leadership of Producing Artistic Director Danny Feldman since 2016, Pasadena Playhouse’s productions and community programs are centered on its founding idea of being a living force in its community, making theater for everyone.
2023-2024 Slate of Offerings at Pasadena Playhouse
Season, schedule and artists subject to change
September 6 – October 1, 2023
The Sound Inside
By Adam Rapp
An unexpected bond.
An unspeakable request.
An unforgettable story.
Adam Rapp: Adam Rapp is the author of numerous plays, which include Nocturne (American Repertory Theatre, New York Theatre Workshop), Finer Noble Gases (26th Humana Festival), Stone Cold Dead Serious (A.R.T.), Blackbird (Bush Theatre, London), Essential Self-Defense (Playwrights Horizons/Edge Theatre), Kindness (Playwrights Horizons), The Metal Children (Vineyard Theatre), The Hallway Trilogy (Rattlestick Theater), The Edge of Our Bodies (36th Humana Festival), Dreams of Flying Dreams of Falling (Atlantic Theater Company), Through the Yellow Hour (Rattlestick Theater), Wolf in the River (The Flea Theater), The Purple Lights of Joppa Illinois (Atlantic Theater Company) and Red Light Winter (Steppenwolf, Barrow Street Theatre), for which he won Chicago’s Jeff Award for Best New Work, an Obie Award, and was named a finalist for the 2006 Pulitzer Prize. He made his Broadway debut with The Sound Inside (Studio 54), which received a 2020 Outer Critics Circle Honor for Outstanding New Broadway Play. The Sound Inside was commissioned by Lincoln Center and received its world premiere at the Williamstown Theatre Festival.
His playwriting honors include Boston’s Elliot Norton Award, The Helen Merrill Prize, The 2006 Princess Grace Statue, a Lucille Lortel Playwright’s Fellowship, the PEN/Laura Pels International Foundation Award, and The Benjamin H. Danks Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.
November 1 – 26, 2023
Inherit the Wind
By Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee
On Trial: The Right to Think
Jerome Lawrence/Robert E. Lee: Jerome was born July 14, 1915, in Cleveland, Ohio. After graduating from Glenville High School in Cleveland in 1933, Lawrence went on to study at Ohio State University. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa in 1937. Between 1937 and 1939, Lawrence was a graduate student at the University of California at Los Angeles. Robert Edwin Lee was born on October 15, 1918, in Elyria, Ohio, and graduated from Elyria High School in 1935. He went on to study at Northwestern University in Chicago in 1934 before transferring to Ohio Wesleyan, where he was a student from 1935 to 1937. During World War II, Lawrence served as a consultant to the Secretary of War and later as an Army correspondent in North Africa and Italy. Lee was similarly appointed Expert Consultant to the Secretary of War in 1942. He also served in the USAF from 1943 to 1944, during which time he and Lawrence co-founded Armed Forces Radio. Working together on Armed Forces Radio, Lawrence and Lee produced the official Army-Navy radio programs for D-Day, VE-Day, and VJ-Day. After the war and throughout their careers, they continued to write radio programs for CBS, including the series Columbia Workshop. They also co-wrote radio plays, including The Unexpected (1951), Song of Norway (1957), Shangri-La (1960), a radio version of Inherit the Wind (1965), and Lincoln the Unwilling Warrior (1974). Lee was awarded a Peabody Ward for a U.N. radio series in 1948. From the late 1940s onward, Lawrence and Lee collaborated on the writing of many plays that would come to be seen as standards of American drama. Their first theatrical collaboration was writing the book for Look, Ma, I'm Dancin'!, which premiered at the Adelphi Theatre in New York in 1948. Their second play, Inherit the Wind, was not produced on Broadway until 1955. Their agent, Harold Freedman, had been shopping the play around for nearly a year when Dallas producer Margo Jones agreed to give the play a try-out in Texas. The production opened at Theatre '55 on January 10, 1955. Its success in Dallas led to the play's opening at the National Theatre in New York on April 21, 1955. Inherit the Wind earned Lawrence and Lee numerous awards in the year after its production. The play won the Donaldson Award, the Outer Critics Circle Award, the Variety New York Drama Critics Poll Award, and the Critics Award for Best Foreign Play, and was nominated for a Tony Award. After Inherit the Wind, the two collaborated with James Hilton to adapt Hilton's novel, Lost Horizon, as the book and lyrics to the musical Shangri-La, which opened at the Winter Garden in New York in 1956. Over the next few years Lawrence and Lee wrote the plays Auntie Mame (1956), The Gang's All Here (1959), A Call On Kuprin (1961), the book to the musical Mame (1966), Dear World (1969), The Incomparable Max (1969), which Lawrence directed, The Night Thoreau Spent In Jail (1971), Jabberwock (1972), Diamond Orchid (1965), based on the Henry James book, and Laugh Makers (1952). In 1990, Lawrence and Lee were named Fellows of American Theatre at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC. That same year, their final collaboration, Whisper in the Mind, was produced at Arizona State University and, in 1994, at the Missouri Repertory Theatre. On July 8, 1994, Lee died in Los Angeles. Lawrence continued to write and supervise productions of his plays from his Malibu home. He is the author of Actor: The Life and Times of Paul Muni, which has been called one of the best theater biographies of the century.
December 9 – 23, 2023
Pasadena Playhouse Holiday Variety Show
Created by Sam Pinkleton
A holiday show as only the Playhouse can do.
Sam Pinkleton: Sam is a Tony Award-nominated director and choreographer based in Los Angeles. Previously at Pasadena Playhouse he co-directed, with Jenny Koons, the space-transforming dance party version of Head Over Heels which reopened the theater in 2021. His work on Broadway includes Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812, Macbeth with Daniel Craig and Ruth Negga, Amélie, Heisenberg, Significant Other, and Machinal. As a director his recent work includes a new, mega-queer, participatory production of The Wizard of Oz (ACT, San Francisco), the world premiere of Noah Diaz' You Will Get Sick starring Linda Lavin, Untitled DanceShowPartyThing(Virgin Voyages, with Ani Taj), the world premiere of Larissa FastHorse's What Would Crazy Horse Do (KC Rep), and Liz Swados' Runaways (City Center Encores / Shakespeare in the Park). Other highlights of his work includes Kansas City Choir Boy with Courtney Love, A Midsummer Night's Dream (Deutsche Oper Berlin), the original New York production of Anne Washburn's Mr. Burns, A Post-Electric Play, and the upcoming musical film THE END, starring Tilda Swinton and Michael Shannon.
January 17 – February 11, 2024
By Kate Berlant
is Kate Berlant
In her widely celebrated one-woman show, revered comedian Kate Berlant explores the events of her life that have brought her to this moment. Embodying many characters in this tour de force performance, she expertly morphs before our eyes and exposes a truth she has, until now, kept hidden.
Kate Berlant: Comedian, actress, and writer Kate Berlant most recently concluded her second sold out run of KATE, her one-woman off-Broadway play, to a rapturous response, “the New York City Show to See '' (Vulture). Her comedy special Cinnamon in the Wind (directed by Bo Burnham) is now streaming on Hulu. In addition, her A24/Peacock sketch comedy special Would It Kill You to Laugh?, created with her collaborator John Early, was recently nominated for a Critic’s Choice Award. Kate’s film credits include Olivia Wilde’s Don’t Worry Darling, Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, and Boots Riley’s Sorry to Bother You. She can currently be seen on the Amazon series A League of Their Own, starring alongside Abbi Jacobsen and Nick Offerman; her additional television credits include Search Party, The Other Two, Transparent, and I Think You Should Leave with Tim Robinson, as well as her celebrated episode of Netflix’s The Characters. She was named a Just for Laughs "New Face of Comedy'' and a Variety "Ten to Watch.”
March 13 – April 7, 2024
One Of The Good Ones
By Gloria Calderón Kellett
A new comedy from the co-creator and showrunner of Netflix's One Day at a Time
Gloria Calderón Kellett: Gloria Calderón Kellett is an award-winning writer, producer, director and actress.
She was an executive producer, co-creator, co-showrunner, director, and actress on the Emmy-winning sitcom One Day at a Time. Her critically acclaimed Amazon Original series, With Love, is the first series coming out of an overall deal between her company, Glonation and Amazon Studios. Along with Blumhouse Television and Spotify, Glonation is also producing The Horror of Dolores Roach based on the hit Gimlet podcast reuniting her with star Justina Machado.
The proud daughter of Cuban immigrants, Calderón Kellett graduated from Loyola Marymount University and went on to earn a master’s degree in theater from the University of London. She spent her early years as a writer/producer on numerous shows including Devious Maids and How I Met Your Mother. Her acting credits include Jane The Virgin, Angie Tribeca, Dead To Me, How I Met Your Mother, and Your Place Or Mine. She also appeared as a narrator on Drunk History (New Orleans). Kellett is also a sought after director having directed episodes of How I Met Your Father, Lopez vs. Lopez, One Day at a Time, Mr. Iglesias, the Mad About You revival among others.
Gloria is a champion for women, the Latino/a/x/e community and other disenfranchised voices. She is an executive committee member for The Television Academy. She assisted Amazon in supporting their inaugural Inclusion Playbook, providing a template for how to make content in an inclusive and responsible way. Her advocacy includes being a founding member of the Untitled Latinx Project, a group of Latine show runners who advocate on behalf of the Latine community (by such efforts as the Dear Hollywood initiative) to help studios identify ways to support and tell Latine stories. As an ambassador for the non-profit ReFrame, which celebrates and encourages gender parity in front of and behind the camera and a partner with the Latinx House/Adelante she supported up and coming Latina directors and DPs by having them shadow on the set of With Love on Season 2. Alongside the Latino Film Institute, LACollab and Amazon she also mentors with The Youth Cinema Project to strengthen the Latino pipeline to Hollywood. Her mentor efforts also include working with the Pillars Artist Fellows, co-founded by Riz Ahmed to support Muslim writers and directors. To offer free advice to new artists at the beginning of their careers, she partnered with Buzzfeed’s Perolike to release a web series titled: Hollywood 101.
She is a member of The Creative Coalition where she fights to support the arts and arts programs by going to Washington DC and meeting with members of congress to encourage their support for the National Endowment for the Arts and is the chair for their Pay Gap Initiative which gives grants of 10k to entry level BIPOC candidates to help them start their Hollywood journey. As an Ambassador for the National Women’s History Museum, she is focused on highlighting the countless untold stories of women throughout history. As a part of the Celebrity Ambassador Cabinet for The National Hispanic Media Coalition, she supports their woman-led non-profit civil and human rights organization founded to eliminate hate, discrimination, and racism toward the Latino community. She’s also a part of the Creative Council for Emily’s List which is the nation's largest resource dedicated to electing Democratic women to office and the Creative Council for Vote Mama Foundation which is the leading source of research and analysis about the political participation of moms.
Gloria is also an industry advocate for greening Hollywood and has partnered with Scriptation to come up with solutions to make a positive environmental impact and reduce Hollywood’s carbon footprint while also advocating for stories about the environment on TV.
Awards for her work include: The Television Academy Honors, The Geffen TrailBlazer Award, Mental Health America Media Award, ALMA Award, Imagen Award, Vanguard Award, NHMC Award, Sentinel Award, and The Voice Award. She has been honored as an industry leader by The Hollywood Reporter in their Top Women in Entertainment issue, the THR100 list issue, and their 50 Agents of Change issue.
May 28 – June 23, 2024
Jelly’s Last Jam
Book by George C. Wolfe
Music by Jelly Roll Morton
Lyrics by Susan Birkenhead
Musical Adaptation and Additional Music Composed By Luther Henderson
“In telling the story of Jelly, the story of jazz,
Ya gotta have grit to go with the gravy.”
Susan Birkenhead: Susan Birkenhead received a Tony Nomination, a Grammy nomination and a Drama Desk Award for her lyrics for Jelly’s Last Jam, which she wrote with George C. Wolfe. She was nominated for a Tony award for Working, and a Drama Desk Award for Triumph of Love. She won an Outer Critics Circle Award for What About Luv? and a Los Angeles Drama Critics Award for Minsky’s.
She wrote additional lyrics for High Society on Broadway, and was one of several writers of A My Name Is Alice and Stars of Davidoff Broadway.
The Secret Life of Bees, which she’s written with Lynn Nottage and Duncan Sheik, is currently playing in London.
Her musical, On Cedar Street, which she’s written with Emily Mann and Carmel Dean will be done this summer at The Berkshire Theatre Group. Boop, which she’s written with David Foster and Bob Martin, will go into rehearsal in October, directed and choreographed by Jerry Mitchell, for a quick tryout in Chicago, then Broadway.
Ferdinand La Menthe “Jelly Roll” Morton: Morton was born in the Creole gentry of New Orleans in 1891, but was irresistibly drawn to the excitement of the infamous Storyville district where he made his reputation as a pianist. At a young age he left New Orleans to travel the country, landing in Chicago in the 1920s. He and his band, The Red Hot Peppers, became the top black recording artists for RCA Records in 1927-1928. Morton's music integrated the sounds of ragtime, blues, African rhythms and French opera, establishing him as one of the great jazz pioneers. But by 1930 his music was considered old hat. He died in Los Angeles in 1941.
Luther Henderson Bio: Luther Henderson was a composer, arranger, orchestrator, music director, and performer with a long and impressive career spanning multiple genres. Henderson worked on more than 50 Broadway productions. He served as the original pianist and orchestrator, arranger, and musical supervisor for Ain’t Misbehavin‘. For Lena Horne: The Lady and Her Music, he was the musical consultant and arranged several selections. He orchestrated the Tony Award-winning Raisin and Play On! As a dance arranger, Henderson‘s credits included Flower Drum Song, Do Re Mi, Funny Girl, and No, No Nanette. He also had a robust recording career, featuring albums with the Canadian Brass Quintet, Eileen Farrell, Columbia Records, the Duke Ellington Orchestra, the Andre Kostelanetz Orchestra, the Royal Philharmonic, Mandy Patinkin, Polly Bergen, Anita Ellis, and others. (Sources: National Endowment for the Arts, Playbill.com)
George C. Woolf Bio: Theatre directing credits include The Iceman Cometh, Shuffle Along, or the Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed (NY Drama Critics’ Circle Award and Drama Desk Award for Best Musical); Lucky Guy; The Normal Heart (Drama Desk); Jelly’s Last Jam (Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Award); Angels in America: Millennium Approaches (Tony Award and Drama Desk) and Perestroika (Drama Desk); Bring in ‘da Noise, Bring in ‘da Funk (Tony and Drama League Award); Topdog/Underdog (Obie Award); Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992 (Drama Desk); Elaine Stritch at Liberty (Tony for Special Theatrical Event); The Tempest; Caroline, or Change (Olivier Award Best Musical); and A Free Man of Color. From 1993-2005 Wolfe was the Producer of The Public Theater/New York Shakespeare Festival. He is the writer of the award-winning The Colored Museum, Shuffle Along…, he directed/adapted Spunk (Obie Award), and Harlem Song.