I N T E R N A T I O N A L C I T Y T H E A T R E
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact (for media only): Lucy Pollak
email@example.com (818) 887-1499
ICT partners with Ebony Rep to present
Tony, Olivier-nominated ‘Blues in the Night’
LONG BEACH, Calif. (REVISED Oct. 21, 2021) — The soul of the blues wails out full and strong when Long Beach’s International City Theatre, in association with L.A.’s Ebony Repertory Theatre, presents the Tony and Olivier award nominated, Sheldon Epps-conceived musical Blues in the Night. Directed by Ebony Rep producing artistic director Wren T. Brown and featuring music direction by William Foster McDaniel and choreography by Keith Young, Blues in the Night opens on Oct. 22 at ICT’s home in the Long Beach Performing Arts Center. Performances will continue through Nov. 7, with two low-priced previews set for Oct. 20 and Oct. 21.
Three women and a man — Jenna Gillespie Byrd (Recorded in Hollywood at the Kirk Douglas Theatre) as “The Girl with a Date,” Karole Foreman (Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill, Fences at ICT) as “The Woman of the World,” two-time Tony nominee Vivian Reed (Bubbling Brown Sugar, The High Rollers Social and Pleasure Club) as “The Lady from the Road” and Parris D. Mann (Broadway productions of Riverdance and The Joint is Jumpin’) as “The Man in the Saloon” (except opening weekend, when the role will be performed by Chester Gregory) — share their stories about the misery and humor of life, love and the dogged determination to do more than just survive. The drama reveals itself through 26 hot, torchy, glorious songs by Bessie Smith, Duke Ellington, Johnny Mercer, Alberta Hunter, Harold Arlen, Jimmy Cox, Ida Cox and more.
“This will be our second foray back to in-person performances this season, and we are thrilled to present this sweet, sexy, dynamite revue told entirely in the universal language of the blues,” says ICT producing director caryn desai.
“I am greatly excited to be back at ICT to direct Blues in The Night, and excited about the collaboration between our two companies,” says Brown. “When I first saw the show 30 years ago at the Los Angeles Theatre Center, it absolutely knocked me out and has stayed with me from that day to this. Examining the ups and downs of the human condition through stories dramatic and humorous, through dance, and with brilliant music as the centerpiece, it is our goal to deliver unbridled joy to our audiences during a very blue time.”
In 2019, Brown directed Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill for International City Theatre, with Foreman starring as Billie Holiday. That production proved to be ICT’s best-selling show in its 35-year history, transferring to Ebony Rep the following year. Now, the two companies have officially teamed up, with the production scheduled for a four-week, Ebony Rep run at the Nate Holden Performing Arts Center following the run at ICT.
The creative team includes scenic designer Ed Haynes, Jr., lighting designer Donna Ruzika, costume designer Kim DeShazo, sound designer John Feinstein, prop master Patty Briles, and hair and wigs designer Anthony Gagliardi. Casting is by Michael Donovan, CSA and Richard Ferris, CSA, and the production stage manager is Michele Miner. Amy and Rich Lipeles and the Port of Long Beach are honorary producers. Producing artistic director caryn desai [sic] produces for International City Theatre.
Blues in the Night runs Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m., Oct. 22 through Nov. 7. On Sunday, Oct. 31 there will be a post-performance talk-back with the cast. Two preview performances take place on Wednesday, Oct. 20 and Thursday, Oct. 21, both at 8 p.m. Tickets are $49 on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, and $52 on Sundays, except for Oct. 22 (opening night) for which tickets are $55 (includes a post show reception). Low-priced tickets to previews are $37. International City Theatre is located in the Long Beach Performing Arts Center at 330 East Seaside Way in Long Beach, CA 90802. For reservations and information, call 562-436-4610 or go to InternationalCityTheatre.org.
Please note that proof of vaccination and ID for entry, and masks must be worn throughout the performance.
Details for Calendar Listings
‘Blues in the Night’
The soul of the blues wails out full and strong in Blues in the Night, a scorching, Tony and Olivier award-nominated musical. Set in 1948 in a rundown Chicago hotel, three women and a man share their stories about the misery and humor of life, love and the dogged determination to do more than just survive. The drama reveals itself through 26 hot, torchy, glorious songs by Bessie Smith, Duke Ellington, Johnny Mercer, Alberta Hunter, Harold Arlen, Jimmy Cox, Ida Cox and more. Conceived by Sheldon Epps and directed by Wren T. Brown, producing artistic director of L.A.’s Ebony Repertory Theatre and director of ICT’s 2019 hit production of Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill.
• Conceived and originally directed by Sheldon Epps
• Directed by Wren T. Brown
• Music Director William Foster McDaniel
• Choreography by Keith Young
• Starring Jenna Gillespie Byrd, Karole Foreman, Chester Gregory, Parris D. Mann, Vivian Reed
• Produced by caryn desai [sic]
• Presented by International City Theatre in association with Ebony Repertory Theatre
Previews: Oct. 20 and Oct. 21 at 8 p.m.
Performances: Oct. 22 – Nov. 7
• Wednesday at 8 p.m.: Oct. 20 ONLY (preview)
• Thursdays at 8 p.m.: Oct. 21 (preview), Oct. 28, Nov. 4
• Fridays at 8 p.m.: Oct. 22 (Opening Night), Oct. 29, Nov. 5
• Saturdays at 8 p.m.: Oct. 23, Oct. 30, Nov. 6
• Sundays at 2 p.m.: Oct. 24, Oct. 31*, Nov. 7
*Stay for a post-performance discussion with the cast on Sunday, Oct. 31
INTERNATIONAL CITY THEATRE
Long Beach Performing Arts Center
330 East Seaside Way
Long Beach, CA 90802
562-436-4610 or www.InternationalCityTheatre.org
• Visit us on facebook: www.facebook.com/ICTLongBeach/
• Follow us on twitter: @ICTLongBeach and instagram: @ICT_LongBeach
• Opening Night Gala (Oct. 22): $55 (includes post-show reception)
• Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays (except Oct. 22): $49
• Sunday matinees: $52
• Previews: $37
Proof of vaccination and ID required for entry, and masks must be worn throughout the performance.
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