- CHARITY BENEFIT
Is Sag Harbor the new Broadway try-out haven? Tony Award-winning Lillias White begins preview performances in Big Maybelle: Soul of the Blues Tuesday, August 7th at the historic Bay Street Theatre in Sag Harbor. Produced by Bay Street Theatre, Martin Richards and Paul Levine, Tuesday evening’s first Preview will begin at 8:00pm. Miss White will blow the roof off the Bay Street Theatre by 8:10pm. She will break your heart by 9:05pm. And by 10:07pm she will have sent you to heaven. Written and directed by Paul Levine, an international award-winning author/director, Big Maybelle: Soul of the Blues features 31 iconic Blues songs from the last five decades including “Candy,” Big Maybelle’s 1956 hit single, which received the Grammy Hall of Fame Award in 1999 as well as songs from her acclaimed album, The Okeh Sessions which won the 1983 W. C. Handy Award for Vintage/Reissue Album of the Year. The musical also features the iconic roller coaster ride that was the impossibly brutal journey that Maybelle Smith chose to travel during her world-changing, history-making, almost-unbelievable 47 years on this earth. During her lifetime, Big Maybelle’s groundbreaking approach to the Blues, the singularly most influential style of music within the last one hundred years, changed the way many other musicians did things in the recording studio and on stage. Her impact was unavoidable.
The Opening Night Gala will take place on Saturday August 11th, this Saturday and is set for a Winter 2013 New York City Opening. Michael Mitchell is the Musical Director. Orchestrations are by Musical Supervisor Kenny Seymour. The band includes Eric Brown (Drums), Kiku Collins (Trumpet), George Farmer (Bass), Jason Marshall (Saxaphone) and John Putnam (Guitar).Eric Brown and Kiku Collins are also featured in the roles of ‘Sully’ and ‘Loretta’.
Lillias White received Tony, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards for her performance as Sonia in Cy Coleman’s “The Life.” Most recently, she received a Tony nomination for her role as Funmilayo in “Fela.” Other Broadway credits include: “Barnum,” “Dreamgirls,” “Cats,” “Once on This Island,” “How to Succeed…” and “Chicago.” Lillias received an Emmy Award for her performance on “Sesame Street,” and TV roles also include “PBS’ Performance at the White House,” Great Performance’s “South Pacific,” Disney’s “Hercules,” “Law and Order: SVU,” “NYPD Blue,” and “The Jury.” Film roles include “Pieces of April,” “Game 6,” and “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.” Her Off-Broadway credits include: William Finn’s “Romance in Hard Times (Obie Award), “Crowns” (AUDELCO Award), “The Best is Yet to Come (2009 L.A. Ovation Award nomination) and as Dinah Washington in “Dinah Was.” Her recordings include “Dreamgirls in Concert” and “From Brooklyn to Broadway.”