SASSY, SENSUAL, AND SULTRY –
LOW DOWN DIRTY BLUES
BY RANDAL MYLER AND DAN WHEETMAN
MILWAUKEE REPERTORY THEATER STACKNER CABARET MARCH 20 – MAY 24, 2015
March 18, 2015 – [Milwaukee] – Milwaukee Repertory Theater will close out the 2014/15 Stacker Cabaret Season with a sizzling production of Low Down Dirty Blues. Continuing in the recent Stackner tradition of showcasing actor/musician/vocalists, Low Down Dirty Blues will feature four award-‐winning performers: Felicia Fields, Chic Street Man, Caron “Sugaray” Rayford, and Robert Stephens. Stackner Cabaret audiences will forget that it’s still cold outside when they come see these powerhouse entertainers belt out the blues. Directed by Randal Myler, the production is set to begin in The Rep’s Stackner Cabaret March 20, 2015 and runs through May 24, 2015. Opening night is Sunday, March 22, 2015.
The nightclub may be closed, but the party is just heating up! Join a group of musician/singers as they gather after-‐hours to swap stories and share their fervor for music. Four multi-‐talented performers pour their passion, soul, and love into the greatest hits of Muddy Waters, Ma Rainey, Sophie Tucker, Howlin’ Wolf, Pearl Bailey, and many more. Twenty-‐two smokin’ songs, non-‐stop blues riffs, titillating double-‐ entendres, and hot rhythms keep the theater sultry and steamy from the first note to the last.
“Low Down Dirty Blues has a stellar cast who we are beyond excited they will be performing in our Stackner Cabaret.” says Artistic Director Mark Clements. “We are finding that our audiences love it when they see great singers, dancers, and actors who can pick up multiple instruments and play them really well. Low Down is going to be a hot, smoky, sexy evening and will be a wonderful way to close out our Stackner season.”
Director Randal Myler added, “I’m just so excited to be working here . . . and to be able to bring some of my favorite singers in the country to The Rep.”
The Executive Producers for Low Down Dirty Blues are David and Camille Kundert. The Stackner Cabaret season is sponsored by Sally Manegold.
Single tickets for all Low Down Dirty Blues performances are now on sale and can be purchased online at www.MilwaukeeRep.com, by phone at 414-‐224-‐9490 or in person at The Rep’s Ticket Office at 108 E. Wells Street. Ticket prices start at $40.00. Group tickets are also available for purchase by calling Morgan Halverson in Group Sales at 414-‐290-‐5340.
Felicia Fields is a Tony Award-‐nominated performer. Her production credits include Crowns, The Rose Tattoo, and Amen Corner with Goodman Theatre; 7 Guitars with Court Theatre; Low Down Dirty Blues and It Ain’t Nothin’ But the Blues with Northlight Theatre; Richard II with Chicago Shakespeare; Show Boat and Hello, Dolly! with Drury Lane Theatre; and Dreamgirls with the Marriott Theatre. She earned a Tony Award nomination for her portrayal of Sofia in The Color Purple. Fields has also earned a Joseph Jefferson Best Actress in a Musical Award for Sophisticated Ladies and several nominations, including for her performance in Low Down Dirty Blues with Northlight Theatre. She has also received a Black Theatre Alliance Award and a Clarence Derwent Award. Her on-‐screen credits include Chicago Fire, Sense8, Who Gets the Dog?, Save the Last Dance, and The Knights of Prosperity.
Chic Street Man has performed at many venues including the Paleo Festival, the Montreux, and Bern Jazz Festivals in Switzerland, the General Assembly of the United Nations in New York, and the United Nations Human Rights Center in Geneva. He composed the music and starred in the Off-‐Broadway hit show Spunk, adapted by George C. Wolfe, Cleveland Play House’s world premiere of Touch The Names and Berkeley Repertory Theatre’s production of The Caucasian Chalk Circle. He was a contributing performer and musical arranger for the DCTC production of It Ain’t Nothin’ But the Blues and McCarter Theatre’s and Berkeley Repertory Theatre’s production of Zora Neale Hurston’s Polk County. Street Man was Professor Slick in Pullman Porter Blues at Seattle Repertory Theatre, Arena Stage in DC and Goodman Theatre in Chicago, Slow Drag in Seattle Repertory Theatre’s Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom and Rev. Gary Davis in the Vineyard Playhouse production of Search: Paul Clayton. He has appeared in the films Triple Bogey and Hangin’ with the Home Boys.
Caron “Sugaray” Rayford was born and raised in Tyler, Texas. His musical career began as a young boy, singing and playing drums in church. He was influenced by gospel music early in his life. He left music for a period of time to become a Marine. After his discharge, he started back in music and has been singing the blues for the last 15 years. He currently tours worldwide with his band, Sugaray Rayford Band. He was just nominated for BB King Entertainer of the Year and Traditional Male Vocalist for the 2015 Blues Music Awards. He is also lead vocalist for The Mannish Boys, who are also nominated for three 2015 Blues Music Awards.
Robert Stephens blends his experiences in jazz, classical, gospel and R & B to bring a unique perspective to the theatrical experience. Some of his professional credits include serving as music director for the
national tour of Unforgettable: The Nat King Cole Story; choral director for the Newark Symphony Hall performance of the Tony Award-‐winning musical The Gospel at Colonus; musical director for the road production of Black to Broadway directed by TC Carson of Living Single; and many more. Other professional credits include musical arrangements for EMI Gospel recording artist Queen Esther Marrow and the Harlem Gospel Singers, where he provided arrangements, synthesizer programming, and sequencing for two of their world tours. Stephens has also written commercial music for ESPN’s March Madness Basketball Tournament. He has also recorded and performed with some of the finest artists in Gospel music, including Grammy Award-‐winning artists Donnie McClurkin, Rev. James Cleveland, Hezekiah Walker, along with Rev. Timothy Wright, Dorothy Norwood, The Harlem Gospel Singers and many more. He is also an educator, having taught music in the Newark NJ public school system, and maintaining an active private instruction schedule. His formal musical training includes study in the area of classical piano with Dr. John Gorman, Joseph Bilotti, and Dr. Min Kim; orchestration and jazz arrangement with award-‐winning composer Dr. Jose Bevia; and with Joel Weiskopf in jazz piano.
Randal Myler (Author/Director) has received a Tony Award Nomination for It Ain’t Nothin’ But the Blues (Best Book of A Musical), and the show itself, which he also directed, was nominated for Best Musical. His musical on the life of Hank Williams Lost Highway ran for two years at the Grand Ole Opry’s Ryman Auditorium and Off-‐Broadway garnered many awards, including a Drama Desk nomination and Best Director nomination from the Other Critics Circle. Myler’s hit musical Love, Janis ran for over 750 performances Off-‐Broadway and has been produced throughout the country, and his directing and productions have received over 15 Jeff Awards and nominations from Chicago critics. Myler’s numerous regional theater directorial credits include Lincoln Center, Kennedy Center, Arena Stage, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Mark Taper Forum, Geffin Playhouse, Seattle Repertory Theatre, Dallas Theatre Center, Alley Theatre, BAM, Denver Center, Cincinnati Playhouse, Old Globe, Arizona Theatre Company, Kansas City Repertory Theatre, Northlight Theatre, Portland Center Stage, Alabama Shakespeare Festival, and many others.
Dan Wheetman (Author/Music Director) is making his Rep debut with this production. Wheetman’s first professional theater gig was the DCTC tour of Quilters in 1985. This year marks the 30th anniversary of that first job and the start of his artistic collaboration with Randal Myler. He has appeared in productions all over the U.S. as an actor and musician. He’s written several plays with Mr. Myler, including It Ain’t Nothin’ But the Blues, Appalachian Strings, Fire on the Mountain, Mama Hated Diesels, and Low Down Dirty Blues. He has garnered several LA Critics Circle awards for Musical Direction and a Tony nomination as a writer for It Ain’t Nothin’ But the Blues at the Lincoln Center in New York. Along with his theater work, Dan has recorded several solo albums and plays in a very eclectic band, Marley’s Ghost.
Collette Pollard (Scenic Designer) resides in Chicago and designs scenery locally, regionally and internationally. Pollard was the Scenic Design Jeff Award recipient for In the Garden at Lookingglass Theatre Company. Recently she became an Artistic Associate at Timeline Theatre in Chicago where she designed Danny Casalaro, The How & the Why, Blood & Gifts, and The Front Page, which she received a Joseph Jefferson Award for Scenic Design. Regional credits include: Geller Girls, Good People and The Fairytale Lives of Russian Girls (Alliance Theatre, all receiving Suzi Bass Award and Atlanta Fan Award
Nominations); A Minister’s Wife (San Jose Repertory Theatre); The Nutcracker (Adrienne Arsht Center of Performing Arts Miami); A Streetcar Named Desire (Williamstown Theatre Festival); and The Glass Menagerie (Kansas City Repertory Theatre). Pollard was the recipient of the Michael Merritt Maggio Emerging Designer Award in 2010 and received her MFA from Northwestern University where she currently co-‐teaches the Toy Theatre course.
Janice Pytel (Costume Designer) returns to The Rep having previously designed costumes for A Raisin In the Sun. Recent credits include The Clean House (Remy Bumppo); Women at War (Rivendell Theatre Ensemble); The Qualms, Slowgirl, Belleville, and Middletown, (Steppenwolf Theatre Company); Good People and Clybourne Park (Alley Theatre); Partners and The Grown-‐up (2014 Humana Festival); Our Town (Actors Theatre of Louisville); Rest, Appropriate and The Whale (Victory Gardens Theater); Joan of Arc (Chicago Opera Theater). Broadway: 33 Variations and I Am My Own Wife. She has also worked with Writers Theatre, Court Theatre, Alliance Theatre, Centerstage, Kansas City Repertory Theatre, Goodman Theatre, Madison Repertory Theatre, Arena Stage, Geffen Playhouse, and Center Theater Group. She has also designed costumes for film, dance, and performance art.
Rob Perry (Lighting Designer) is making his Milwaukee Rep debut with Low Down Dirty Blues. This past fall he designed the Off-‐Broadway world premiere of Lost Lake directed by Dan Sullivan for Manhattan Theatre Club. Upcoming shows include Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike at Arena Stage in DC and Goodman Theatre in Chicago. Other regional designs include LaJolla Playhouse, Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Dallas Theater Center, California Shakespeare Festival, Hartford Stage, Philadelphia Theatre Company, Triad Stage, Shakespeare Theatre Company in DC, McCarter Theatre and Yale Repertory Theatre. Perry is a graduate of the Yale School of Drama and an Associate Professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-‐Champaign.
Josh Horvath (Sound Designer) has previously designed at Milwaukee Rep for A Raisin In the Sun and The Story. Off-‐Broadway: Lincoln Center. Regional credits: Long Wharf, Hartford Stage, Arena Stage, Center Stage, The Alliance, McCarter Theatre, Kansas City Repertory Theatre, Madison Repertory Theatre, Milwaukee Shakespeare, First Stage, Goodman Theatre, Steppenwolf Theatre Company, Court Theatre, Lookingglass Theatre Company, Mark Taper Forum, California Shakespeare, and Oregon Shakespeare. Horvath is the recipient of four Chicago Joseph Jefferson Awards and an LA Ovation Award. He teaches sound design for theater and film at Northwestern University, is a company member of The House Theatre of Chicago, an artistic associate of Lookingglass Theatre Company, and a collaborative partner with Goodman Theatre. Recent and upcoming shows include: Baskerville (McCarter Theatre/Arena Stage); Immediate Family (Mark Taper Forum); Secret Garden (Court Theatre); and King Lear (California Shakespeare).
JC Clementz (Casting Director) is The Rep’s Artistic Associate: Casting Director & Artistic Internship Program Director now entering his fourth season with Milwaukee Repertory Theater. Clementz most recently directed The Doyle & Debbie Show in The Rep’s Stackner Cabaret and last season’s production of Forever Plaid, as well as several short plays over three seasons of Rep Lab. He also assistant directed Othello, To Kill a Mockingbird, A Christmas Carol, and Yellowman. He has traveled throughout Europe as the Assistant Stage Manager for New York Harlem Productions’ international tour of Porgy and Bess
(director Baayork Lee), and spent four summers working at Perry-‐Mansfield in the mountains of Colorado. Clementz holds an MFA in Directing from Western Illinois University.
Kimberly Ann McCann (Stage Manager) returns for her third season at Milwaukee. She previously worked on Ragtime and Forever Plaid. Broadway credits include Curtains. Off-‐Broadway credits include Bill W. and Dr. Bob, How to Save the World and John Ferguson. Regional credits include Million Dollar Quartet (Chicago), Goodman Theatre, Northlight Theatre, Skylight Music Theatre, and Tuacahn Center for the Arts. Other credits include Door Shakespeare, Illinois Shakespeare Festival, Colorado Shakespeare Festival, tours with ArtsPower National Touring Theatre and numerous productions at The Julliard School. McCann is a graduate of Illinois State University and a proud member of Actors’ Equity.
Audra Kuchling is the Stage Management Intern for this production.
### FACT SHEET
WHAT: Low Down Dirty Blues
WRITTEN BY: Randal Myler and Dan Wheetman
DIRECTOR: Randal Myler
THEATER: Stackner Cabaret
DATES: March 20, 2015 – May 24, 2015
The nightclub may be closed, but the party is just heating up! Join a group of musician/singers as they gather after-‐hours to swap stories and share their fervor for music. Four multi-‐talented performers pour their passion, soul, and love into the greatest hits of Muddy Waters, Ma Rainey, Sophie Tucker, Howlin’ Wolf, Pearl Bailey, and many more. Twenty-‐two smokin’ songs, non-‐stop blues riffs, titillating double-‐entendres, and hot rhythms keep the theater sultry and steamy from the first note to the last.
Audio-‐Described Performance, Sunday, March 29 – 7:00pm – the show will be described aloud for patrons who are blind or have low vision.
Friday, 3/20/15 – 8:00pm – Preview Saturday, 3/21/15 – 8:00pm – Preview Sunday, 3/22/15 – 7:00pm – Opening
Tuesday, 3/24/15 – 6:30pm – Early Bird Wednesday, 3/25/15 – 7:30pm Thursday, 3/26/15 – 7:30pm
Friday, 3/27/15 – 8:00pm Saturday, 3/28/15 – 4:00pm/8:00pm
Sunday, 3/29/15 – 2:00 pm/7:00pm – Audio-‐Description
Tuesday, 3/31/15 – 7:30pm Wednesday, 4/1/15 – 7:30pm Thursday, 4/2/15 – 7:30pm Friday, 4/3/15 – 8:00pm Saturday, 4/4/15 – 4:00pm/8:00pm Sunday, 4/5/15 – 2:00pm/7:00pm
Tuesday, 4/7/15 – 7:30pm Wednesday, 4/8/15 – 7:30pm Thursday, 4/9/15 – 7:30pm Friday, 4/10/15 – 8:00pm
Saturday, 4/11/15 – 4:00pm/8:00pm Sunday, 4/12/15 – 2:00pm/7:00pm
Tuesday, 4/14/15 – 7:30pm Wednesday, 4/15/15 –7:30pm Thursday, 4/16/15 – 7:30pm Friday, 4/17/15 – 8:00pm Saturday, 4/18/15 – 4:00pm/8:00pm Sunday, 4/19/15 – 2:00pm/7:00pm
Tuesday, 4/21/15 – 7:30pm Wednesday, 4/22/15 – 7:30pm Thursday, 4/23/15 – 7:30pm Friday, 4/24/15 – 8:00pm Saturday, 4/25/15 – 4:00pm/8:00pm Sunday, 4/26/15 – 2:00pm/7:00pm
Tuesday, 4/28/15 – 7:30pm Wednesday, 4/29/15 – 7:30pm Thursday, 4/30/15 – 7:30pm Friday, 5/1/15 – 8:00pm Saturday, 5/2/15 – 4:00pm/8:00pm Sunday, 5/3/15 – 2:00pm/7:00pm
Tuesday, 5/5/15 – 7:30pm Wednesday, 5/6/15 – 7:30pm Thursday, 5/7/15 – 7:30pm Friday, 5/8/15 – 8:00pm Saturday, 5/9/15 – 4:00pm/8:00pm Sunday, 5/10/15 – 2:00pm/7:00pm
Tuesday, 5/12/15 – 7:30pm Wednesday, 5/13/15 – 7:30pm Thursday, 5/14/15 – 7:30pm Friday, 5/15/15 – 8:00pm Saturday, 5/16/15 – 4:00pm/8:00pm Sunday, 5/17/15 – 2:00pm/7:00pm
Tuesday, 5/19/15 – 7:30pm Wednesday, 5/20/15 – 7:30pm Thursday, 5/21/15 – 7:30pm Friday, 5/22/15 – 8:00pm Saturday, 5/23/15 – 4:00pm/8:00pm
Sunday, 5/24/15 – 2:00pm/7:00pm – Closing
TICKET PRICES: Begin at $40.00
TICKET OFFICE LOCATION: 108 E. Wells Street in Milwaukee’s Downtown Theater District
TICKET OFFICE HOURS: Monday – Sunday, Noon – 6 pm*
*On days with performances the Ticket Office will stay open until 15 minutes after curtain.
Milwaukee Repertory Theater is a nationally-‐recognized company that presents compelling dramas, powerful classics, award-‐winning contemporary works, full-‐scale musicals, housed in its three unique performance venues – the Quadracci Powerhouse, Stiemke Studio and Stackner Cabaret. The Rep also produces an annual production of A Christmas Carol at the beautiful and historic Pabst Theater. Under the leadership of Artistic Director Mark Clements and Managing Director Chad Bauman, The Rep is committed to creating plays that are meaningful and relevant to the society we live in – plays that are challenging, visceral and engage the community through the issues they explore, demonstrating how a theater deeply rooted in its locality can also enjoy a richly influential and resonant national voice.