Cool Papa's Party: World Premiere Musical at MetroStage
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The last date listed for Cool Papa's Party was Sunday March 8, 2009 / 7:00pm.
Book and Lyrics by Thomas W. Jones II
Original music by William Knowles
Directed by Thomas W. Jones II
Music Direction by William Knowles
Choreographed by Maurice Hines
Producing Artistic Director Carolyn Griffin is pleased to announce that the world premiere of Cool Papa’s Party will be in performance Feb. 5 – Mar. 15, 2009 at MetroStage. Cool Papa’s Party, a story of the “last great American hipster” is written and directed by MetroStage Artistic Associate Thomas W. Jones II.
A 20th century musical odyssey seen through the eyes of Cool Papa, it is to Sammy Davis, Jr., Frank Sinatra and the Rat Pack what Dreamgirls was to the Supremes, Barry Gordy and Motown. Cool Papa’s life stands on the world stage as a testament to the traveler, the survivor, the conqueror. It is a life defined by artistry, underscored by excellence and distinguished always by style. Cool Papa’s Party covers the 1920’s, the Civil Rights movement, up through the 1980’s with song and dance, especially tap, which played such a major role in the entertainment world for Cool Papa.
Director Jones’ work has been seen on our stage with Harlem Rose, All Night Strut, Three Sistahs (twice), Bricktop, and Two Queens One Castle.
Maurice Hines will choreograph Cool Papa’s Party. Hines is a nationally known star of stage, screen and television. It is especially appropriate that he join the creative team of Cool Papa’s Party because he, with his brother the late Gregory Hines, was a part of that world. Both Sammy and Maurice began tapping at age five. Hines’ history in tap literally covers the history of tap from the Nicholas Brothers to Hines, Hines and Dad to Sammy Davis Jr. and currently with Savion Glover. Maurice and his brother were friends and colleagues of Sammy and the Rat Pack so his insight into that world of entertainment and dance will be invaluable to this premiere production of Cool Papa’s Party.
The cast is led by Jahi Kearse, based in Atlanta and last seen in DC as the lead in Pippin at Round House and Top Dog/Underdog at Studio Theatre opposite Thomas W. Jones II. The cast also includes William Hubbard, familiar to MetroStage audiences from Three Sistahs, All Night Strut, Bricktop, and, most recently, Pearl Bailey—By Request; Anthony Manough, based in L.A., last seen at MetroStage in Bricktop, and on Broadway in Lion King and Jesus Christ Superstar; Ben Horen, seen in The Stephen Schwartz Project here and in Jerry Springer, The Opera at Studio; Roz White, seen in Bricktop, Three Sistahs, and the star of Pearl Bailey—By Request; Lori Williams, seen in All Night Strut and Isn’t It Romantic; and Gia Mora, new to MetroStage, seen locally in She Stoops to Comedy at Woolly Mammoth, A Prayer for Owen Meany at Round House, and Christmas Carol 1941 at Arena Stage.
Design team is Carl Gudenius, set; Terry Smith, lights; Kristina Lucka, costumes; and Kevin Laughon, properties.