Photo Flash: Lillias White in Rehearsal for BIG MAYBELLE at Bay Street Theatre

Bay Street Theatre will present the World Premiere of a musical as the third production of the 2012 Mainstage Season. Tony award winner Lillias White will play MayBelle Smith in BIG MAYBELLE: SOUL OF THE BLUES, written and directed by Paul Levine. Michael Mitchell is the Musical Director; Orchestrations are by Musical Supervisor Kenny Seymour. The show runs Tuesday, August 7 through Sunday, September 2. Showtimes are Tuesdays through Saturdays at 8pm with Wednesday matinees on August 15, 22, and 29 at 2pm and a 4pm matinee on Saturdays August 18 and 25. Sunday showtime is at 7pm. Tickets to this spectacular event are $66-76. Previews August 7-10 are sponsored by PCH Builders and Property Management. The week of August 12-18 is sponsored by Peconic Landing.

Check out photos of White in rehearsal below!

BIG MAYBELLE: SOUL OF THE BLUES features the sensational Tony award winning Lillias White as the legendary blues singer MayBelle Smith. A big woman with even bigger talent, she took on all the challenges that 1950's America had to give.

Paul Levine (writer/director) won Best Director and Production of the Year awards from Daily Variety, Drama-logue Award and the L.A. Weekly, and a Best Director nomination from the Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle for his L.A. premiere production of Lanford Wilson’s BALM IN GILEAD. He won awards for Best Musical and Production of the Year awards from Daily Variety, Drama-logue and the L.A. Weekly for his production of TARZANA TANZI in association with the Nederlander Organization, and also co-wrote the music. He has directed many films and is currently in pre-production on “The Miracle,” starring James Earl Jones. Paul grew up in Stony Brook, NY. He received a BA in History from Colgate University and a combined communications scholarship to UCLA/USC after studying history at the University of London, England. Paul’s theatrical training was at the Royal Shakespeare Company in London; with Stella Adler at the Stella Adler Conservatory in New York; with Harold Clurman in his last New York Master Class; and with Jose Quintero in Los Angeles.

Lillias White (MayBelle Smith) won the 1997 Tony, Drama Desk, People’s Choice and The Outer Critics Awards for her portrayal of a hooker in THE LIFE and she received a Tony nomination for her role in FELA!. She understudied the role of Effie in the original 1981 production of DREAMGIRLS and later played the part in the 1987 revival. Other Broadway credits include: CHICAGO, HOW TO SUCCEED IN BUSINESS WITHOUT REALLY TRYING, ONCE ON THIS ISLAND, CARRIE, ROCK ‘N ROLL! THE FIRST 5,000 YEARS, CATS and BARNUM.

The designers for this show are John Arnone (Set Design), Emilio Sosa (Costume Design), Paul Miller (Light Design), Tony Melfa (Sound Design), Brian Meister (Production Stage Manager), Joe Lauro (Archival Footage from Historic Films), Michael Clark (Projection Design), and Kathy Fabian (Properties Design).

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.

The 2012 Mainstage Season program is partially funded by the Suffolk County Executive’s Office and Suffolk County National Bank. Tickets are available online at www.baystreet.org or by calling the Box Office at 631-725-9500. The Box Office is open every day, 11 am –showtime.

The “Pay What You Can” performance will be Tuesday, August 7, with a limited number of tickets available after 2 pm at the Box Office only. “Pay What You Can” tickets are based on availability. Hospitality Workers Nights are for any worker in the restaurants, hotels, and retail businesses on Wednesday, August 8 and Thursday, August 9; tickets are $20 with proof of employment; based on availability at the Box Office only.

Bay Street Theatre is a not-for-profit institution presenting new, classic and contemporary works with a commitment to challenging and entertaining our diverse community. This commitment extends to educational programs for all ages to foster the continued value of theatre as a vital art form for future generations.

 

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