Photo Flash: First Look at VISIONARY MAN, Opening Tomorrow at the Hudson Theatre
The language of the Holy Spirit... direct from God? Spirited Hands Productions presents a new American musical based on the fascinating true story of visionary artist J.B. Murray. The world premiere of Visionary Man opens July 26 at the Hudson Mainstage in Hollywood.
Adapted from the book "In the Hand of the Holy Spirit: the Visionary Art of J.B. Murray" (winner, Georgia Author of the Year Award) by visual artist Mary Padgelek, Visionary Man features music and lyrics by Padgelek, who also co-wrote the musical's book with director Tom Coleman. Musical arrangements are by Teresa Ruiz and Bryan Shaw, musical director is Jeff Bonhiver, and choreography is by Ali North.
Murray, an illiterate African American farm worker living in a shack in rural Georgia without water or electricity, had the first of what he called his "visions from the Holy Spirit" at age 70. Over a period of 10 years, Murray's vision-inspired paintings and non-semantic script, initially on scraps of writing paper, envelopes, adding machine tape, poster board, wood paneling, old stove tops and televisions picture tubes, and eventually on archival art paper, would capture the imagination - and the wrath - of his family, friends and neighbors. Today, his work is recognized and sought after by an international community of museums, galleries and collectors. A brilliant colorist who wrote and painted obsessively, Murray's prolific output resembles a kind of vernacular version of illuminated manuscripts.
Set and lighting design for Visionary Man are by William Cleckler; costume design is by Helen Butler (Boardwalk Empire, Once Upon A Time In America, My One and Only, Emmy nominated for Queen); graphic design is by Olivia Weissblum; production stage manager is Susan K. Coulter; associate producer is Will North; and David Weiher produces for Spirited Hands Productions.
Visionary Man opens on July 26 and continues on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 3 p.m through Aug. 31. There will be two preview performances, on Thursday, July 24 and Friday, July 25, both at 8 p.m. General admission is $28. Student price (with valid ID) and previews are $15. The Hudson Mainstage is located at 6539 Santa Monica Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90038. For information and to purchase tickets, call (323) 960-7787 or go to www.plays411.com/visionary.
Photos by Ed Krieger
Will North and Jimmer Bolden
Joshua Leduc, Jimmer Bolden, Caitlin Gallogly, Will North
Jimmer Bolden and Will North
Yorke Fryer, Jacquelin Schofield, Jimmer Bolden
Jimmer Bolden and ensemble
Courtney Turner, Stephanie Martin, Sequoia Houston