Photos: A WONDERFUL WORLD Begins Rehearsals For Pre-Broadway Engagement

Performances run in Chicago and New Orleans this October!

By: Aug. 28, 2023

The 26-member cast of A Wonderful World, A New Musical about the Life and Loves of Louis Armstrong began rehearsals last week in New York City. Check out photos from rehearsal below!

Producers Thomas E. Rodgers, Jr., Renee Rodgers, Andrew Delaplaine, Grammy, Emmy, and Tony Award nominee Vanessa Williams, Liz Curtis, and Martian Entertainment (Carl D. White and Gregory Rae) will present A Wonderful World at the Saenger Theatre (1111 Canal Street) in New Orleans, LA from October 1-8, 2023 and Broadway in Chicago's Cadillac Palace Theatre (151 W Randolph Street) in Chicago, IL from October 12-29, 2023, prior to Broadway.  

A Wonderful World is the singular story of jazz legend, Grammy Award winner and American icon Louis Armstrong from the perspective of his four wives, who each had a unique impact on his life. Armstrong’s innovative musicianship and incredible charisma as a trumpet player and vocalist would lead him from the early days of jazz in his native New Orleans to five decades of international stardom.

Tony Award winner James Monroe Iglehart (Broadway: Aladdin, Hamilton) stars as Armstrong. His wives are played by Ta’Rea Campbell (Philip tour of Hamilton, Broadway: The Lion King, The Book of Mormon) as Lucille Wilson, Jennie Harney-Fleming (Broadway: The Color Purple, Hamilton) as Lil Hardin, Brennyn Lark (Broadway: Six, Les Misérables) as Alpha Smith and Khalifa White (Broadway: Caroline, or Change, Little Shop of Horrors) as Daisy Parker. 
The cast also features Lindsey Corey (Miami New Drama: A Wonderful World) as Ensemble/Rachel the Reporter, DeWitt Fleming, Jr. (TV: “Boardwalk Empire,” NY City Center Encores!: The Tap Dance Kid) as Lincoln Perry, Matthew Greenwood (TV: “1923”) as Johnny Collins, Gavin Gregory (Broadway: The Color Purple, The Gershwins’ Porgy & Bess) as King Joe Oliver, Aaron Michael Ray (Broadway: Come From Away) as u/s Louis/King Joe Oliver and Matt Wolpe (Broadway: Finding Neverland) as Joe Glaser/Karnofsky, with Ronnie S. Bowman, Jr. (Broadway: The Music Man), Eean Cochran (Public Theater: The Harder They Come), Jamal Christopher Douglas (Broadway: Paradise Square), Alexandra Frohlinger (Broadway: Soul Doctor), Afra Hines (Broadway: Bob Fosse’s Dancin’, Funny Girl), Alan Kelly (National Tour: Pippin, West End: We Will Rock You), Ashley McManus (National Tour: A Bronx Tale), Aurelia Michael (Broadway: Summer: The Donna Summer Musical), Alysha Morgan (Public Theater: The Harder They Come), Jarran Muse (Broadway: Motown the Musical), Khadijah Rolle (Regional: Sister Act the Musical), Dave Schoonover (Broadway: Bad Cinderella, National Tour: Love Never Dies), Brett Sturgis (Broadway: On Your Feet!, Aida), Renell Taylor (Regional: Newsies, Chicago, Dames at Sea), and Dori Waymer (Regional: The Color Purple). 
Conceived by Drama Desk Award winner and Tony Award nominee, Christopher Renshaw (Broadway’s The King and I, Taboo), and novelist Andrew Delaplaine and directed by Renshaw, A Wonderful World has an original book by Aurin Squire (“This is Us,” “The Good Fight,” “Evil”) and features songs recorded and made popular by Armstrong. Wife and husband team Annastasia Victory (Caroline, or Change, Once on This Island) and Michael O. Mitchell (MJ the Musical, Motown the Musical) provide music supervision and direction, arrangements and orchestrations. Choreography is by Rickey Tripp (Associate Choreographer for Broadway’s Once on This Island and Choir Boy). DeWitt Fleming, Jr. provides Specialty Tap Choreography. Christina Sajous serves as Associate Director and Aurelia Michael as Associate Choreographer. RL Campbell serves as Production Stage Manager. Cookie Jordan serves as Hair/Wig Designer.
Scenic and Projection design is by Adam Koch and Steven Royal. Costume design is by four-time Tony Award nominee Toni-Leslie James. Lighting design is by Cory Pattak. Sound design is by Tony Award winner Kai Harada. RL Campbell is Production Stage Manager. 
Casting is by Duncan Stewart CSA, ARC Casting. Consulting Producer is Irene Gandy. General Management is by Martian Entertainment. 
The World Premiere of A Wonderful World was presented by Miami New Drama in 2021-2022, Michel Hausmann – Artistic Director; Nicholas Richberg – Managing Director. 

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