Alliance Presents World Premiere Story Of Atlanta's First Integrated Jazz Club
The ALLIANCE THEATRE is pleased to present the world premiere production of Nick's Flamingo Grill, by award-winning Atlanta playwright and author Phillip DePoy. Nick's Flamingo Grill is inspired by the true story of the first integrated jazz club in Atlanta and will debut on the Hertz Stage September 29 - October 28, 2018. Opening night is Thursday, October 4.
In Nick's Flamingo Grill, two friends, ex-WWII GI's turned jazz musicians, have had great success performing in Paris nightclubs for the past 10 years. Convinced that their mixed-race act will also be a hit in the U.S., they decide to return home. To 1950's Georgia. Featuring ten original jazz songs in the style of the era, Nick's Flamingo Grill is a story of hope and brotherly love.
Phillip DePoy is a pillar of the Atlanta theatre community whose recent work includes the critically acclaimed 2015 world premiere play Edward Foote and his new crime novel Icepick. With Nick's Flamingo Grill he marries his love of oral history and social activism.
"It's a little misleading to say that current events inspired Nick's Flamingo Grill because the play was actually inspired by my involvement in political movements of the 1960s," said DePoy. "My friends and I thought we were about to eradicate racism in America. We thought we'd be done with the job by around 1972. We were young, and the idea was naïve. The state of America in that regard seems, in some ways, worse now. The characters in the play are to the 1950s what my friends and I were to the 60s. I hope there's a relationship between the activists of the past and activists today."
On the true story behind the play, DePoy says, "The play began about three years ago when my father was dying and all he wanted to do was reminisce. He reminded me that when my brother, Scott, and I were young we were on a swimming team. We lived on the south side of Atlanta (Cascade Road) and the team practiced at Westminster. To get there we drove from West End through the Armor Meat Packing Plant district (now called Castleberry Hill). For a short while on those drives he would point out the window and say, "That's where the jazz club is." Some of his colleagues at the Atlanta Symphony (he was a French horn player) apparently went to the club to sit in and jam. The club was opened by two ex-GIs, WWII veterans, an African-American and a Jew, who had lived in Paris for ten years or so, decided racism was over, and came to open a jazz club in Atlanta in 1958. As far as I've ever been able to find out, the club never had a business license or even a name. It was mostly an ad-hoc jam session in a mostly abandoned building. And it didn't last long. It closed after a few months. Most of this comes from my father and a few of his friends, all of whom had dim or vague memories. As to verifiable, authentic historicity, I've never been able to find any. But that's really what makes the story so great. It's mythology. It's Camelot."
The creative team is led by Director Tinashe Kajese-Bolden whose recent directing credits include the Suzi Award-winning production of Eclipsed at Synchronicity Theater. The creative team also includes Joshua Horvath (Sound Designer), Kristen Robinson (Set Designer), Lex Liang (Costume Designer), and Ben Rawson (Lighting Designer). Atlanta jazz musician Tyrone Jackson serves as Music Director and also co-writer of the production's original music with Phillip DePoy. Scott Glazer and EC3 are members of the on-stage band.
Performances are Wednesday and Thursday at 7:30 p.m., Fridays at 8:00 p.m., Saturdays at 2:30 p.m. and 8:00 p.m., and Sundays at 2:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., September 29 - October 28, 2018, on the Hertz Stage. There will be no 2:30 p.m. performance on Saturday, September 29 or Sunday, September 30, and no 7:30 p.m. performance on Sunday, October 28. There will be an additional performance on Tuesday, October 2, at 7:30 p.m.
A matinee performance for student groups will take place on Thursday, October 11, at 10:30 a.m. This performance is recommended for grades 9-12 and supports curriculum standards: ELAGSE9-10RL3, ELAGSE9-10RL5, ELAGSE11-12RL1, SSUSH19, SSWH19, SSUSH21. For ticket information, contact email@example.com or call 404.733.4661.
Tickets start at $25 and are available at The Woodruff Arts Center Box Office in person or by calling 404-733-5000. Tickets are also available online at www.alliancetheatre.org/nicks. Discounted rates for groups of 10 or more are available by calling 404.733.4690. Discount rates are also available for members of the military, seniors and students. The ALLIANCE THEATRE is located at The Woodruff Arts Center, 1280 Peachtree Street, at the corner of Peachtree and 15th Street, in Midtown Atlanta.