Celebrate Cincinnati's Contributions To Music History With CINCINNATI KING

Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park will celebrate the local voices, stories and talents that cemented Cincinnati in music history in CINCINNATI KING, a new world premiere musical that begins Nov. 3 (Opening night is Nov. 8.) It runs through Dec. 23 and is staged with support from The Rosenthal Family Foundation, Season Sponsor of New Work.

"Blues, jazz, country and rock 'n' roll wouldn't be what it is without Cincinnati," states Playhouse Associate Artist KJ Sanchez. The script is based on years of research and interviews by Sanchez, who is writer/director, and by other community members and Playhouse staff and board members. CINCINNATI KING is produced in conjunction with American Records, a theatre company that chronicles American history founded by Sanchez.

CINCINNATI KING tells the story of King Records founder Syd Nathan, his groundbreaking rise, the music he created and artists he produced, including singer Little Willie John and session drummer Philip Paul.

"You go around the country and everybody knows about Cleveland, they know about Detroit, but people don't know about Cincinnati," states Philip Paul's character in the play. "Before Johnny Cash and Elvis, before James Brown, before Carl Perkins, before Sam Phillips and Sun, before Verve...Before all that? There was King Records."

Philip Paul, Syd Nathan and Little Willie John are the three main characters in CINCINNATI KING, which begins with Philip Paul ending a set and coming downstage to talk to the audience as if they are interviewing him. The ghost of Syd Nathan then comes onstage and decides that he needs to be interviewed, too, so he can set the record straight.

The play is part documentary, with dialogue from actual interviews with Paul, along with imagined lines from Nathan based on information from research and other interviews about him.

"I don't in any way want people to think this is the definitive 'King Records Story,'" Sanchez explains. "I decided to go deeper with fewer people, to focus on the drama and the personal, emotional stories. I hope this play inspires more movies and plays about all the incredible King Records artists."

Cincinnati is celebrating the 75th anniversary of King Records Studio's opening this year. Local organizations like King Studios Foundation, Music Heritage Foundation, Bootsy Collins Foundation and the City of Cincinnati are celebrating the milestone through cultural and artistic events. CINCINNATI KING is the culmination of the anniversary celebrations.

CAST: Neal Benari (Syd Nathan); Richard Crandle (Little Willie John); Stanley Wayne Mathis (Philip Paul); Tracy Schoster (Roberta Paul); Cullen R. Titmas (Man); Anita Welch (Woman); Ralph Huntley (Pianist); Richard Livingston Huntley (Drummer); Seth L. Johnson (Guitarist); Terrell Montgomery (Bassist)

PRODUCTION: KJ Sanchez (Writer/Director); Richard Livingston Huntley (Music Director); Misha Kachman (Set Designer); Rachel Healy (Costume Designer); Brian J. Lilienthal (Lighting Designer); Lindsay Jones (Sound Designer); Stephanie Klapper, CSA (Casting Director); Jenifer Morrow (Production Stage Manager)

TICKETS: To purchase tickets or for more information, call the Playhouse Box Office at 513-421-3888 (toll-free in Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana at 800-582-3208) or visit www.cincyplay.com. Call 513-345-2248 for Telecommunications Device for the Deaf accessibility.

Performances will begin at 7:30 p.m. Tuesdays through Thursdays, at 8 p.m. Fridays, 4 and 8 p.m. Saturdays and 2 and 7 p.m. Sundays. Individual tickets start at just $35. Tickets to all 7 p.m. Sunday performances are priced at just $10 for college students with a valid school ID. Student tickets are just $15 on the day of the show for all other performances. Discounted ticket prices for and teens are $30.
Celebrate Cincinnati's Contributions To Music History With CINCINNATI KING

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