Photo Flash: The Guthrie's ELLA Plays Thru 9/6

The Guthrie's presentation of Ella, the exhilarating musical about the First Lady of Song, began July 21st.

Tina Fabrique stars in the title role of this summer theatrical event, weaving myth, memory and music to tell the uplifting and poignant story of one of the greatest jazz and pop vocalists of the 20th century.

Fabrique, who was tapped by "Ella" creators Rob Ruggiero and Dyke Garrison prior to the bio-musical's 2005 inception, has previously performed the role in more than 15 regional productions across the country, and has received universally rave reviews for her smoky-sounding interpretation of the renowned songstress. With a book by popular Twin Cities-based scribe Jeffrey Hatcher and musical supervision/arrangement by Danny Holgate, Ella is destined to become the "must-see Twin Cities performance" of the summer.

Performances began July 21 and continue through September 6 on the McGuire Proscenium Stage. Single tickets are priced from $29 to $65, with a limited number of premium tickets available for opening night.

Guthrie Box Office at 612.377.2224, toll-free 877.44.STAGE, 612.225.6244 (Group Sales) and online at

It's 1966 and the fabled songstress is preparing for one of the most important concerts of her career. As she jams with the musicians and gets ready to meet the audience, Ella reflects on her life, her secrets and the love of music that made her soar. Featuring more than 20 of her most famous hits, including "A Tisket, A Tasket," "How High the Moon," "That Old Black Magic," and "They Can't Take That Away from Me," this swinging musical invites audiences to fall in love all over again with the magic and soul of Ella Fitzgerald.

"Ella is a dream come true for me," said director Ruggiero. "I have always been a fan of jazz, and her amazing body of work seemed to cry out for a theater piece celebrating the life of Ella Fitzgerald. Our journey has afforded me the great privilege of taking a closer look at this brilliant musician, and really getting to know her past, her struggles, her dreams, her desires, her connection with her music, and her audience - her real story, so to speak."

The cast also includes George Caldwell (Music Director/Conductor/Piano), Ron Haynes (Trumpet/Louis Armstrong), Rodney Harper (Drums), Clifton Kellem (Bass) and Harold Dixon (Norman Granz), with Joilet Harris serving as the understudy for Fabrique.

The artistic team for the production includes Michael Schweikardt (Set Designer), Alejo Vietti (Costume Designer), John Lasiter (Lighting Designer), Michael Miceli (Sound Designer), Charles LaPoint (Wig Designer), Richard Costabile (Stage Manager) and Elizabeth R. McNally (Assistant Stage Manager).

The Guthrie Theater, founded in 1963, is an American center for theater performance, production, education and professional training. The Guthrie is dedicated to producing the great works of dramatic literature, developing the work of contemporary playwrights and cultivating the next generation of theater artists. Led by Director Joe Dowling since 1995, the Guthrie opened its new three-theater home on the banks of the Mississippi River in Minneapolis in June 2006.

The Guthrie is located at 818 South 2nd Street (at Chicago Avenue), in downtown Minneapolis. To purchase tickets or season subscriptions call the Guthrie Box Office at 612.377.2224 or toll-free 877.44.STAGE. For more information, or to purchase tickets online, visit

Photo Credit: Ed Krieger, The Laguna Playhouse


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