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Jefferson Performing Arts Society Announces Lineup for Spring 2021

Four main-stage productions include comedy, drama, farce, & mystery.

Jefferson Performing Arts Society Announces  Lineup for Spring 2021

Jefferson Performing Arts Society is proud to announce its 43rd season lineup, featuring two New Orleans area premieres. The spring season kicks off with a one-man show about the life of the great African-American bass-baritone, scholar, actor, and athlete Paul Robeson, followed by the psychological drama One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest.

All 43rd season productions will take place at Jefferson Performing Arts Center at 6400 Airline Drive in Metairie.

Due to the current ban on live indoor singing and orchestration, the season has been revised to include only non-musicals. "While we were greatly disappointed to have to postpone our much-anticipated productions of 42nd Street, An American in Paris, and Sweet Potato Queens: The Musical, we have taken time to find shows that are especially entertaining during these trying times. We can't wait to welcome everyone back to the theater safely, and we look forward to the hopeful staging of these missed musicals as part of our 44th season!" says Jefferson Performing Arts Society co-founder and Artistic Director Dennis Assaf.

Starting off the New Year is a compelling one-man show making its New Orleans premiere, The World is My Home: The Life of Paul Robeson by Los Angeles based actor and playwright Stogie Kenyatta. The remarkable genius of Robeson comes to life as Kenyatta takes audiences on a dynamic journey of Robeson's accomplishments as Broadway bass-baritone, actor, orator, athlete, lawyer, singer, author, scholar, activist and linguist, set to a soundtrack of jazz, be-bop, big band, and gospel. One of Robeson's most famous roles was Joe in the musical Show Boat, featuring the famous song "Ol' Man River." This is a two-performance-only presentation on January 23 at 7:30 p.m. and January 24 at 2:00 p.m.

Two of the season's plays are well known to audiences through their film versions: One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest and Arsenic & Old Lace. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (January 29-February 7) will be directed by New Orleans theater icon Janet Shea. Arsenic and Old Lace (February 26-March 7) will also feature Shea and Helen Blanke as the hilarious murdering spinsters, directed by Kris Shaw.

The culmination to the season is A Comedy of Tenors, the amusing sequel to Ken Ludwig's 1989 Tony-winning Lend Me a Tenor, in which mistaken identities result in many hilarious misunderstandings. Set in a 1936 Paris hotel, the plot involves the frustrations faced by the world-class tenor Tito Merelli as he arrives in Paris, accompanied by his tempestuous wife Maria to sing in "the biggest concert in the history of Paris." The result is a fast-paced farce that will leave audiences delighted by every witty and wild plot twist. This rarely experienced production will take place April 9-18.

"The Comedy Zone" stand-up comedy shows will continue monthly on select Fridays and Saturdays at Westwego Performing Arts Theatre at 177 Sala Avenue in Westwego. A changing cast of national comedians will perform each time. For a full schedule and to purchase tickets, visit www.jpas.org or call 504-885-2000.

Photo credit: Lexi Lewis


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