Virginia Repertory Theatre Presents Richmond Premiere of SATCHMO AT THE WALDORF

This one-man, three-character play was written by Terry Teachout, and stars Richmond favorite Jerold E. Solomon who portrays Louis Armstrong.

By: Feb. 23, 2024
Virginia Repertory Theatre Presents Richmond Premiere of SATCHMO AT THE WALDORF
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Virginia Repertory Theatre introduces a new work to the Richmond community with Satchmo at the Waldorf, running from March 1-April 7 at the November Theatre downtown.

This one-man, three-character play was written by Terry Teachout, and stars Richmond favorite Jerold E. Solomon who portrays Louis Armstrong, the greatest of all jazz trumpeters; Joe Glaser, his manager; and Miles Davis, a rival musician. Virginia Rep's Artistic Director of Programming Rick Hammerly will direct the play.

It takes place in 1971 in a dressing room backstage at the Empire Room of New York's Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, where Armstrong performed in public for the last time four months before his death. Reminiscing into a tape recorder about his life and work, Armstrong seeks to come to terms with his longstanding relationship with Glaser, whom he once loved like a father but now believes to have betrayed him. In alternating scenes, Glaser defends his controversial decision to promote Armstrong's career (with the help of the Chicago mob) by encouraging him to simplify his musical style, while Davis attacks Armstrong for pandering to white audiences.

Terry Teachout (February 6, 1956 – January 13, 2022) was an American author, critic, biographer, playwright, stage director, and librettist. He was the drama critic of The Wall Street Journal, the critic-at-large of Commentary, and the author of "Sightings,” a column about the arts in the U.S. that is published biweekly in The Wall Street Journal. He weblogged at About Last Night and wrote about the arts for many other magazines and newspapers, including The New York Times and National Review. He was a co-host on Three on the Aisle, a monthly podcast about theater in the United States, hosted by American Theatre magazine, which ran from September 2017 to December 2021.

Jerold E. Solomon is an actor, director and writer who, alongside co-writers Foster Solomon and Ron Klipp, is currently developing a new American musical about Gabriel's Slave Rebellion of 1800. Jerold has a BFA in Theater Performance from VCU and currently teaches theater in Henrico County Public Schools.

 A native Virginian, he has spent the bulk of his career performing across the country. Some credits include: Broadway: South Pacific (Lincoln Center). Off-Broadway: Bare (New World Stages). National Tours: Ragtime, Big River, and Annie. Regional: Ragtime (Diamond Head); Dreamgirls, The Wiz, The Color Purple, The Whipping Man, Sweet Charity, You're a Good Man Charlie Brown, Gross Indecency, and Olympus on My Mind (Virginia Rep); Mountaintop and Between Riverside and Crazy (Cadence/Virginia Rep); Once On This Island and 25th Annual Putnum Spelling Bee (Paper Mill); Cutman (Goodspeed); Smokey Joe's Cafe (Inside Broadway); Henry V and The Merry Wives of Windsor (RSF); The Lost Colony and many others. TV/Film; 30 Rock, Law and Order, and Kings (NBC); The Unusuals (ABC); Hiding Divya (Desipina). 

About Virginia Repertory Theatre

Virginia Repertory Theatre is a regional professional theater headquartered in downtown Richmond, and is one of the largest performing arts organizations in Central Virginia. Virginia Rep will stage productions in four venues in 2023-2024: the Signature Season at the Sara Belle and Neil November Theatre, the Barksdale Season at the Hanover Tavern, the Family Season at Virginia Rep Center for Arts and Education, 4204 Hermitage Road in Richmond's Northside, and Partner Productions in the Theatre Gym located within the November Theatre complex downtown. Virginia Rep also tours children's shows, both virtual and live, and provides educational programming to schools throughout Virginia and to major performing arts centers throughout 32 states.