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Jazz Singer at Abrons Arts Center Playhouse


9/24/2019 - 10/12/2019


Abrons Arts Center Playhouse

466 Grand Street
New York,NY 10002

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An uncompromising new theatrical interrogation of the first talking film, JAZZ SINGER is a provocative musical exploration of how we grapple with problematic art.Abrons Arts Center presents the world premiere of JAZZ SINGER, a theatrical exhumation of the first feature-length "talkie", reinterpreted by director Joshua William Gelb and composer Nehemiah Luckett. Set on the Lower East Side, the 1927 film tells the story of a jazz crooner forced to choose between his immigrant Jewish heritage and becoming a Broadway star. Though historically significant for its integration of synchronized sound, it is mostly remembered for its controversial use of blackface. Gelb and Luckett's musical rendering, featuring a different guest jazz musician each night, offers a contemporary take on this distinctly American story, one that interrogates appropriation, assimilation, atonement, and whether escape from the specter of blackface is possible.

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