TRAV'LIN – THE 1930s HARLEM MUSICAL ROMANCE Gets Regional Premiere at Winter Park Playhouse

Heading the cast is Johnathan Lee Iverson, best known as the ringmaster of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus.

By: Jan. 13, 2022
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TRAV'LIN – THE 1930s HARLEM MUSICAL ROMANCE Gets Regional Premiere at Winter Park Playhouse

Trav'lin - The 1930s Harlem Musical Romance, a joyful celebration of love in the Jazz Age with a classic jazz and blues score, is receiving its Southeast regional premiere to kick off the Mainstage Series at Florida's Winter Park Playhouse. The show plays January 27 through February 19, 2022, with previews on January 27 and 28 and the official opening the evening of January 28. Heading the cast is Johnathan Lee Iverson, best known as the ringmaster of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus.

"Trav'lin," has previously received five successful productions. Following its sold-out debut featuring Brenda Braxton at the 2010 New York Musical Festival (NYMF), the show has played to critical and audience acclaim at The Arvada Center (Arvada, CO), Seven Angels Theatre (Waterbury, CT), Ensemble Theatre (Houston, TX), and Jubilee Theatre (Fort Worth, TX).

"Trav'lin" is a journey back to the Harlem Renaissance - the style was high, the jazz was hot and the bands were swinging. What happens when the two sexes try to navigate romance in this new world? The book by Gary Holmes and Allan Shapiro offers a funny, buoyant, and heartfelt look at love, and the score for "Trav'lin" rediscovers Harlem Renaissance songwriter J.C. Johnson.

J.C. Johnson, best known for "The Joint is Jumpin'," wrote Bessie Smith's signature "Empty Bed Blues" and collaborated with some of the most-loved composers and lyricists of the period including "Fats" Waller, Andy Razaf, Chick Webb, George Whiting and Nat Schwartz. His music has been performed and recorded by numerous stars including Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, Louie Armstrong, Fred Astaire, Duke Ellington and Count Basie, and has been heard on Broadway in Ain't Misbehavin' and Me and Bessie. More information on Trav'lin and sound clips can be found at www.travlinthemusical.com.

The Winter Park production, directed by regional favorite Shonn McCloud, showcases a seasoned professional cast that includes three veterans of the Playhouse Mainstage, Patrece Bloomfield (Ain't Misbehavin', Christmas My Way, Florida Festival of New Musicals), Faith Boles (Ain't Misbehavin', Beehive), and Johnathan Lee Iverson (Crazy For Gershwin, Florida Festival of New Musicals), and three performers appearing at the Playhouse for the first time, Rolin Alexis, Dayja Le'Chelle and Will Scott.

The choreography is by Playhouse Artistic Director Roy Alan, and resident Playhouse Musical Director Christopher Leavy conducts the Playhouse band from the piano. The band also features Brandon Miller on bass, Sam Forrest on percussion and Ned Wilkinson on multiple instruments.

In response to the surge of the COVID-19 Omicron, the Playhouse postponed the originally scheduled January 21 opening night for a week and added swing understudies to ensure the show keeps running in the event of a breakthrough. Making the changes "gives us some measure of assurance that we can keep our performance schedule intact for our patrons," said Roy Alan Playhouse Artistic Director, "and as an added bonus we are employing more actors from our region."

Performances are Friday and Saturday evenings at 7:30 p.m. with matiness at 2:00 p.m. on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays as well as on select Wednesdays and Sundays. Ticket prices are $46 evenings, $43 senior evenings, $39 matinee and $20 students and theatrical industry professionals. Preview performances are $22. Group discount rates for 10 people or more are available. Student rush "$10@10" offers $10 tickets (for students 25 years and younger) 10 minutes prior to a performance when seats are available. All patrons will be required to wear masks during the performance.

To purchase tickets, call the box office at 407-645-0145 or visit online at www.winterparkplayhouse.org.

The Winter Park Playhouse is a registered 501(c) (3) non-profit charitable organization and proudly affiliated with Actors' Equity Association and The National Alliance for Musical Theatre.

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