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People's Light Announces Cast of PERSONALITY: THE LLOYD PRICE MUSICAL

This world premiere musical celebrates one of the most resilient and influential entertainers of the 20th Century.

People's Light Announces Cast of PERSONALITY: THE LLOYD PRICE MUSICAL

Before Rosa Parks refused to go to the back of the bus, before Martin Luther King, Jr. inspired a movement, Lloyd Price's music brought Black and white youth together. From his obscure beginnings to overnight teen sensation, from unsung trailblazer to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, the story of Lloyd Price has never been told onstage - until now. Featuring a stellar ensemble of singers and dancers performing the singer/songwriter's iconic hits "Lawdy Miss Clawdy," "Stagger Lee," and the legendary song that became his namesake, "Personality," this world premiere musical celebrates one of the most resilient and influential entertainers of the 20th Century. With a script written by B. Jeffrey Madoff in collaboration with Price himself, a team of American theatre titans helmed by Director Sheldon Epps, and cutting-edge live audio technology, the musical will bring Price's story and everlasting legacy to the People's Light stage. Personality: The Lloyd Price Musical runs March 9 - April 3 on the Leonard C. Haas Stage. Single tickets are $45. To purchase, call 610.644.3500 or visit peopleslight.org. People's Light is located at 39 Conestoga Road, Malvern PA 19355.

The eponymous icon is played by two actors over the course of the musical. After paying tribute to other music legends on Broadway in critically acclaimed musicals Ain't Too Proud-The Life and Times of The Temptations and Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, Saint Aubyn stars and narrates as Lloyd Price in his People's Light debut. Aubyn originated the role of Temptations frontman Dennis Edwards in Ain't Too Proud, receiving a Grammy nomination with the original cast. Up-and-coming R&B musician Nathaniel Washington, whose past collaborators include Camille A. Brown, Bill T. Jones, and Black Thought, also makes his People's Light debut as a young Price who navigates the twists and turns of his sudden stardom.

"It's truly an honor to tell the story of Lloyd Price," said Aubyn. "His will to succeed, believing in himself, knowing he had a special gift and then making it happen. With all the obstacles that came across his path, this story feels like a testament of being a Black man in America."

Aubyn and Washington lead a cast of actors, singers, and dancers from all over the country with numerous Broadway and regional credits, many of whom appear at People's Light for the first time. Stanley Wayne Mathis portrays Price's friend and business partner Harold Logan, and Donnie Hammond is trailblazing guitarist Sister Rosetta Tharpe. The ensemble also includes Miles Boone as legendary performer Little Richard and Desireé Murphy as Emma, Price's first wife. Robert H. Fowler, Kyshawn Lane, Todd Lawson, Lizzie Mason, Iykechi McCoy, Charlotte McKinley, Alyssa Ramsey, and Dony Wright also make their People's light debuts in the ensemble, with McCoy and Ramsey serving as swings. Philadelphia favorites Ben Dibble (Ensemble) and Michael Covel (Swing) return to People's Light after appearing in holiday pantos Snow White (2009) and Cinderella (2018), respectively.

Though Price ranks as one of the most significant musical artists of the mid-twentieth century, his multi-generational impact on the industry has remained in relative obscurity for too long. Says Director Sheldon Epps, "I have always been attracted to stories about what I call unsung heroes in our history. Lloyd Price is certainly worthy of our attention as a great showman, a trailblazer and a true pioneer. It's a great honor to bring his story and his music to life for audiences who may know him and especially to those who should know him."

Price himself worked directly with Playwright B. Jeffrey Madoff to translate his remarkable life story into the script and vision of this new musical. From humble beginnings in his hometown of Kenner, Louisiana, Price faced incredible obstacles to a thriving musical career-especially as a young Black man coming of age in pre-Civil Rights Movement America. Armed with fierce determination and a soulful sound, he skyrocketed to stardom in 1952 when his single "Lawdy Miss Clawdy" was recorded by Specialty Records, hitting No. 1 on the R&B charts and selling over a million copies. His originality and dynamite personality captured the hearts of American youth, helping to bridge racial divides and encourage unity through a love of rock 'n' roll. But the path to the Hall of Fame was a winding one: immediately after the success of his first record, he was drafted to fight in the Korean War in 1953. Yet Price was a master of reinvention, going on to create his own record label, develop the bridge between R&B and Pop music scenes, and find his footing in new creative endeavors time and again. Sadly, Price passed away in May of 2021 before he could see this collaboration fully realized onstage, but the team intends Personality to serve as a tribute to the entertainer and the enormous legacy he left behind.

The world premiere combines the creative talents of an all-star team with cutting-edge theatrical technology, featuring L-ISA Immersive Hyperreal Sound technology by L-Acoustics. L-ISA represents the future of live performance audio, a comprehensive ecosystem of audio tools that create a uniquely vivid and emotional experience for listeners. With speakers deployed throughout the theatre and state-of-the-art sound localization capabilities, L-ISA will immerse Personality audiences in Price's iconic music to an extent most theatregoers have never experienced before. The result is a true "song and dance" musical larger in scale than anything on the People's Light stage in over a decade, and a fitting celebration of the pioneering music legend. Audio equipment provided by L-Acoustics and Bauder Audio Systems, Inc; Lighting equipment and LED provided by 4Wall Entertainment.

Music Supervisor Shelton Becton (Broadway's The Color Purple, Shuffle Along..., and more) will highlight Price's iconic musical flair and will have audiences dancing in their seats. Edgar Godineaux (Broadway's Ain't Too Proud), whose choreography was last seen in Lights Out, makes his return to People's Light to create the high-energy dance numbers. The prestigious design team includes Scenic and Media Designer David Gallo (Tony Award winner for Broadway's The Drowsy Chaperone), Lucille Lortel nominated Costume Designer Karen Perry, Lighting Designer Jeff Croiter (Tony Award winner for Broadway's Peter and the Starcatcher), Video Designer Steve Channon (The Mountaintop), and Rob Kaplowitz (Tony Award winner for Broadway's Fela!) returns to People's Light as Sound Designer. Viveca Gardiner assists Scenic and Media Design. Gwendolyn M. Gilliam stage manages, assisted by Molly Norris. Saladin White II serves as COVID Compliance Manager.

Personality is presented in partnership with The Hard Kill LLC, Eric Cornell, Executive Producer. Visit peopleslight.org for the full creative team and more information.


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