SATCHMO AT THE WALDORF Comes to the WaterTower Theatre

It will play on the Terry Martin Main Stage from April 17th through the 28th at the Addison Theatre Centre.  

By: Apr. 05, 2024
SATCHMO AT THE WALDORF Comes to the WaterTower Theatre
Get Access To Every Broadway Story

Unlock access to every one of the hundreds of articles published daily on BroadwayWorld by logging in with one click.

Existing user? Just click login.

WaterTower Theatre hasa nnounced casting and creative details for the one person play SATCHMO AT THE WALDORF by Terry Teachout, starring Sam Henderson, directed by Feleceia Wilson.  This is the third production of WaterTower’s 28th Season.

SATCHMO AT THE WALDORF is a one-man, three-character play in which the same actor portrays Louis Armstrong, the greatest of all jazz trumpeters; his manager Joe Glaser, and Miles Davis, who admired Armstrong’s playing but disliked his onstage manner. 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, just 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, and Davis’ criticisms of him as a fellow artist.  It will play on the Terry Martin Main Stage from April 17th through the 28th at the Addison Theatre Centre.  

WaterTower patrons will remember Sam Henderson from his brilliant portrayal of Torvald in “A Doll’s House”. Reflecting on his upcoming role in SATCHMO, Sam Henderson said “I’m incredibly excited about tackling this daunting task. I’m comforted by both Feleceia Wilson’s more than capable leadership and Terry Teachout’s wonderful text. Between them, I know they will provide a sturdy safety net that will catch me if I fall.” 

SATCHMO AT THE WALDORF is Feleceia Wilson's directorial debut at WaterTower Theatre. Wilson, a familiar face at WaterTower, brings her passion and insight to this poignant one-person play, offering audiences a fresh perspective on the complexities of Louis Armstrong's life and legacy.

"What excites me most about 'Satchmo at the Waldorf' is the opportunity to delve into the rich tapestry of Louis Armstrong's dynamic life. His story mirrors the struggles and triumphs of black individuals navigating a world that often seeks to confine them to the margins. Armstrong's rise to prominence is a testament to the brilliance and sacrifices of those who dare to defy expectations."

"My approach to 'Satchmo at the Waldorf' centers on honoring the authenticity of each character while exploring the intricate connections between them," explains Wilson. "Through meticulous research, character analysis, and collaborative dialogue with the actor, we aim to craft a performance that captures the essence of Louis Armstrong, Joe Glaser, and Miles Davis with integrity and depth."

This story holds immense significance for Wilson, resonating deeply with her own experiences and those of countless others who have faced systemic barriers on their path to success. "As a black woman in the arts, I understand firsthand the challenges of navigating spaces that often overlook or undervalue minority voices," shares Wilson. "Louis Armstrong's journey serves as a poignant reminder of the resilience and ingenuity required to overcome adversity and leave a lasting impact on the world."

As rehearsals approach, Wilson outlines her process for bringing this compelling narrative to life on stage. "We are going to do collective, collaborative, smart work. As we prepare to embark on this journey, my focus lies in fostering a collaborative and supportive environment that encourages creativity and exploration," says Wilson. "Through intensive rehearsals and deep dives into character motivations, we aim to cultivate a performance that resonates authentically with audiences while honoring the legacy of this American icon."

The creative & production team includes Kae Styron as Set Designer, Hope Cox as Costume Designer, Christopher L Treviño as Lighting Designer, Ruby Pullum as Property Designer, David Lanza as Sound Designer, Lexi Solomon as the Equity Production Stage Manager, Devon Patch as Assistant Stage Manager, and Bobby Selah, as Sound Board Operator.  

The show is a one act with a run time of 1 hour and 15 minutes, followed by a jazzy after party featuring special guests, with show inspired cocktails, and the opportunity to mix and mingle with the artists and fellow patrons.  WaterTower is building an immersive experience around this unique piece which will take patrons of a trip through Louis Armstrong’s life, from his birth-place in New Orleans, into an intimate theatrical experience staged in his dressing room at the Waldorf Astoria in New York City where we meet the legendary artist during his final residency which included his very last performance.

Visitors will also be able to buy raffle tickets for exciting prizes during the run of the show.  The proceeds of this raffle will fund an investment into new microphones needed before this summer’s production of the family blockbuster, Disney’s Mary Poppins.  Raffle tickets can be purchased through the box office: $20 for 1, $50 for 3, or $100 for 8 tickets.  The raffle results will be live-streamed, and winners will be contacted following the closing show on Sunday April 28th.


To post a comment, you must register and login.

Vote Sponsor