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Ensemble Theatre Company Presents Musical COOKIN' AT THE COOKERY: THE MUSIC AND TIMES OF ALBERTA HUNTER

Ensemble Theatre Company Presents Musical COOKIN' AT THE COOKERY: THE MUSIC AND TIMES OF ALBERTA HUNTER

ENSEMBLE THEATRE COMPANY is thrilled to announce the fifth and final show of its 2017-2018 Season, a musical about the extraordinary life of an extraordinary woman. Infused with jazz and blues, COOKIN' AT THE COOKERY: The Music And Times Of Alberta Hunter, written, directed and choreographed by Marion J. Caffey with music direction by George Caldwell, begins previews on Thursday, June 7, opens on Saturday, June 9, and runs through Sunday, June 24, 2018 at The New Vic, 33 W. Victoria Street in Santa Barbara.

A sensation in the 1920s through the 1950s, jazz and blues legend Alberta Hunter set aside her life as an artist during the peak of her career to help others as a hospital nurse. Forced to retire at the age of 82, her musical career experienced a remarkable rebirth at New York's celebrated music venue The Cookery, where her unique style and salty repartee became an instant hit. COOKIN' AT THE COOKERY: The Music And Times Of Alberta Hunter brings Ms. Hunter's singular and improbable life story to the stage, featuring such hits as "Sweet Georgia Brown" and "Darktown Strutters Ball" performed by a live, on-stage band.

"We are delighted to close our season with this musical play about one of my favorite jazz artists, Alberta Hunter," said Ensemble Theatre Company Artistic Director Jonathan Fox. "Our audiences are in for an inspirational and uplifting experience with "Raise the Roof" performances from Lavon Fisher Wilson and Dayna Jarae Dantzler. I'm so delighted that Marion Caffey is creating a brand new production for ETC."

ABOUT THE CREATIVE TEAM AND CAST

Marion J. Caffey (Writer/Director/Choreographer) has the rare distinction of having written, directed, performed and choreographed on/for the Broadway stage. He is the current producer of the iconic show Amateur Night at the Apollo and Amateur's Casting Producer for Showtime at the Apollo with Steve Harvey. His work has appeared on Broadway, Network Television Networks, PBS Great Performances, The White House, J.F. Kennedy Center and on three continents. Projects in development: World Tenors Unleashed and Black Magic. Previous projects: Apollo Live, Three Mo' Tenors, Harlem Nights/U Street Lights (with Jason Moran), MLK Memorial Groundbreaking Ceremony, The Voice of Alegria, 3 Mo' Divas, Street Corner Symphony, Three Mo' Tenors,Bowfire and Cookin' at the Cookery.

George Caldwell(Musical Direction) is a veteran of Broadway, having conducted several shows such as Black and Blue and Play On!, as well as having served in orchestra pits for such hits as Bring In 'Da Noise, Bring In 'Da Funk, The Full Monty, etc. Caldwell has toured the regional circuit with many shows, including serving as musical director for the original musicals Thunder Knocking on the Door, Golden Boyat the Longwharf, and tours of Ella. Caldwell has also toured the world with the premier jazz orchestras of modern times. He played for 3 years with the Duke Ellington orchestra, under the direction of Ellington's son Mercer, and seven years with the Count Basie orchestra, under the direction of Frank Foster and Grover Mitchell. The Basie Orchestra received a Grammy award with Caldwell at the piano for the recording "The Count Basie Orchestra Live at the Manchestra Craftsman's Guild" (with the New York Voices). His latest release is 'Accord', available online at Amazon.

Lavon Fisher Wilson, who plays the role of Alberta, has performed in several Broadway shows, including Disney's Newsies, Lysistrata Jones,Chicago the Musical, and The Color Purple.

DAYNA JARAE DANTZLERplays several roles, including a young Alberta. She was seen recently in the Broadway production of Waitress and the national tours of The Color Purple, The Book Of Mormon, and James and the Giant Peach.

Scenic and lighting design is by Dale F. Jordan. Costume design is by Marilyn Wall.

COOKIN' AT THE COOKERY: THE MUSIC AND TIMES OF Alberta Hunter is made possible through the generous sponsorship of the 2018 Season sponsorship of Leatrice Luria and production sponsors Dana White and the Zegar Family Foundation. Additional sponsorship is provided by John C. Mithun and Mercedes Millington, Barbara and Sam Toumayan, and Sybil Rosen.

ABOUT THE SCHEDULE AND PRICING

COOKIN' AT THE COOKERY: The Music And Times Of Alberta Hunter begins previews on Thursday, June 7, opens on Saturday, June 9, and runs through Sunday, June 24, 2018 at The New Vic, 33 W. Victoria Street in Santa Barbara..

Performances are Wednesdays through Saturdays at 8:00 pm, Sundays at 2:00 and 7:00 pm, with an added Tuesday 7:00 pm show on June 12 and a Saturday 4:00 pm matinee performance on June 16, 2018.

Adult ticket prices range from $40 to $75 with discounts available for seniors.

Student tickets are available for only $20.00 each, and tickets for patrons age 29-and-under are always just $35. Single tickets are available through the ETC box office at (805) 965-5400, or online at etcsb.org.

For group sales information, please call (805) 965-5400. Prices subject to change.


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