Cabaret Revue Pays Tribute to the Wizard of Song in THAT OLD BLACK MAGIC; Now Open

Quality Hill Playhouse will pay tribute to Harold Arlen, the man who brought the blues to the Great American Songbook, in THAT OLD BLACK MAGIC, an original cabaret revue which opened on January 19.

Arlen wrote for Harlem's The Cotton Club, Broadway shows, and Hollywood films, the most notable being The Wizard of Oz. Many of his songs are still popular today and are among the bedrock of the Great American Songbook. Vocalists Lauren Braton, Christina Burton, and LeShea Wright will perform nearly two dozen of these classic songs, including "Stormy Weather", "Ac-cent-tchu-ate the Positive", "That Old Black Magic", "The Man That Got Away," "Blues in the Night," "Get Happy," and the number one Song of the Century, "Over the Rainbow". J. Kent Barnhart conceived and directs the production and also serves as pianist and emcee, leading a jazz combo featuring Ken Remmert on drums, Kevin Payton on bass, and Matt Baldwin on clarinet and saxophone.

THAT OLD BLACK MAGIC runs through February 18 at Quality Hill Playhouse,303 W. 10th Street, Kansas City, Mo. Single tickets are $38, with discounts for students, seniors, and groups. Pro-rate season tickets are $132 each for the four productions remaining through July 2018. For tickets, call 816-421-1700. Visit for more information or to purchase tickets online.

About the Composer

Harold Arlen wrote over 400 songs in a career that spanned six decades, from 1924 to 1976. Although his name may not be a household word, his songs are. Many of his tunes are now considered to be American standards. From 1930 to 1934, he and lyricist Ted Koehler wrote for The Cotton Club, the "place to be" in Harlem in the late 20s and early 30s. His greatest claim to fame is undoubtedly the film The Wizard of Oz, for which he wrote the score with lyricist E.Y. "Yip" Harburg. Other notable successes include the scores for the films Blues in the Night (1941; Johnny Mercer, lyrics) and A Star is Born (1954; Ira Gershwin, lyrics) and the stage musical St. Louis Woman (1946; Johnny Mercer, lyrics). More information about Mr. Arlen is available at

About the Performers
Lauren Braton most recently appeared at QHP in As Time Goes By and has been seen in numerous Playhouse productions, including JUDY BARBRA LIZA, IN THE MOOD, and YOUR HIT PARADE. Braton has appeared on nearly every professional stage in Kansas City and also maintains a full vocal performance studio. Christina Burton returns to QHP for her eleventh production as a vocalist since making her debut in 2015 with JUDY BARBRA LIZA. A "triple threat" performer, Burton has acted, sung, and danced on the stages of Starlight Theatre, Unicorn Theatre, and Musical Theater Heritage, as well as choreographed productions for Starlight, the Unicorn, and Quality Hill Playhouse. LeShea Wright made her professional singing debut at QHP in 2006 with CHRISTMAS IN SONG. Since then she has become an audience favorite, returning for many productions. Wright has appeared as soloist with Kansas City Jazz Orchestra and as background vocalist for recording artists Jason Sims, Trace Adkins, Janelle Monae, and Chrisette Michele.

About Quality Hill Playhouse
J. Kent Barnhart founded the producing company Quality Hill Productions in 1995 and secured the lease on Quality Hill Playhouse in the same year. The company regularly produces six cabaret revues and off-Broadway musicals each year, with a season running from September through July. The theatre has seven rows and seats 153, providing one of the most intimate theatre experiences in Kansas City.

To reserve tickets, please call 816-421-1700.
Quality Hill Playhouse, 303 W. 10th Street, KCMO

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