LA TI DO DC To Present World Premiere Of SOUL REDEEMER
LA TI DO Productions is proud to present the world premiere staged reading of SOUL REDEEMER, a musical play by playwright Paul Handy and composer Neal Learner. The readings, directed by Kevin Sockwell and produced by Don Michael Mendoza, take place Jan. 18 and 19 at 7pm at Bistro Bistro, 1727 Connecticut Ave. NW, Washington, D.C.
Set in the 1960s and 70s, SOUL REDEEMER follows the life of former soul and R&B superstar Buddy King, who has flamed out in spectacular fashion. Now Buddy is trying to make a career comeback as a disco artist. But there are two problems: he hates disco, and he needs help from the people he burned out on his way down - his ex-record producer, his ex-lead guitarist and his ex-wife.
The musical play features a multi-ethnic cast, and is inspired by the rise and fall of real-life R&B superstar Wilson Pickett (In the Midnight Hour).
"I wanted to imagine what Pickett's life might have been like if he had pursued a disco career," says Washington-based Paul Handy, who wrote the book for the show. "He was a brilliant musician and volatile character, and surrounded by some of the best musicians of his day. While Wilson Pickett is an inspiration for the play, Buddy King is a different and fictitious soul singer. I take Buddy from the heights of his success to the depths of his substance abuse, and ultimately to a place where he finds peace with his music and the ones he loves."
Neal Learner, of Alexandria, Va., wrote 10 original songs in the soul and disco styles of the 1960s and 1970s to capture the spirit and energy of those periods. Both Handy and Learner have presented their individual works at the DC Capital Fringe Festival. This is their first collaboration.
SOUL REDEEMER also is produced by LA TI DO and its cofounder Don Michael Mendoza. LA TI DO has been a well-known fixture in Washington's cabaret and spoken word scene since 2012. "One of my goals is to foster and present the work of local playwrights and musicians," says Mendoza. "This is an exciting project with an outstanding cast and creative production team."
In addition to award-winning actor and director Kevin Sockwell, the production team includes music director Matthew Dohm and stage manager Bryan Boyd. The cast includes: Julia Capizzi, Audra Jacobs, Carrie McKnight, Matthew Ratz, Paige Washington, Anthony Williams, and Carl Williams.