Low Down Dirty Blues – a sizzling Musical Revue Nov 7-Dec 20

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Low Down Dirty BluesCINCINNATI, OH – The club may be closed, but the party is just heating up when Randal Myler and Dan Wheetman’s Low Down Dirty Blues sashays into the Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park’s Thompson Shelterhouse Theatre for the holidays, Nov. 7 through Dec. 20. A celebratory tribute to America’s great blues tradition, the show is a sizzling musical revue that features nearly two dozen songs pulled from the greatest hits of Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, Big Mama Thornton and more.

The cast features Felicia P. Fields, nominated for a Tony Award for her role as Sofia in the original Broadway production of The Color Purple; Chic Street Man, who composed the music for and starred in the off-Broadway hit Spunk; Caron “Sugaray” Rayford, who was nominated for two 2015 Blues Music Awards; and keyboardist Fred Kaplan, who played with such blues greats as Big Mama Thornton and Big Joe Turner during his tenure with the legendary Hollywood Fats Band.

“The setting is a nameless South Side Chicago blues club,” said Myler, who’ll direct the production for the Playhouse. “It’s Saturday night, into Sunday morning. The linking dialogue is from actual blues artists that we interviewed, but it’s the music that drives the piece.”

In the show, a group of veteran musicians assembles for an after-hours jam session to swap stories and share their favorite tunes. Their hot rhythms and non-stop riffs celebrate the bawdier side of the blues.

“This show sort of came out of a show we had written called It Ain’t Nothin’ But the Blues,” said Wheetman, who also serves as the show’s music director. “The idea was to look at a very particular kind of blues – low down dirty blues. The early women’s blues music, especially, was very double entendre. That is how we started. As with anything it morphed into what it is today, which is a little broader.”

The double entendre in many of the show’s songs – including “Don’t Jump My Pony,” “My Stove’s in Good Condition” and “If I Can’t Sell It” – brings both humor and sensuality to the production. The stories that are interspersed between the songs add emotional resonance.

“It is a spicier kind of blues,” Wheetman said. “This was specifically about a kind of blues that has two sides to it. On one hand, it is a more intimate look, it is a smaller group and a smaller palate … This is not so much a historic thing; it is a story about the people, these people in this club and their stories, which includes the music but it is more of a personal talk about what brought them to where they are.”

Ticket prices for Low Down Dirty Blues start at $35. Prices are subject to change, and patrons are encouraged to buy early for the best seats at the best prices. The show is appropriate for adult and older teenage audiences. Returning this season is the popular Sunday College Night, with tickets to all 7 p.m. Sunday performances (not including A Christmas Carol) are priced at just $10 with a valid student ID. Student tickets are just $15 on the day of the show for all other performances. Discounted ticket prices for teens and students are available in advance for all productions for $30 and $45, depending on seat location.

The Playhouse’s new Tasting Series continues with a Soul Food Juke Joint beginning at 6:30 p.m. before each Friday night performance of Low Down Dirty Blues. Inspired by the after-hours nightclub setting of the show, this catered event will feature live music by local blues artists and a soul food dinner served at 6:45 p.m. in the Playhouse’s Room with a View. The cost is $22 per person; for reservations, call the Box Office at 513-421-3888.

Previews for Low Down Dirty Blues are at 8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 7; 7 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 8; 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 10; and 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 11. The official opening night is Thursday, Nov. 12, at 7:30 p.m. Performances take place at 7:30 p.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, 8 p.m. Fridays, 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. Saturdays, and 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Sundays.

Free Meet the Artists programs that allow audiences to interact with the cast and others associated with the production will be held after the following performances: 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 15; 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 22; 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 25; and 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 10.

The Playhouse is fully accessible. Audio enhancement receivers, large print programs and complete wheelchair access are available. Tickets to Low Down Dirty Blues are on sale now. For more information, call the Playhouse Box Office at 513-421-3888 (toll-free in Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana at 800-582-3208) or visit www.cincyplay.com. Call 513-345-2248 for Telecommunications Device for the Deaf accessibility.

Excerpts from BroadwayWorld.com



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