It Ain't Nothin' But the Blues

by  Charles Bevel, Lita Gaithers, Randal Myler, Ron Taylor, Dan Wheetman

Full Length Musical, Drama  /  4m, 3f

"This rich, evocative, rousing show, with some 50 musical numbers ranging from African chants and spirituals to Delta and Chicago blues, with plenty of stops along the dusty roads, river banks, broken country hearts and juke joints in between, is mor…

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  • Cast Size

    Cast Size

    4m, 3f
  • Duration

    Duration

    120 minutes (2 hours)
  • SubGenre

    Subgenre

    Period, Docudrama/Historic
  • Accolades

    Accolades

    From Broadway
  • Audience

    Target Audience

    • Appropriate for all audiences

Additional Info

This sizzling revue of the blues and blues infused songs that changed the way the world hears the human heartbeat took New York by storm. Ravishing songs trace the evolution of the blues from Africa to Mississippi to Memphis to Chicago.

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Reviews

REVIEWS

"This rich, evocative, rousing show, with some 50 musical numbers ranging from African chants and spirituals to Delta and Chicago blues, with plenty of stops along the dusty roads, river banks, broken country hearts and juke joints in between, is more than a musical feast. Besides its cornucopia of splendidly interpreted song, It Ain't Nothin' but the Blues is a potent blend of visual eloquence and historical sweep that engages the eye and touches the heart while its songs soothe the ear, occasionally work mischief on the funny bone and always raise the spirits.... It's a sure cure for the blues!" - The New York Times

"It rocks the audience right up to heaven!" - Newhouse Newspapers

"Exhilarating!" - The New York Daily News

"A non stop, joyous spree of entertainment." - Newark Star Ledger

"A sizzling, red hot hit!" - WWOR TV

Keywords

Black issues, Love, Memory

Considerations

Performing Groups

  • College Theatre / Student
  • Community Theatre
  • Dinner Theatre
  • Professional Theatre
  • Large Stage

Cautions

  • No Special Cautions

License details

  • Licensing fees and rental materials quoted upon application.

Production

Details

  • Time Period: 1960s, 1950s, 1940s / WWII, 1930s, 1920s, 1910s / WWI, 1900-1910
  • Duration: 120 minutes (2 hours)
  • Setting:

    The first act, with songs, insturmental music and dialogue, moves from an African harvest celebration (with authentic song and music), through the middle passage (with an authentic African song of lamentation and sounds), to plantation life with work songs, early spirituals and others song celebrating life, love, disapointments and triumphs. The act, with a minimal of dialouge, also demonstrates the connection between the early music of both indentured servants from Europe and slaves from Africa. 

    The second act, heads up the Mississippi River, through Memphis and St. Louis, on its way to "Sweet Home Chicago!" And how sweet it becomes! With a full rymthm section of musicians as support, the "blues" in song demonstrates why an how it became the solid base that now stands as the foundation to practically every genre of popular American music. 

  • Additional Features: Play w/ Music, Multimedia
  • Features / Contains: Period Costumes

Music

  • Musical Style: Jazz, Country/Western, Folk
  • Vocal Demands: Moderate
  • Orchestra Size: Medium
  • Chorus Size: No Chorus

Casting

4m, 3f

Speaking and singing roles a must for all seven characters.

Males characters who can play acoustic instruments (guitar, banjo, harmonica and other acoustic instruments) prefered.

Females characters who can play insturments (tamborines, shakers, triangles, etc.) prefered.

Movement experience (as opposed to being a trained dancers) helpful.

 

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Cast Attributes

  • Role(s) for Black Actor(s)
  • Ensemble cast
  • Multicultural casting
  • Parts for Senior Actors

Casting Notes

Plus 6 musicians

Resources

Rehearsal Resources

Music Material Rental Packages Glyphs / UI / Tooltip

Full Package

8 Piano/Conductor Score (Act 1)
8 Piano/Conductor Score (Act 2)

On Stage Guitar
Tenor Saxophone
Drums
Guitar
Bass

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Authors

Charles Bevel

Charles Bevel

Lita Gaithers

Lita Gaithers

Randal Myler

Randal Myler

Ron Taylor

Ron Taylor

Dan Wheetman

Dan Wheetman

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