Jolson and Company

by  Stephen Mo Hanan, Jay Berkow

Full Length Musical, Drama  /  2m, 1f

This musical captures on stage the story of America's greatest entertainer during his years as a star in the 1920s and his comeback in the 1940s. While Al Jolson recalls colorful moments from his life during an interview, two actors play all of the other characters, including some show business luminaries and his wives, Ruby Keeler among them.

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  • Cast Size

    Cast Size

    2m, 1f
  • Duration

    Duration

    105 Minutes
  • SubGenre

    Subgenre

    Biography, Period
  • Accolades

    Accolades

    From Off-Broadway
  • Audience

    Target Audience

    • Adult
    • Senior

Additional Info

This musical captures on stage the story of America's greatest entertainer during his years as a star in the 1920s and his comeback in the 1940s. While Al Jolson recalls colorful moments from his life during an interview, two actors play all of the other characters, including some show business luminaries and his wives, Ruby Keeler among them. The vivid memories his mother, vaudeville, Broadway, feature films and five marriages together with unforgettable renditions of "Swanee," "You Made Me Love You," "Sonny Boy," "California Here I Come," "April Showers," "Mammy" and other Jolson standards made this sparkling bio musical a hit Off-Broadway and in London.
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Reviews

"An intelligent and winning musical...that brought cheers and applause...Does justice to the man and his music." - The New York Times

"It's impossible not to enjoy...There is both charm and humor and it flows incredibly well dramatically...Highly recommended." - nytheatre.com.

"Working with a clear vision, a diagrammatic book and a tiny cast with a lot of chutzpah. Hannan and company pull it off with terrific efficiency." - Variety

"So much fun... The narrative is given a strong element of continuity...The character of Jolson is a boon as well: capricious egotism and pig headedness offset by disarming magnetism...The audience wants to sing along, and is given its chance in the final concert segment." - Financial Times

Keywords

Memory

Considerations

Performing Groups

  • College Theatre / Student
  • Community Theatre
  • Professional Theatre

Cautions

  • Caution Mild Adult Mild Adult Themes

License details

  • Licensing fees and rental materials quoted upon application.

Production

Details

  • Time Period: 1940s / WWII
  • Duration: 105 Minutes
  • Setting: The stage of the Winter Garden Theater on Broadway and various locations from Jolson's past. December, 1949.
  • Additional Features: Play w/ Music
  • Features / Contains: Contemporary Costumes / Street Clothes, Period Costumes

Music

  • Musical Style: Classic Broadway
  • Vocal Demands: Easy
  • Orchestra Size: Small/Combo
  • Chorus Size: Medium

Casting

2m, 1f

Actor 1 - 50s
Al Jolson

Actor 2 - 30s - 50s
Barry Gray, Poppa, Harry Jolson, Dockstader, Lloyd Bacon, Chuck DiAngelo, Col. Webster, Harry Cohn, Morris Stoloff

Actor 3 - 20s
Nancy, Naomi, Mae, Ethel, Josephine, Ruby, Martha, Erle

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Cast Attributes

  • Reduced casting (Doubling Possible)
  • Expandable casting
  • Flexible casting
  • Room for Extras
  • Strong Role for Leading Man (Star Vehicle)

Casting Notes

The play can be performed by various sized casts. The original production was performed with three actors, but can be expanded to as many as 18.

Resources

Rehearsal Resources

Music Material Rental Packages Glyphs / UI / Tooltip

Full Package

4 Piano/Conductor Scores
Violin
Ukulele
Banjo
Guitar
Bass

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Authors

Stephen Mo  Hanan

Stephen Mo Hanan

Jay Berkow

Jay Berkow

Jolson and Company was first produced at the York Theatre Company in New York City. It was directed by Jay Berkow.

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