[Dixielandjazz] Ambassador Satch - The Musical

Stephen Barbone barbonestreet at earthlink.net
Thu Feb 27 00:14:26 PST 2003

Hi List mates:

Just got back from the Prince Music Theater in Philadelphia. Attended
the opening of "Ambassador Satch", a lite musical about some of Louis
Armstrong's life. Paul Grant, Barbone Street's first call trumpet stars
as the lead horn in the band, assistant music director and has a one
line speaking part. "Come on baby" as he takes Alpha (3rd wife) away
from Louis.

It is a fun play, staring Andre DeShields (from The Wiz and Ain't
Misbehavin) as Louis. It is not the story of Armstrong's life, as if you
could tell it in a 2 hour musical, but it is very entertaining. And a
five piece OKOM band is there to provide the music. (West End Blues,
Hello Dolly, Black & Blue, I'll Be Glad When You're Dead You Rascal You,
etc.) Ed Conte, another fine musician and sometimes Barbone Street
player is there also on Tuba and Double Bass. Terry Waldo plays piano
and sings.

The play has several messages including a strong "Play to the audience".
This is the second tryout and slightly different from the one in New
York City last fall. They are trying to refine it into something that
they can take to Broadway for a while, and then tour the world. Another
message that they are trying to send is that the music of Louis
Armstrong LIVES.

I don't want to say to much more about it because I am too close to the
musicians for an objective viewpoint. But, I do recommend you see it if
it gets to your part of the world, or if you get to the East Coast of
the USA. Wife Martha and I were delighted that we saw it and so was the
first night audience which gave the cast a standing ovation. Judging
from their reaction, both the music and Louis Armstrong are immortal..

Steve Barbone

More information about the Dixielandjazz mailing list