It Ain't Nothin' But the Blues

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It Ain't Nothin' But the Blues
Music Various
Lyrics Various
Book Charles Bevel, Lita Gaithers, Randal Myler, Ron Taylor and Dan Wheetman
Basis An original idea by Ron Taylor
Productions 1999 Off Broadway
1999 Broadway

It Ain't Nothin' But the Blues is a musical revue written by Charles Bevel, Lita Gaithers, Randal Myler, Ron Taylor, and Dan Wheetman. It was originally produced at The Denver Center for the Performing Arts, and later presented by the Crossroads Theatre, in association with San Diego Repertory Theatre and Alabama Shakespeare Festival in New York.

The revue traces the history of "blues" music with more than three dozen songs. Ron Taylor acted as singing narrator. It was directed by Randal Myler with movement by Donald McKayle.

It Ain't Nothin' But the Blues started as a Denver Center Theater Company school touring show in circa 1994.[1] The Denver Center production played at the Arena Stage (Washington, D.C.), in November 1996. It subsequently opened in New York at the New Victory Theater in March 1999 for a limited run, and then transferred to Broadway. It opened at the Vivian Beaumont Theater on April 26, 1999, transferred to the Ambassador Theatre on 9/7/1999, and ran until January 9, 2000, with 284 performances.

In 2011, the show was revived by the New Haarlem Arts Theater at the Aaron Davis Hall on the City College of New York campus.[2]

Cast[edit]

On-stage 6-member band, musical director Dan Wheetman, with Debra Laws and Kevin Cooper on Bass Guitar

Songs (partial)[edit]

Sources: The Washington Post, Lloyd Rose, D01, November 22, 1996 and Curtain Up review, April 1999

  • "Come On in My Kitchen"
  • "Black Woman"
  • "Crawlin' King Snake"
  • "Walkin' Blues"
  • "Crossroad Blues"
  • "I Can't Stop Loving You"
  • "Dangerous Blues"
  • "His Eye Is on the Sparrow"
  • "Fever"
  • "Someone Else is Stepping In"
  • "Walking After Midnight"
  • "Good-Night Irene"

Awards and nominations[edit]

Original Broadway production[edit]

Year Award Category Nominee Result
1999 Tony Award Best Musical Nominated
Best Book of a Musical Charles Bevel, Lita Gaithers, Randal Myler, Ron Taylor, and Dan Wheetman Nominated
Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Musical Ron Taylor Nominated
Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Musical Gretha Boston Nominated
Drama Desk Award Outstanding Revue Nominated
Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical Ron Taylor Nominated
Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical Gretha Boston Nominated
Eloise Laws Nominated

References[edit]

  1. ^ The Denver Post, Sandra C. Dillard, p. I-01, November 7, 1999
  2. ^ Saltz, Rachel (2011-08-02). "Exploring the Far Reaches and Forms of the Blues". The New York Times. Retrieved 2011-08-19. 

External links[edit]