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STORMY WEATHER LIMITED RUN ENDS MARCH 8, SNEAK PEEK INSIDE

March 2, 2008

 

LIMITED ENGAGEMENT OF NEW MUSICAL

STORMY WEATHER

ENDS SUNDAY, MARCH 8, 2009

AFTER BREAKING BOX OFFICE RECORDS AT PASADENA PLAYHOUSE

 

Click here to watch a sneak peek of the show, starring Leslie Uggams as legendary singer Lena Horne:  StormyWeatherSneakPeek

 

 

“A high-voltage affair featuring a treasure trove of standards by such golden-age pillars as Cole Porter, Harold Arlen & Johnny Mercer and Billy Strayhorn.”

– Charles McNulty, LA Times

 

www.pasadenaplayhouse.org

STORMY WEATHER BREAKS BOX OFFICE RECORD AT PASADENA PLAYHOUSE

$333,000 IN SALES LEADING UP TO OPENING NIGHT 

“A high-voltage affair featuring a treasure trove of standards by such golden-age pillars as Cole Porter, Harold Arlen & Johnny Mercer and Billy Strayhorn.”

– Charles McNulty, LA Times

LOS ANGELES, CA – Pasadena Playhouse (Artistic Director, Sheldon Epps; Interim Managing Director, Ken Novice; Producing Director, Tom Ware) announced on Friday, January 30 that Stormy Weather, starring Leslie Uggams as Lena Horne, is now the non-profit’s record-holder for advance single ticket sales prior to opening night.

Stormy Weather has been nothing less than prolific at the box office and has far surpassed our expectations.  Sales hit $330,000 by opening night Friday, January 30, surpassing both Ray Charles Live and SISTER ACT the Musical and this is at a lower ticket price,” stated Interim Managing Director, Ken Novice.  The average ticket price for Stormy Weather is $50.00 while the average ticket price for Ray Charles Live and SISTER ACT was $70.00.  Neither of these two previous productions surpassed $315,000 by opening night (Ray Charles Live reached $314,496.00 while SISTER ACT the Musical reached $297,773.50).  Novice continued, “While we are thrilled with the box office receipts and the tremendous response from preview audiences, the success story only serves to point up the fact that America’s regional theatres cannot exist on ticket sales alone.  We must also successfully reach a goal of raising $1 million in donated revenue in the first quarter in order to continue producing at the highest level of artistry.”

STORMY WEATHER

January 23 – March 1, 2009 (Opening night was January 30)

Conceived and written by Sharleen Cooper

Suggested by the biography Lena Horne, Entertainer published by Chelsea House. 

By special arrangements with Stewart Lane, Bonnie Comley and Armica Productions.

Music by Cole Porter, Harold Arlen & Johnny Mercer, Rodgers & Hart, Billy Strayhorn, and more.  Choreographed by Randy Skinner.  Directed by Michael Bush

A new musical extravaganza about legendary singer Lena Horne – an amazing entertainer and a pioneer in the civil rights movement.  Horne’s rise to stardom, through stratospheric, is characterized by dramatic and moving episodes – but her charm and amazing vocal instrument never fail to amaze.

Pasadena Playhouse is located at 39 South El Molino Avenue in Pasadena. Tickets are available by calling the Pasadena Playhouse at 626-356-7529, by visiting the Pasadena Playhouse Box Office, open from 12:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m. daily excluding holidays and online at http://www.Pasadenaplayhouse.org.  Group Sales (15 or more) are available by calling 800-378-7021. 

Tickets are available by calling the Pasadena Playhouse at 626-356-7529, by visiting the Pasadena Playhouse Box Office, open from 12:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m. daily excluding holidays and online at www.PasadenaPlayhouse.org.

STORMY WEATHER STAR LESLIE UGGAMS IN LA TIMES

LOS ANGELES TIMES
January 25, 2009

 

Leslie Uggams puts her own stamp on Lena Horne in ‘Stormy Weather’

Both entertainers overcame racism and broke barriers for African Americans. Uggams is portraying Horne at the Pasadena Playhouse.

 

By Greg Braxton

 

Leslie Uggams and Lena Horne have crossed paths only a few times. But Uggams feels that the force and power of the iconic singer have always been a part of her.

“Lena was a goddess in my house — my mother played her records all the time, and I was always moved by how beautiful and classy she was,” says Uggams. “When I was doing my nightclub act at the Coconut Grove in 1965, she pinned me as a Delta — we both belong to Delta Sigma Theta. I’ve always felt like she’s been so close to me.”

The two are more than sorority sisters-in-arms. With separate successful careers spanning at least five decades, Horne and Uggams have been celebrated for their striking beauty and silky smooth voices. Their popularity grew as they broke through barriers for African American performers. Horne was one of Hollywood’s first black female beauty icons while Uggams became the first black woman to host a network musical variety show ( CBS’ “The Leslie Uggams Show” in 1969).

In recent years, Horne, 91, has withdrawn from public view while Uggams, 65, has kept busy — she starred opposite James Earl Jones in 2005 on Broadway in “On Golden Pond” and just completed a revival of “The First Breeze of Summer” at New York’s Signature Theatre Company. Now, more than four decades after she was pinned by Horne, Uggams is putting her own distinctive stamp on her idol.

Uggams portrays Horne in “Stormy Weather,” a new musical biography at the Pasadena Playhouse that producers hope will find its way to Broadway. The play chronicles Horne commenting on her life while observing a younger version of herself, played by Nikki Crawford.

The show has the same title as the classic Harold Arlen torch song that became Horne’s signature (she sang it in the 1943 film of the same name). Suggested by Leslie Palmer’s biography “Lena Horne, Entertainer,” the title also reflects Horne’s celebrated but tumultuous life and career.

Though Horne appeared in such ’40s musicals as “Ziegfeld Follies,” ” Till the Clouds Roll By” and “Thousands Cheer,” she encountered race-related obstacles in Hollywood. In fact, she often had to film stand-alone scenes that could be easily deleted for screenings in the then-Jim Crow South. Her most prominent roles were in all-black musicals such as “Stormy Weather” and “Cabin in the Sky.”

That darker side of history is the backdrop for several nostalgic musical numbers in the new “Stormy Weather,” which includes songs by Arlen and Johnny Mercer, Cole Porter, Rodgers and Hart, and Jerome Kern.

Click here to read the full article:

 

http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/news/arts/la-ca-uggams25-2009jan25,0,462326.story