Suzan-Lori Parks
(© Michael Portantiere)
Suzan-Lori Parks
(© Michael Portantiere)
Ray Charles Live--A New Musical, which will feature the music of the late, great singer, will have its world premiere at the Pasadena Playhouse, October 31-December 9. The production, to be helmed by Sheldon Epps, Pasadena's artistic director, will open officially on November 9. No casting has been announced.

The show, which will feature a book by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Suzan-Lori Parks, will be set during Charles' last live recording session. It will include such hits as "Georgia on My Mind," "What'd I Say," "Hit the Road, Jack," and "Unchain My Heart."

Charles died in June, 2004 and his life has already been the subject of the Oscar-winning film Ray starring Jamie Foxx. The musical is being presented in special arrangement with that film's producers, Stuart Benjamin, Howard Baldwin, and Karen Baldwin, as well as Charles' longtime manager, Joe Adams.

The show's creative team will also include Ken Roberson (choreography), Rahn Coleman (musical supervision), Harold Wheeler (orchestrations), Riccardo Hernandez (sets), Paul Tazewell (costumes), Donald Holder (lighting), and Michael Clark (projections and visual elements).

The Playhouse's 2007 season will also include a revival of W. Somerset Maugham's The Constant Wife (May 4-June 10), Cole Porter's popular musical Can-Can, directed by David Lee (June 29-August 5), and the world premiere of Michael J. Chepiga's Matter of Honor, about an African-American cadet at West Point in the 1870s, to be directed by Scott Schwartz (August 24-September 30).

For more information, call 626-356-PLAY or visit www.pasadenaplayhouse.org.