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Daniels, Dixon, et al. Set for Pasadena's Ray Charles Live!

By New York City
Nikki Renée Daniels
Nikki Renée Daniels
Broadway stars Brandon Victor Dixon and Nikki Renée Daniels will head the cast of Ray Charles Live--A New Musical, which will feature the music of the late, great singer, and 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.

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 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.

Dixon, who played Harpo in The Color Purple, will play the title role, while Daniels, who last appeared on Broadway in Les Miserables, will play Della. The cast also features Matthew Benjamin, Aaron Brown, Christopher Brown, Yvette Cason, Meloney Collins, Tara Cook, Dionne Figgins, Sylvia MacCalla, NRaca, Yusif Nasir, Maceo Oliver, Jeremiah Whitfield-Pearson, Sabrina Sloan, Leslie Stevens, Daniel Tatar, Angela Teek, Rocklin THompson, Ricke Vermont, and Harrison White.

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 Austin Switser (projections).


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