Arizona Theatre Company gives the holiday blues a boot with a dose of the real thing - the roof-raising, Tony Award-nominated blues revue It Ain't Nothin' but the Blues, by "Mississippi" Charles Bevel, Lita Gaithers, Randal Myler, Ron Taylor and Dan Wheetman. From chants born under African skies to mournful laments sprung from the Mississippi delta, every aspect of the blues' rich history is linked to the history of people as they love, suffer, labor and praise. It Ain't Nothin' but the Blues tells its story through traditional African songs, gospels, juke-joint tunes, Delta blues, Chicago blues, and with some surprising turns through hillbilly, country and honky-tonk.
The cast of seven carouse their way through classics including W.C. Hardy's "St. Louis Blues," "Sweet Home Chicago," "Let the Good Times Roll" and Screamin' Jay Hawkins' "I Put a Spell on You." All infused with the volatile mixture of agony, humor, joy and sex that makes the blues so enduring, the performances linger long after the show is over.
The original director and Broadway cast will reunite for this production of It Ain't Nothin' but the Blues including two of the shows co-creators: "Mississippi" Charles Bevel will perform his original role and Randal Myler will direct.