Fly Takes Off at the Pasadena Playhouse
The show makes its West Coast premiere tonight.
Based on the Tuskegee Airmen, the first African-American Army Air Corp, the show takes place in Europe and North Africa during World War II. It features eight men using tap dance to portray the combination of anger and empowerment as their lives, wittingly or not, become case studies in desegregating the American military and furthering civil rights.
Cowritten by Trey Ellis and Ricardo Khan, the show is also directed by Khan and choreographed by Hope Clark. It features Brooks Brantly as W.W., Ross Cowan as Shaw, Omar Edwards as Tap Griot, Anthony J. Goes as O'Hurley, Brandon Nagle as Reynolds, Desmond Newson as Chet, Damian Thompson as J. Allen, and Terrell Wheeler as Oscar.
"Trey and Ricardo have conceived of a wonderfully theatrical and exciting way to approach this important chapter of American history," says artistic director Sheldon Epps. "Their work will be excitingly brought to life by this fine group of actors and the rest of the creative team. I know that all of them will bring their artistry to the creation of our production in a way that will truly make the play ‘soar.' It will be a pleasure to have the work of my long-time friend and colleague Ricardo here at The Playhouse, and a joy to have this fine company on our stage."
The creative team includes Beowulf Boritt (set design), Toni-Leslie James (costume design), Rui Rita (lighting design), John Gromada (sound design), and Clint Allen (video/projection design).
Performances will run through February 21.