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Pipeline Theatre Company to Present World Premiere of Playing Hot

The jazz-infused show is created by Kevin Armento and Jaki Bradley.

Playing Hot, written by Kevin Armento, will have its world premiere with Pipeline Theatre Company in 2019.
(© Hilary Swift)

Pipeline Theatre Company will present the world premiere of Playing Hot, created by Kevin Armento (Balls) and Jaki Bradley (Good Men Wanted). Described as a "jazz concert-party-play hybrid," Playing Hot is written by Armento, will be directed by Bradley, and will feature music direction by Marcus Miller. The show will premiere in early 2019 as part of Pipeline's 10th anniversary season.

Set within a brassy dance hall, Playing Hot deconstructs the incredible story of the birth of jazz in New Orleans. Retracing the rise and fall of Buddy Bolden, the little-known trumpeter who pioneered the radical sound that would become America's Art Form, the show is neither biography nor period piece, neither play nor musical, but an explosive and innovative theatrical event in the style of jazz. Fueled by a live brass band, Buddy's legend and infectious songs are conjured to life, riffing on history and pop culture the same way his music riffed on the notes.

Pipeline Theatre Company began developing Playing Hot with Armento and Bradley in 2015 as part of its Big Mystery Show program. This production will mark the first time Pipeline Theatre Company is presenting a work it has overseen from commission to full mainstage production. It was presented for one night only in June 2016 at the Gym at Judson, followed by a workshop presentation in May 2017. The show was also developed in consultation with James Williams and the New Orleans Swamp Donkeys.

A special sneak peek of Playing Hot will be presented at Pipeline Theatre Company's Spring Gala on June 3 at (le) Poisson Rouge.