The Gospel At Colonus Returns.
Famed Broadway Hit To Grace Stage Of Legendary Apollo Theater .
Charles S. Dutton & the Blind Boys Of Alabama
New York, New York -- It is said the second time around is always better but when it comes to the 20th timelike the 20th anniversary of the internationally award-winning musical, THE GOSPEL AT COLONUS the exhilarating magic and excitement of this productions reprise after two decades of touring is sure to surpass its own extraordinary theatrical acclaim. New Yorks legendary Apollo Theater will serve as the celebratory backdrop this fall for the return of this timeless ancient Greek drama transposed into a contemporary, foot-stomping gospel masterpiece starring noted theater, film and television actor CHARLES S. DUTTON, the Grammy-famed BLIND BOYS OF ALABAMA featuring Clarence Fountain, THE LEGENDARY SOUL STIRRERS and several New York choirs. The production is slated to run at the Apollo Theater October 25th to November 7th, 2004
Acclaimed as a landmark work of the American Musical theater and backed with years of critical praise including OBIE Awards for Outstanding Musical and Outstanding Performance (Morgan Freeman in 1983-84 season), a Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award nominations, an LA Drama Critics Circle, and other awards, THE GOSPEL AT COLONUS is an exuberant retelling of Sophocles classic Greek tragedy (Oedipus at Colonus) set in the context of a Pentecostal gospel service. Its theme of suffering and redemption stays true to the original drama but is modernized with the driving passion of ground-shaking gospel music, notable performers, and church choirs celebrating the 2400-year-old myth of Oedipus with a rousing gospel and blues score.
The Gospel At Colonus
The musical focuses on the story of the blind king Oedipus, banished from Thebes and searching for salvation until he arrives at the city of Colonus to make peace with his past and his children before he transitions to his final resting place.
THE GOSPEL AT COLONUS, which has been broadcast on public television as a part of Great Performances, is the brainchild of playwright and director Lee Breuer and composer Bob Telson. They will be actively involved in the reprise production at the Apollo Theater this fall.
THE GOSPEL AT COLONUS premiered in New York in 1983 at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. Over the years, this dazzling production has appeared nationwide, in Europe and South America.
The 20th anniversary celebration of COLONUS at the Apollo Theater is sure to attract original audience members of decades ago who want to re-capture the plays incredible experience. While its audiences have been large and diverse, the fall production is sure to attract Harlems increasingly diverse community, mainstream theater lovers, students of literature, Greek mythology, and religion; church members and, of course, New Yorks Black community where many will be able to personally relate to the expressions of joy and faith framed upon the historic Apollo stage.
While Broadway works through ways to further embrace diverse audiences, the Apollo Theater continues to cultivate an audience of its own where traditional audiences of color now share the venue with uptowns growing mainstream community eager to experience authentic black culture.
Jam Nation hero Ben Harper tones down his lap-slide guitar flash in favor of the holy spirit for this blend of originals and gospel classics, his first full-length album with the historic singing group. They've worked together before, on the Blind Boys' excellent Higher Ground and Spirit of the Century, but here the pairing that Harper has termed "a spiritual soul movement" sounds like an outright tent-revival mission. His fevered wah-wah strutting and sweet high voice take their places in the chorus alongside the raw-throated howl of Blind Boys leader Clarence Fountain and his fellow bass George Scott, who plead for salvation like powerful old lions on "Take My Hand." The group's alto, Jimmy Carter, sails over the funky, hiccupping blues beat put down by Harper's Innocent Criminals on the classic "Satisfied Mind." The best cut may be Harper's "Picture of Jesus," a country-music-informed adventure in old-school church harmonizing with the passionate power to touch souls. --(Ted Drozdowski )
Ben Harper and The Blind Boys of Alabama To Release New CD!
After a history of live performances and studio collaborations, Ben Harper and legendary gospel group the Blind Boys of Alabama have teamed up to record a new studio album due out September 20th on Virgin Records. "There Will Be A Light" features originals like "Where Could I Go", "Church House Steps", "Take My Hand", and a cover of the country standard "Satisfied Mind".
Papa Wemba who has made 3 albums for Real World is also well known for his position in the organization known as Le Sape (the Société Des Ambianceurs et Persons Élégants) who invest vast amounts of money on designer clothes to present themselves as conspicuously elegant as possible.
On BBC Two (UK) on Saturday 14 August this documentary film set to Papa Wemba's extraordinary music is an eye-opening and funny exploration of this underground African cult!
Check out the BBC website for a fascinating interview with the film makers.
Well, not quite......but the very wonderful SOB (aka Sam Zaman) will be Charlie Gillet's special guest for a game of Radio Ping Pong on BBC London 94.9 FM on Saturday 17th July. Catch the programme for lively exchange of musical diversity!
State of Bengal has recently been working with Paban Das Baul to create the gorgeous "Tana Tani" on Real World Records - a musical ping pong of Bengal music ancient and very very modern.
Noodle Heaven is an amazing new system that allows artists to create a new hybrid of music and video games - interactive, free flowing, liquid music. Some of you may know the original "Noodle" program from the AfroCelt CDs "Volume 2" and "Further in Time" . Well, we've been working for the last few years to create a massively enhanced new version, and Peter Gabriel and Richard Evans have made the first tracks for the program.
It's free to get an account and download the Noodle Player, and we'll give you Peter's track "The Tower that Ate People" when you sign up.
Have fun! We're looking forward to finding out what you think about the program on the forums on the Noodle Heaven website.
Regular visitors to this site may have noticed our absence over the last few days. Unfortunately weevils had got into the servers Core-flux Modules. It took quite a while for our iPixies to chase them all back out and allow us to resume normal service.
Apologies for any inconvenience and welcome back to the site.
Skip 'Little Axe' McDonald appears on the Paul Jones blues show on BBC Radio 2, at 8pm Thursday 24th June. He is in session with British jazz/blues singer and keyboard player, Sam Payne. Legendary bluesman, guitarist, songwriter and ex Sugar Hill member, Skip McDonald, has worked with Adrian Sherwood on the Little Axe album, 'Champagne And Grits', to be released on Real World Records in September.
Charlie Musselwhite recorded a session for Paul Jones Blues show for BBC Radio 2 during his recent visit to the UK. This will be broadcast in two parts with the first three tracks going out on 1st July and a repeat with the final track on 9th December.