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Play About Monk’s Life on Off-Broadway

Monk, a one-man play chronicling the life of the often-misunderstood pianist Thelonious Monk, is set to appear off-Broadway in New York’s Abington Theatre from March 15 until May 8.

Written by Laurence Holder and performed by Rome Neal, the play started off as an eight-week production at the Nuyorican Poets Café in 2000. Eventually, Monk went on to be performed in venues like the Clef Club in Philadelphia, Pa., Crossroads Regional Theatre in New Brunswick, N.J. and the Artist Collective in Hartford, Conn.

Rome Neal is an award winning director/actor and the artistic director of the Nuyorican Poets Café theater program. Neal’s directional credits include Sekou Sundiata’s “The Circle Unbroken is a Hard Bop,” Ishmael Reed’s “The C Above C Above High C” and Amiri Baraka’s “Primitive World: An Anti-Nuclear Jazz Musical.” He has also acted in films such as Spike Lee’s “Summer of Sam.”

Laurence Holder is an award winning writer whose professional productions include “M: The Mandela Saga,” a play dealing with the lives of Nelson and Winnie Mandela, and “MONKnBUD,” a play detailing the relationship between Bud Powell and Thelonious Monk.

Composer/arranger Bill Lee provides the music for Monk. Lee has recorded with artists like Billy Wallace, Frank Strozier and Chris Anderson and appeared with artists such as Billie Holiday, Sarah Vaughn and Duke Ellington. He also has written scores for movies such as Do the Right Thing and Mo Better Blues.

For more information on Monk, visit

Originally Published