Original Show About Dizzy Gillespie Coming to Philadelphia

‘Last Call at the Downbeat,’ set in 1942, opens April 5

Dizzy Gillespie (1990)
Dizzy Gillespie

1 of 2   Next

Last Call at the Downbeat, an original show about Dizzy Gillespie’s engagement at Philadelphia’s Downbeat nightclub in November 1942, will open in the Red Room of the Society Hill Playhouse (507 South 8th Street in Philadelphia) on April 5. The show, written by Jazz Bridge co-founder Suzanne Cloud, runs through the first two weekends in April (International Jazz Month), ending on April 13th as part of PIFA, the Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts. Tickets for the show are $25, and show time is 8 p.m. Further information: 610-745-3011. For advance tickets, visit PIFA.

The u presentation will also feature filmed interviews with the only surviving member of the Downbeat house band, 93-year-old drummer Charlie Rice, who will also participate in talk-backs at both Saturday shows. Photos from Temple’s Urban Archives and the Blockson collections will also be an integral part of the show.

The first 30 people at the theater each night of the show will receive a free CD.

Music director: Trumpeter Duane Eubanks. Book: Suzanne Cloud. Choreography: Germaine Ingram. Set Design: Riddlesbrood. Videography: Jason Fifield/Slife Productions.

Donations may be made online to Jazz Bridge to help local jazz and blues musicians in crisis.