The City Club, a tour de force original Blues & Jazz musical about the indisputable intoxication of music opened Off-Broadway at The Minetta Lane Theatre on April 23, 2012.
Directed by the incomparable Mitchell Maxwell, The City Club is a twisting noir morality tale of intrigue, murder, corruption and sex supported by one of the most seductive blues and jazz scores for the stage in decades by the sensational team of James Compton, Tony Demeur & Tim Brown.
Charles "Chaz" Davenport (Played by a very charismatic Andrew Pandaleon), a young privileged scion of a spectacularly corrupt family whose vice-like grip on their city is as tight as it is inescapable. The sins of the father have conferred unimaginable wealth on the son. Obsessed with music and the people who write it, play it, sing it and worship it; Chaz has opened The City Club, an oasis of pure and unbridled musical genius, opportunity and escape. The club’s instant success attracts his father’s enemies who bring with them extremely creative and very effective revenge tactics. The universe inside the club spirals as low as the city outside. Absinthe becomes the drink of choice, heroin the desired high and women the most valuable form of currency. What we have here is the forces of good and evil battling it out to a great score.
The city’s name has been withheld to protect the indicted.
It’s 1934. The Twenty-First Amendment just ended Prohibition; tuition to Harvard University is $410.00 per year; the FBI has recently ended the careers of John Dillinger, Bonnie Parker, Clyde Barrow, Pretty Boy Floyd and Baby Face Nelson; the drought problems in the Midwest have utterly destroyed over 35 million acres of farmland with another 225 million acres in danger; France is on the verge of civil war; Mao Zedong is on the march; Hitler is elected to the German presidency but retains the title of Führer; Puerto Rico is insisting on statehood; the Dionne quintuplets are born in Ontario; Congress creates the FCC; Al Capp creates ‘Li’l Abner’; F. Scott Fitzgerald publishes ‘Tender Is the Night’; Fanny Brice opens in ‘The New Ziegfeld Follies’ at the Winter Garden Theatre; the St. Louis Cardinals win the World Series and over 10,000 African-Americans leave the Mississippi Delta on the Illinois Central Railroad for the North where they arrive with their music – the Blues – the singularly most influential style of music within the last 100 years.
The very talented cast KRISTEN MARTIN as Crystal Labelle, ANDREW PANDALEON as Chaz Davenport, ANA HOFFMAN as Maddy, PETER BRADBURY as The Lieutenant, KENNY BRAWNER as Parker Brown, AUTUMN GUZZARDI as Rose, KAITLIN MESH as Lily, PATRICK O’NEILL as Jacobus “Jake” Olsen, EMILY TYRA as Candy and ROBERT J TOWNSEND as Prince Royale brings the fusion of the Blues with North Jazz which will give you an electric current through your spine and bring you into the world of music and beyond.
The City Club
Minetta Lane Theatre
18 Minetta Lane (one block South of West 3rd Street between MacDougal Street and Sixth Avenue)
Photography: Barry Gordin
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