Having just closed its production of Yesterdays: An Evening With Billie Holiday with singer Vanessa Rubin, the Black Rep has another musical coming up that also may appeal to St. Louis jazz fans. The company's staging of Five Guys Named Moe, which is based on the music of saxophonist and singer Louis Jordan, opens next Wednesday, March 24 and continues through Sunday, April 25 at the Grandel Theatre.
Combining elements drawn from big band swing and rhythm & blues with a hefty dose of humor, Jordan (pictured) was hugely popular in the 1940s with songs like "Let The Good Times Roll," "Caledonia," "Ain't Nobody Here But Us Chickens," "Choo-Choo Ch' Boogie," and many others.
Five Guys Named Moe takes its name from another of Jordan's hits, and originated in London in 1990 before premiering on Broadway in 1992. The show features two dozen of Jordan's songs, knitted together by a storyline devised by actor and writer Clarke Peters (who played the thoughtful detective Lester Freamon on the HBO TV series The Wire). The Black Rep production stars Drummond Crenshaw, Sean Walton, Gary Vincent, Herman Gordon, Horace E. Smith and Anthony Tarvin, Jr. Black Rep founder and producing director Ron Himes is directing the show, with pianist Charles Creath serving as musical director.
Tickets are priced from $17 to $43, and can be purchased online here. Performances times are 7:00 p.m. Thursdays; 8:00 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays; and 3:00 p.m. for Saturday and Sunday matinees. There also will be student matinee performances at 10:00 a.m. on Wednesday, March 31 and Wednesday, April 14. For more information, call the Black Rep at 314-534-3810 or visit their website.