Satchmo at the Waldorf

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“Tour de force” were the first words that popped into our minds long before the 90-minute play ended. John Douglas Thompson is absolutely terrific and so versatile. He is a Shakespearean-trained actor from London. The play was written by Terry Teachout, the drama critic of the WSJ. The plot, “a work of fiction, based freely on fact,” was pretty simple but quite poignant. All six of us loved the performance and the staging. This is definitely one of the best performances I have seen in a long time.

“Satchmo at the Waldorf” is in previews now at the Westside Theater Upstairs (407 W. 43rd ST) thru March 23rd. It opens this Tuesday, March 4, in this small theater.

Lisa Cashin

Promo video from the earlier Long Wharf Theatre production:


5 Responses to “Satchmo at the Waldorf”

  1. Full disclosure yet again. Scott and I are producers of this show that opened to wide acclaim last night. My group of 8 was amazed by it and it provoked some excellent dinner conversation. John Douglas Thompson is a wonder in the part and the relationship between Louis Armstrong and his white Jewish agent and some thoughts by Miles Davis, ALL played by Thompson, result in a riveting 90 minute one-man performance. We are elated and proud to have played a part in getting this worthy production to NYC.

  2. Lisa, my husband and I went to this show the other night because of your VDP review. JDT’s performance is tremendous! As is Teachout’s enlightening script.

    Roxanne and Scott, thank you for bringing this work to the stage. We sat close and got to watch every bead of sweat, and JDT’s utter concentration as he moves from character to character. Love the lighting, the mirror, the tape recorder. Brilliant.

    Can’t wait to read the reviews. The theater should be full! (This would be a wonderful play to bring to New Orleans. Just sayin’.)

  3. Donna and I went to this play last night (in a fearsome rainstorm) wondering how the creative team could make it work — a one-man show (playing three roles) about Louis Armstrong at the end of his career. And carrying, but not playing, his trumpet. Well, make it work they did. And then some. Terry Teachout’s script perfectly blended the sadness and the humor of Armstrong’s life. But it was the brilliance of John Douglas Thompson’s acting that made the evening special. His talent is just remarkable. Definitely worth seeing, though preferably not in a monsoon.

  4. Truly a brilliant production…all aspects…a perfect night of theater…trying to tell everyone I see that they MUST see it.

  5. Wow! Will this still be playing in June? Pia, Donna, Ben…which theater in NOLA seems most appropriate for this piece? Is it too big for CAC, Le Petit? Lisa, is this a production that will move to a bigger NYC venue, then create ‘rights’ in order to be performed in other cities? It does seem like a natural for New Orleans.

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