Why See Paradise Blue?
Preserving heritage vs regeneration?
Playwright Dominique Morisseau makes her Signature Residency debut in spring 2018, with a period drama that examines the hidden, and human cost of urban gentrification in Detroit, marking the latest part of her cycle of plays about the city. First premiering at the Williamstown Theatre Festival in 2015, Morisseau's jazz-infused drama was helmed by Ruben Santiago-Hudson, who returns to directing duties for this Signature engagement and starred Blair Underwood as the trumpeter lead, Blue, who dreams of a better life.
What is it about?
Taking place in 1949, the city of Detroit is on the verge of transformation. Known for its deep roots in jazz music, the old clubs are closing up shop and moving away, leaving the area free for regeneration. The hero of the story, Blue, is a gifted trumpeter and owner of the Paradise jazz club, a now-failing establishment. Choiced with selling up and rebuilding his life elsewhere, or staying put and hoping for change, he finds that his lover, Pumpkin has her own dreams to fulfill, and that the resident band will have nowhere to go.
But then the arrival of a glamorous and mysterious woman on the scene throws everything into chaos; for Blue, and for everybody else. Will this stranger with the walk that won't quit be a blessing, or a curse for the neighbourhood?
Opening night: 24 April 2018
Suitable for ages 12+
And before you stop reading
Image taken from the 2015 production. This photograph does not reflect the casting for this new production
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