John Clarence Stewart, Cress Williams, Jasmine Amy Rogers to Lead Jelly's Last Jam at Pasadena Playhouse | Playbill

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Los Angeles News John Clarence Stewart, Cress Williams, Jasmine Amy Rogers to Lead Jelly's Last Jam at Pasadena Playhouse

The 1992 musical takes the California stage beginning May 29.

Cress Williams, Jasmine Amy Rogers, and John Clarence Stewart

California's Pasadena Playhouse has revealed lead casting for its upcoming production of Jelly's Last Jam, set to take the company's stage May 29 ahead of a June 2 opening night. The run will continue through June 23, with Kent Gash at the helm.

Leading the cast will be John Clarence Stewart (P-ValleyZoey’s Extraordinary Playlist) as Jelly Roll Morton, Cress Williams (Living Single, Black Lightning) as Chimney Man, and Jasmine Amy Rogers (BOOP! The Musical) as Anita. Further casting will be announced in the coming weeks.

With a book by George C. Wolfe, music by Morton, and lyrics by Susan Birkenhead (plus musical adaptation and additional music by Luther Henderson), Jelly's Last Jam is a biomusical celebrating the life and music of Ferdinand Joseph LaMothe, a.k.a. Jelly Roll Morton. The show's original production opened on Broadway in 1992 starring Gregory Hines, Tonya Pinkins, and a young Savion Glover. Hines, who contributed additional tap choreography to the production, and Pinkins both won Tony Awards for their performances, part of a successful awards season for the work.

Despite its success on the Main Stem, the musical has been seldom produced since its premiere. New York City Center Encores! staged a revival earlier this year, which together with Pasadena's upcoming production and a 2006 staging at Atlanta's Alliance Theatre comprise the work's only major productions since its premiere.

Gash's creative team will include choreographer Dell Howlett, music director Darryl Archibald, scenic designer Edward E. Haynes, Jr., costume designer Samantha Jones, lighting designer Rui Rita, and sound designers Danny Erdberg and Ursula Kwong Brown. Casting is by RBT Casting's Ryan Bernard Tymensky. Lark hackshaw will serve as production stage manager, with David S. Franklin as assistant stage manager.

Tickets are on sale at

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