A new musical is on its way to New York City for an invitation-only industry presentation. Following the story of Grammy-winning blues musician Bobby Rush, Slippin’ Through the Cracks is currently in development ahead of its presentations March 7 and 8.
Featuring music and lyrics by Rush, who has co-written the book with Stephen Lloyd Helper (Smokey Joe's Café), Slippin' Through the Cracks will be co-directed by Helper and Arminda Thomas. Felton Offard will serve as musical director. With a cast of 15 actors and five musicians, the musical arrives in New York after initial development and professional workshopping in the Mississippi Delta.
Rush, now 87 years old, grew up as a sharecropper picking cotton and harvesting sugarcane before becoming an early icon of the Southern and Chicago blues scenes. Rush will join the company to perform "Funky Old Man" as the show's finale. “If a dirt-poor country boy, with no education, no opportunities, faced with great troubles, can make it through life doing what he loves, so can you," said the musician in a statement. Over the course of his career, Rush has made more than 400 recordings and 27 studio albums.
Nathan Gehan and Jamison Scott of ShowTown Productions and Stephen Lloyd Helper are developing Slippin’ Through the Cracks with aims for a Broadway run.