Video: Watch the Encores! Orchestra Rehearse 'Jelly's Jam' for New York City Center's Jelly's Last Jam | Playbill

Off-Broadway News Video: Watch the Encores! Orchestra Rehearse 'Jelly's Jam' for New York City Center's Jelly's Last Jam

The cast will feature Nicholas Christopher, Billy Porter, Joaquina Kalukango, and more.

Rehearsals are underway for the New York City Center Encores! production of Jelly's Last Jam, which is set to run February 21-March 3, 2024. Check out this video from the first day with the 15-piece Encores! orchestra rehearsing "Jelly's Jam" above. 

As previously reported, the production will star Nicholas Christopher as Jelly Roll MortonBilly Porter as the Chimney Man, Joaquina Kalukango as Anita, John Clay III as Jack the Bear, Tiffany Mann as Miss Mamie, and Leslie Uggams as Gran Mimi. Original cast members Mamie Duncan-Gibbs, Stephanie Pope Lofgren, and Allison M. Williams will reprise their roles as the Hunnies. Casting is by The Telsey Office.

The seldom-produced biomusical celebrates the life and music of Ferdinand Joseph LaMothe (a.k.a. Jelly Roll Morton), featuring a book by George C. Wolfe, music by Morton, and lyrics by Susan Birkenhead, plus musical adaptation and additional music by Luther Henderson. The Encores! staging is one of two major new productions for the work, with another revival set for California's Pasadena Playhouse beginning in May 2024.

Robert O'Hara is directing, leading a creative team that includes choreographer Edgar Godineaux, tap choreographer Dormeshia, and music director Jason Michael Webb.

The revival will be the second in Encores' 2024 season, with each of this year's titles playing an extended two-week run in celebration of the series' 30th anniversary. Once Upon a Mattress starring Sutton Foster and Harriet Harris kicked off the season (and finished its run February 4). After Jelly's Last Jam, the next production will be Titanic in the summer.


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