BOX OFFICE 610.644.3500

Lights Out: Nat "King" Cole

Lights Out: Nat "King" Cole

By Colman Domingo & Patricia McGregor

Directed by Patricia McGregor

Musical Supervisor: John McDaniel

October 11-December 3, 2017

Steinbright Stage

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SOLD OUT! Call the Box Office at 610.644.3500 to be put on our day-of waiting list.

When his groundbreaking NBC variety show failed to attract a national sponsor, Nat “King” Cole famously declared that “Madison Avenue is afraid of the dark.” In this theatrical exploration into the soul of an American icon, Colman Domingo and Patricia McGregor imagine Nat as he faces his final Christmastime broadcast, and weighs the advice of his friend Sammy Davis Jr. to “go out with a bang.” This world premiere, replete with hits and holiday standards like “Nature Boy,” “It’s A Good Day,” “Unforgettable,” and “Joy To The World,” also features appearances by Eartha Kitt and Peggy Lee.

Approximate running time is 70 minutes with no intermission. Best enjoyed by ages 16+.

Please be advised that this performance contains herbal cigarette smoke that may affect those with respiratory illness and disease. The herbal cigarettes are carcinogen free and contain rose petals, marshmallow leaves, and red clover flowers.

Jazz Night in the Pavilion

Please join us after the Sunday, October 29th performance for a special Halloween treat in the Farmhouse Pavilion. We’ll have live music performed by members of West Chester University's own acclaimed Criterions jazz band. Coffee, tea and desserts will be available for purchase. The entertainment begins at 8:15pm and is free to attend, but reservations are requested. Please call 610-644-3500 to RSVP. See you there!

Community Conversation

On 11/21 we will host a dynamic discussion following the 7:30pm performance that features insights from area experts, facilitated by regional thought catalyst, Nia Ngina Meeks.

Dinner and a Show

Enjoy a prix fixe dinner-and-a-show package at our award-winning restaurant, The Farmhouse Bistro. Theatre ticket and dinner packages start at $83. That's a savings of up to 15% off the single ticket price! You can also add on a prix fixe dinner to any existing ticket order for $40.

AfterWORDS extended!

Join us for discussions with the cast following every Tuesday and Thursday evening performance during the run, as well as Sunday matinees (2pm), beginning 10/19.

Scoop on Wednesday: History, Context, and Gossip

Join us for an informal and intimate discussion before Wednesday 7:30pm performances. Resident Dramaturg Gina Pisasale will host an artist from the production and get the inside scoop about such things as the rehearsal and production process, design choices, and the world of the play. The program begins at 6pm in lobby of the Congdon Center on October 25th, November 1st, 8th, 15th, 22nd, and 29th. Cost of $5 includes light fare. Call the Box Office at 610.644.3500 to purchase.

Lights Out: Nat “King” Cole has been supported by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage.

Production Sponsors:


Nat: Dulé Hill*
Sammy: Daniel J. Watts*
Candy: Jo Twiss*
Producer: Marc D. Donovan*
Stage Manager: Owen Pelesh*
Eartha/Natalie: Gisela Adisa*
Betty/Peggy: Rachael Duddy*
Perlina: Zonya Love*
Billy/Young Nat: Dayshawn Jacobs

Guitar: Monette Sudler
Drums: Mark Christofaro
Piano: Ryan Slatko

Director: Patricia McGregor
Assistant Director: Dennis Darling
Music Supervision, Arrangement, and Orchestrations: John McDaniel
Music Director: Ryan Slatko
Set Designer: Clint Ramos
Costume Designer: Katherine O'Neill
Lighting Designer: Alan C. Edwards
Sound Designer: Alex Hawthorn
Stage Manager: Jason Pizzi*
Line Producer: Zak Berkman
Fight Director: Samantha Reading
Tap and Additional Choreography: Jared Grimes


* Member, Actors' Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers.

Gisela Adisa (Eartha/Natalie)
People’s Light debut. Theatre Includes: Broadway: Beautiful: The Carole King Musical. First National Tour: Sister Act. New York Theatre: Ubu Roi (Fordham), Shakin The Mess Outta Misery (Henry Street Settlement), Marie Christine (title role), Caroline, or Change (Gallery Players). Film/Television Includes: Ride By Night, Chasing Taste, Jamerican, Royal Pains. Training: Graduate of Fordham University’s Drama and African Studies programs. Website: @imGisela on Twitter and Instagram. #BlackLivesMatter
Mark D. Donovan (Producer)
People’s Light debut. Theatre Includes: Million Dollar Quartet (Las Vegas), Crazy For You (Ogunquit Playhouse), Carousel, Urban Cowboy (West Virginia Public Theatre), Fat Pig (12 Miles West Theatre Co), Pugilist Specialist (Luna Stage), Annie Get Your Gun (Cider Mill Playhouse). Film/Television Includes: Boardwalk Empire, Blue Bloods, Zero Hour, The Trust, The Young and the Restless, All My Children. Marc has also appeared in and/or lent is voice to more then 40 television and radio commercials. Website: marcdonovan.com.
Rachael Duddy (Betty/Peggy)
People’s Light debut. Theatre Includes: Esperanza Spalding’s Emily’s D+Evolution (International Tour, Carnegie Hall) LaMama Cantata (LaMama, International Tour, Tamagawa University, Japan) La DeRoute (New Georges) Loving V. Virginia (Williamstown, New York Stage and Film). Training: BFA, NYU Tisch.
Dulé Hill (Nat)
People’s Light debut. Theatre Includes: Most recently appeared in the Tony nominated musical After Midnight (Broadway’s Brooks Atkinson Theatre). First came to prominence as The Kid opposite Savion Glover and Jeffrey Wright in Bring in ‘Da Noise, Bring in ‘Da Funk (Public Theatre, Broadway’s Ambassador Theatre). Other stage credits include the Alicia Keys produced play Stick Fly (Broadway’s Cort Theatre), Black and Blue (Broadway’s Minskoff Theatre), Shenandoah (Paper Mill Playhouse), The Little Rascals (Goodspeed Opera House), and Amiri Barka’s Obie award-winning play Dutchman (Cherry Lane Theatre). Film/Television Includes: Best known for his work as Charlie Young on The West Wing, for which he garnered an Emmy Award nomination and four Image Award nominations for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series, as well as receiving two Screen Actors Guild Awards as part of the ensemble in a drama series. He has been nominated for four NAACP Image Awards for Outstanding Actor in a Comedy Series for his work on USA’s Psych, in which he portrayed Burton ‘Gus’ Guster for eight seasons and served as a producer. Hill will be reviving this role with the original co-stars in the upcoming film Psych: The Movie, premiering on USA this December. This Spring, Hill starred in J.D. Dillard’s drama Sleight, which has received rave reviews since its 2016 Sundance Film Festival debut. Hill most recently joined for a season-long arc as rival senior partner, Alex Williams, in the USA Network drama Suits, which just premiered its seventh season. Hill can also next be seen in the third season of the HBO series Ballers with Dwayne Johnson, which is set to return July 23rd. Previous film credits include the Independent Spirit Award nominated film Gayby; David H. Steinberg’s Miss Dial alongside Robinne Lee, Sam Jaeger and Jon Huertas; Stuart Gordon’s adaptation of David Mamet’s Edmond, opposite William H. Macy; Andrew Davis’ The Guardian; Disney’s Holes, an adaptation of the award-winning children’s novel by Louis Sachar in which he appeared as Sam the Onion Man alongside co-stars Sigourney Weaver, Jon Voight and Shia LaBeouf; Gravy; Sugar Hill; She’s All That; Sexual Life; and the independent comedy Remarkable Power, directed by Brandon Beckner starring Kevin Nealon and Kip Pardue.
Dayshawn Jacobs (Billy/Young Nat)
People’s Light debut. Dayshawn is currently an 8th grader at Stetson Middle School, in West Chester, PA. In school, he participates in chorus and school plays (most recently as a prince in Aladdin). Dayshawn looks forward to West Chester Summer Stage every year, takes weekly singing lessons, and enjoys singing on stage and off. He did a session at West Chester Performing Arts Camp this past summer. Dayshawn is an avid lover of sports. He plays football and lacrosse for various leagues and can often be found competing against his brothers.
Zonya Love (Perlina)
People’s Light debut. Theatre Includes: Broadway: The Color Purple (as Celie). Some credits: First National Tour of Avenue Q, Sister Act (as Deloris Van Cartier at California Musical Theatre), The Devil’s Music (as Bessie Smith at Milwaukee Rep), The Parchman Hour (as Lucretia Collins/others at Guthrie Theater), Kiss Me Kate (as Hattie at Shakespeare Theater Company), The Wiz (as Evilene at Maltz Jupiter Theatre), Intimate Apparel (as Mayme at Nevada Conservatory Theatre). Film/Television Includes: Blue Bloods, Smash, The David Letterman Show.
Owen Pelesh (Stage Manager)
People’s Light: Athos in The Three Musketeers (The Later Years). Theatre Includes: Act 2 Playhouse, Arrow Rock Lyceum, Kimmel Center, Mauckingbird Theatre Co., Merry-Go-Round Playhouse, Theatre By The Sea, Riverside Theater, and Walnut Street Theatre. Film/Television Includes: Various commercials. Training: Proud graduate of Temple University. Personal Website: www.owenpelesh.com
Jo Twiss (Candy)
Peoples Light debut. Theatre Includes: Broadway: Cat on a Hot Tin Roof; recent regional credits: Rabbit Hole (Theatre with a View), The Roommate (Florida Studio Theatre), By the Water (Premier Stage), Steel Magnolias (Bristol Riverside Theatre), as well as Romeo and Juliet and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof at the Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival, among others. Television/Film Includes: The Affair, Seven Seconds, House of Cards, and she is a "repeat offender" on all the Law and Order series. She is also a nurse and has taught acting at various universities and theaters on the east coast.
Daniel J. Watts (Sammy)
People’s Light debut. Theatre Includes: Eight Broadway shows including Hamilton, In The Heights and Memphis. An accomplished spoken word artist, in 2012 Watts launched WattsWords Productions. Daniel J. Watts’ The Jam, an homage to his great grandmother who made homemade jam from scratch and gave away what she couldn’t eat herself, is a spoken word/storytelling experience fusing a live band, song, dance and multimedia where Watts encourages audiences to focus on social similarities opposed to differences. Film/Television Includes: Recurring roles on NBC’s Blindspot and HBO’s Vinyl; The Good Wife (CBS); Blue Bloods (CBS); Odd Mom Out (Bravo); The Night Of (HBO); Boardwalk Empire (HBO); Person of Interest (CBS); Broad City (Comedy Central); and Smash (NBC). Film credits include Breakup at a Wedding; Among Brothers; and Freedom. Watts served as an adjunct professor of NYU’s Tisch New Studio. He teaches his own course on how to truly engage in one’s self in order to contribute meaningful and personal artistic work. Training: BFA, Elon University Music Theatre Program. 2011 Young Alumnus Award Recipient. Website: wattswords.com @dwattswords

Reviews

'Lights Out' at People's Light: Dulé Hill in Nat 'King' Cole's agony and ecstasy
by John Timpane, The Philadelphia Inquirer

Review: Lights Out: Nat "King" Cole at People’s Light
by Deb Miller, DC Metro Theater Arts

Lights Out: Nat "King" Cole
by Rebecca Rendell, Talkin' Broadway

Thought-provoking Lights Out Sizzles at People’s Lights
by Ellen Wilson Dilks, DelCo Culture Vultures

Nat King Cole, recalled dramatically
by Steve Cohen, The Cultural Critic

THEATER REVIEW: Nat "King" Cole returns to stage with fire and grace through People’s Light latest production
by Anders Back, Southern Chester County Weeklies



Articles

Lights Out: Nat "King" Cole Press Release

Dulé Hill, Daniel J. Watts to Star in LIGHTS OUT: NAT 'KING' COLE Workshop at The Old Globe
by BWW News Desk, Broadway World

People's Light Announces Headliners for World Premiere of LIGHTS OUT: NAT 'KING' COLE
by BWW News Desk, Broadway World

Dulé Hill, Daniel J. Watts to Star in LIGHTS OUT: NAT 'KING' COLE World Premiere at People's Light
by BWW News Desk, Broadway World

'West Wing' star Dulé Hill will play Nat 'King' Cole in People's Light production
by John Timpane, The Philadelphia Inquirer

Dulé Hill: What it's like to play Nat 'King' Cole in Malvern, 'The West Wing's' Charlie and 'Psych's' Gus
by John Timpane, The Philadelphia Inquirer

Play Coming To Chester County Takes Look At Notorious Night In Life Of Nat 'King' Cole
by Dan Wing, CBS Philly

Colman Domingo, Dulé Hill, John McDaniel, Patricia McGregor, & Daniel Watts Team up for World Premiere of LIGHTS OUT: NAT 'KING' COLE at People’s Light
CBS Philly

Nat 'King' Cole Resonates Louder Than Ever Before in the World Premiere of LIGHTS OUT
by Levi Gray, County Lines Magazine

Out actor pens new play about entertainment icon and activist
by Larry Nichols, Philadelphia Gay News

Tribute to Nat King Cole
by Rita Charleston, The Philadelphia Tribune


Program