Tony winner Lillias White is set to channel legendary blues singer Maybelle Smith in the world premiere of Big Maybelle: Soul of the Blues at the Bay Street Theatre in Sag Harbor, New York. Following its run, the jukebox musical is aiming to open in New York City in winter of 2013. Big Maybelle, written and directed by Paul Levine, features a score of 31 iconic blues songs. The production begins performances August 7 and will play a limited engagement through September 2.
In addition to White, Big Maybelle features Eric Brown and Kiku Collins. Set in the psychiatric hospital where she spent the last years of her life, Big Maybelle is the story of Smith’s rise to world renown against all odds. The score of classic blues hits includes “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On,” “It’s a Man’s World,” “Maybelle’s Blues,” “What a Difference a Day Makes” and more.
White won a Tony Award for The Life, and earned an additional nomination for Fela! Her other Broadway credits include Dreamgirls, Barnum, Cats, Rock ‘N Roll! The First 5,000 Years, Once on This Island, Carrie, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying and Chicago. Her film and TV credits include Pieces of April, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit and voice work for Hercules, How the Grinch Stole Christmas and Anastasia.
The Big Maybelle creative team includes scenic designer John Arnone, lighting designer Paul Miller, costume designer Emilio Sosa, sound designer Tony Melfa, projection designer Michael Clark and props designer Kathy Fabian.