Terry Teachout’s Satchmo at the Waldorf, starring John Douglas Thompson, will shutter on June 29 at the Westside Theatre. Directed by Gordon Edelstein, the one-man Louis Armstrong bio-play opened off-Broadway on March 4. At time of closing, the production will have played 18 previews and 136 regular performances.
In March of 1971, one of the greatest music legends the world would ever know was performing the final set of shows he would ever play at New York's Waldorf Astoria Hotel. But the audiences who adored him onstage never really saw the man behind the trumpet. In Satchmo at the Waldorf, we encounter Louis Armstrong where few ever had the chance to see him: backstage. Reflecting on his own unlikely career amidst a rapidly changing society, the icon is stripped bare, revealing complexities and contradictions that his omnipresent smile, horn and handkerchief belied.
Thompson morphs between playing Armstrong, his manager Joe Glaser, and fellow trumpeter Miles Davis.