"JOHN DOUGLAS THOMPSON IS BRILLIANT!" –New York Post
"AN EXTRAORDINARY PRODUCTION!" –Theatermania
"YOU NEED TO SEE IT!" –The Huffington Post
"TERRY TEACHOUT's SATCHMO AT THE WALDORF is REMARKABLE.
INSPIRED DIRECTION BY GORDON EDELSTEIN." –Theatermania
John Douglas Thompson in Satchmo at the Waldorf
It’s March 1971 at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel, and LOUIS ARMSTRONG has just played one of the final performances of his extraordinary career. Unwinding backstage, he recounts events that transformed him into the world-famous “Satchmo.” With no-nonsense manager Joe Glaser at his side, Armstrong kept steady through an era of enormous social change… but at what cost?
This is SATCHMO AT THE WALDORF, an absorbing and uplifting new play about the music, struggles and triumphs of the man who invented jazz. Starring Obie and Lucille Lortel Award winner JOHN DOUGLAS THOMPSON (Othello, The Emperor Jones) as both Armstrong and Glaser in a tour de force performance, this exhilarating production arrives in New York following smash-hit, sold-out engagements at the Long Wharf Theatre and Shakespeare & Company.
Written by TERRY TEACHOUT (Pops: A Life of Louis Armstrong) and directed by GORDON EDELSTEIN (The Road to Mecca), SATCHMO AT THE WALDORF presents Armstrong as you’ve never seen him – hilarious, moving… and breathtakingly human.
JOHN DOUGLAS THOMPSON (Louis Armstrong)
John Douglas Thompson was last seen on Broadway as Carl Lee Hailey in A Time To Kill. Previously on Broadway, John played Le Bret in Cyrano with Kevin Kline and Flavius in Julius Caesar with Denzel Washington. His most recent credits include The Cook in Mother Courage with Olympia Dukakis at Shakespeare & Company, Herald Loomis in Joe Turner's Come and Gone at The Mark Taper Forum (Ovation Award), Satchmo at the Waldorf at Shakespeare & Company/Long Wharf Theatre (Connecticut Critics Circle Award), Joe Mott in The Iceman Cometh with Nathan Lane and Brian Dennehy at The Goodman Theatre, and Antony in Antony and Cleopatra with Kate Mulgrew at Hartford Stage.
Off-Broadway, John played the titular role in Othello at Theatre for a New Audience (Obie Award, Lucille Lortel Award, Joe A. Callaway Award, and Drama League Nomination), Brutus Jones in The Emperor Jones at Irish Rep (Joe A. Callaway Award, Lucille Lortel and Drama Desk Nominations), Kent in King Lear with Sam Waterston at the Public Theater, the titular role of Macbeth at Theatre for a New Audience, Gennady in The Forest with Dianne Wiest at CSC, and Judge Brack in Hedda Gabler at NYTW. John received the Robert Brustein Award for Sustained Excellence and is a Fox Fellowship recipient.
Other credits include: Hotspur in Henry IV at The Royal Shakespeare Company and Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Lucius Jenkins in Jesus Hopped the A Train at The Wilma Theater (Barrymore Award), the titular role in Richard III at Shakespeare & Company, Marat/Sade, Ohio State Muders, and The Winter's Tale at American Repertory Theater, Bus Stop at Williamstown Theatre Festival, and The Good Times are Killing Me at Trinity Rep.
FILM/TV: The Bourne Legacy, Michael Clayton, Cyrano, "Law & Order," "Law & Order: SVU," "All My Children," "One Life To Live," "Conviction."
TERRY TEACHOUT (Writer)
Terry Teachout is the drama critic of The Wall Street Journal, the critic-at-large of Commentary, and the author of “Sightings,” a biweekly column for the Friday Journal about the arts in America. He also writes about the arts on his blog, “About Last Night” (www.terryteachout.com). Satchmo at the Waldorf, his first play, was written at the MacDowell Colony and Rollins College’s Winter Park Institute. It was premiered in 2011 in Orlando, Florida, and was produced the following year by Shakespeare & Company of Lenox, Massachusetts, Long Wharf Theatre of New Haven, Connecticut, and the Wilma Theater of Philadelphia.
Teachout’s latest book is Duke: A Life of Duke Ellington. His previous books include Pops: A Life of Louis Armstrong, All in the Dances: A Brief Life of George Balanchine, and The Skeptic: A Life of H.L. Mencken. He has written the libretti for three operas by Paul Moravec, The Letter (premiered by the Santa Fe Opera in 2009), Danse Russe (premiered by Philadelphia’s Center City Opera Theater in 2011), and The King’s Man (premiered by Kentucky Opera in 2013).
A graduate of William Jewell College, Teachout played jazz bass professionally in Kansas City before becoming a full-time writer. He contributed to The Oxford Companion to Jazz and has written track notes for Jazz: The Smithsonian Anthology and liner notes for albums by Karrin Allyson, Diana Krall, Marian McPartland, Maria Schneider, Luciana Souza, and other artists. He served on the National Council on the Arts from 2004 to 2010 and received a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2012 to support the writing of Duke. He lives with his wife Hilary in New York City and Connecticut.
GORDON EDELSTEIN (Director)
Gordon Edelstein has directed over a hundred plays, musicals, and operas across the U.S. as well as Europe. His NYC production of My Name is Asher Lev recently won the Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding New Off-Broadway Play. His acclaimed Long Wharf Theatre production of The Glass Menagerie played the Roundabout Theatre Company and the Mark Taper Forum and was the recipient of the Lucille Lortel Award for Best Revival. For the Roundabout, he also directed the Broadway production of Athol Fugard’s The Road to Mecca, the American Premiere of A Skull in Connemara by Martin McDonagh, and Harold Pinter’s The Homecoming. Other NY work includes: Richard Nelson’s Some Americans Abroad (Second Stage), the premiere of BFE by Julia Cho (Playwrights Horizons), The Day the Bronx Died by Michael Henry Brown, the world premiere of Dael Orlandersmith’s Horsedreams (Rattlestick), and many others. He is in his twelfth season as Artistic Director of Long Wharf Theatre (New Haven, CT), where he has begun an association with Athol Fugard, directing the premieres of his most recent work: Coming Home, Have You Seen Us (starring Sam Waterston), The Train Driver, and the upcoming The Shadow of the Hummingbird (also starring Fugard). His directing work at Long Wharf has been recognized by six Connecticut Critics Circle Awards as well as the Tom Killen Award for extraordinary contributions to Connecticut's Equity professional theater. Recent Long Wharf Theatre productions include Steve Martin’s The Underpants, William Mastrosimone’s Ride the Tiger, Sam Shepard’s Curse of the Starving Class, and Terry Teachout’s Satchmo at the Waldorf. Before Long Wharf, he served for five years as Artistic Director of ACT in Seattle. He has directed regionally from Washington, DC’s Arena Stage to Alaska’s Perseverance Theatre, including such plays as Uncle Vanya (also adapted), Mourning Becomes Electra (also adapted), The Crucible (Wall Street Journal Best Regional Production of the Year), Death of a Salesman, A Doll’s House (also adapted), The Front Page, A Moon for the Misbegotten, We Won’t Pay, We Won’t Pay, Betrayal, Blithe Spirit, You Can’t Take It With You, Hay Fever, and premieres of A Scent of the Roses (starring Julie Harris), and A New War by Gippe Hoppe. He recreated his production of The Day the Bronx Died with a British cast at London’s Tricycle Theatre, and he did the same for his production of The Crucible with a Romanian cast at the National Theatre in Romania. He directed both La Traviata and La Bohème for Connecticut Grand Opera and the world premiere of two operas: The Wild Goose Circus at Pennsylvania Opera Theatre and Black Water at the OPERA America Festival. He received an Emmy Nomination for his directing of Abby My Love for CBS Television and directed Street Smart for HBO and Notes for My Daughter for ABC-TV. He has taught directing and acting at NYU, Brown University, and Cornish College for the Arts and has guest lectured at several universities around the country including Yale, Harvard, Carleton and Grinnell Colleges.
Westside Theatre Upstairs
407 W 43rd St, New York, NY
Between 9th and 10th Avenues
Box Office Hours: Tuesday – Sunday,
Noon until 6PM for advance sales
Exceptions: Opening Night, Tuesday, March 4th is at 6:30 pm. Friday, July 4th performance is at 2pm.
CLICK HERE Groups of 10 + are priced at $60, including $1 facility fee. Groups for performances through April 30 are priced at $40, including $1 facility fee.
Tickets range from $39 - $79. Premium seats are $99.
Approximately 90 minutes, with no intermission.
Appropriate 14+ (This show contains strong language and is recommended for mature audiences.)
Children under the age of 4 are not permitted in the theatre.