The Orlando Sentinel’s Matt Palm has written an excellent preview piece about Satchmo at the Waldorf. Here’s an excerpt:
Writer and arts critic Terry Teachout first encountered jazz great Louis Armstrong on “The Ed Sullivan Show” — thanks to his mother. It was the mid-1960s, and Armstrong was singing “Hello, Dolly!”
He recalls: “My mom called me in and said, ‘This man won’t live forever. I want you to remember him.’”
Teachout remembered, all right.
In 2009, he wrote Pops: A Life of Louis Armstrong, which was lauded by The Washington Post, The Economist and The New York Times Book Review as one of the best books of the year.
Now he has written a play about Armstrong, “Satchmo at the Waldorf,” which will make its world premiere Thursday, Sept. 15, in Orlando. Noted local actor Dennis Neal will star in the one-man show as both Armstrong and his manager, Joe Glaser. Veteran director Rus Blackwell will direct….
Teachout, who has written the librettos for two operas, is excited to see the finished product, especially because it’s his first play. He has critiqued hundreds of plays in his career — but now the shoe is on the other foot.
“I know what it’s like to be on the other side of the machine gun,” he says. “I hope it’s made me a better critic. I think it has. I understand better how the process works.”
He’ll be in the opening-night audience.
Read the whole thing here.