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For the most part I’ve only talked about it in passing on this blog, but a year ago I started writing a one-man play about Louis Armstrong and Joe Glaser, his longtime manager. (The same actor plays both parts.) The play, which grew out of the research I did for my recent biographyof Armstrong, is called Satchmo at the Waldorf, and a couple of weeks from now it will become more than just a furtive gleam in the author’s eye.
As part of my current residency at Rollins College’s Winter Park Institute, where I wrote the first draft of Satchmo at the Waldorf last year, I’m going to be taking part in a public presentation of the play’s opening section, the first time that any part of the script has been performed, either in public or in private. I’m staging the scenes that we’re doing–it’ll be my directing debut–and Dennis Neal, a seasoned actor who lives in Orlando, not far from Winter Park, will be playing the double role of Armstrong and Glaser….