The Alliance Theatre is closing its 2011-12 Hertz Stage Series with I Just Stopped By to See the Man, a passionate ode to the power and truth of the blues.
Set in the heart of the Mississippi Delta, I Just Stopped By to See the Man tells the story of Jesse “The Man” Davidson, a great bluesman long believed dead, who is living out a simple life with his daughter in a bare shack. Legend surrounds Jesse – like the story about him selling his soul to the devil so that he could play guitar. But when Karl, a famous English rocker who has been making a fortune off Jesse’s tunes stumbles into their solitude, he triggers a confrontation of mythic proportions. Karl is determined for Jesse to return to the stage, while Jesse’s daughter, who is living with her own secrets, is against it. Jesse is faced with the temptation of reviving his Blue’s identity, and all three must wrestle with the tension between where you come from and where you want to go.
I Just Stopped By to See the Man is written by British playwright Stephen Jeffreys, author of award-winning works including Like Dolls or Angels, Carmen 1936, The Clink, and The Libertine.
The three member cast is led by recording artist and actor Mississippi Charles Bevel as Jesse. Mississippi Charles is a true bluesman. He described the birth of his many talents in an autobiographical sketch saying, “At thirty-one the musician was born; at forty, the writer; at forty-eight, twins, the actor and the visual artist.” His professional theatre debut was with the Denver Center Theatre Company in 1994, where he co-wrote and performed in DCTC’s world premiere of It Ain’t Nothin’ But the Blues, which received four Tony Award nominations in 1999 and earned Mississippi Charles a Tony nomination for Best Book in a Musical. The remaining cast members are Dieterich Gray as Karl and Bakesta King as Jesse’s daughter, Della. The production will be directed by Ron OJ Parson.
The decidedly underground Hertz Stage premieres new and exciting works by established and aspiring playwrights. The 200 seat venue introduces audiences to the best new voices in theatre with an experience that is up close and intrepid.
Performances are Tuesday through Thursday at 7:30 p.m., Fridays at 8 p.m., Saturdays at 2:30 p.m. and 8 p.m., and Sundays at 2:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., March 9 – April 8 on the Hertz Stage.
Opening Night for I Just Stopped By to See the Man is March, 14 at 8 p.m.
Tickets range from $25-$35 and are available at The Woodruff Arts Center Box Office or by calling 404-733-5000 or visiting online at www.alliancetheatre.org/theman. Discount rates for groups of 10 or more are available by calling 404-733-4690. Discount rates are also available for members of the military, seniors and students. The Alliance Theatre is located at The Woodruff Arts Center, at the corner of Peachtree and 15th Street, in Midtown Atlanta.
I Just Stopped By to See the Man is part of the Turner Series on the Hertz Stage.
Additional Sponsors: I Just Stopped By to See the Man is sponsored by The Coca-Cola Company, Delta Air Lines – Official Airline of the Alliance Theatre; Marriott Residence Inn – Official Hotel of the Alliance Theatre; and The Home Depot – Set Construction Sponsor of the Alliance Theatre.
Production of I Just Stopped By to See the Man is made possible with grants from the City of Atlanta Office of Cultural Affairs, the Fulton County Arts Council, the Georgia Council for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts.