Jubilee Theatre Presents Lil & Satchmo by Sarasota Resident Jo Morello

Arts & Culture

Jubilee Theatre presents Lil & Satchmo a play with music, by Sarasota resident, Jo Morello at Jubilee Theatre, 506 Main Street, Fort Worth, Texas, from January 28 through February 27 according to D. Wambui Richardson, Jubilee's artistic director. An earlier version of the play, about jazz pioneers Lil Hardin Armstrong and her husband Louis Armstrong, had been staged in Sarasota as Lil & Louis in 2020.Set in Chicago in the Roaring Twenties and beyond, Lil & Satchmo is bursting with songs of the era—and a slight touch of the supernatural—to tell the story of “the first couple of jazz” and Lil Hardin’s part in Louis’s stardom. While barely out of her teens, “The Hot Miss Lil” was already a star. The sought-after pianist, composer, and arranger met and married Louis (as the second of his four wives) and ultimately guided the young trumpeter to lasting international fame, while she has since faded into the pages of history.

Jazz still lives today, along with a multitude of other musical genres it inspired, and Lil & Satchmo also remains relevant according to playwright Morello. “The play has elements of feminism, racism, addiction, and mob rule—but it’s also a most unusual love story,” she said. Lil & Satchmo dramatizes the lives of the Armstrongs from their first meeting through their marriage, his many affairs, their divorce, their joint and separate careers, and beyond, with a unique connection that endured until the very end. Whether they worked together or alone, this extraordinarily talented couple created jazz with their every move. Lil & Satchmo presents the Lil you never knew and the Louis you only think you know.”

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