The Musical Theater Project presents Curtain Up at the Cotton Club: Bill Rudman and Paul Ferguson

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Back by popular demand after last season's sold out performances at Playhouse Square, The Musical Theater Project and Cleveland Jazz Orchestra will co-produce “Curtain Up at The Cotton Club – An Encore Presentation” for two performances: Saturday, October 15 (3pm) at Lakeland Community College (Dr. Wayne L. Rodehorst Performing Arts Center) and Sunday, October 16 (2pm) at Lorain County Community College Stocker Arts Center, (Hoke Theater).

In the 1920s and 30s the Cotton Club was the citadel of the New York jazz scene, its stage filled with the greatest black musical and theatrical talent this country has ever produced including Lena Horne, Duke Ellington, Cab Calloway, Bill “Bojangles” Robinson and many more. Classic Harold Arlen-Ted Koehler songs from the era include “Stormy Weather and “I’ve Got the World on a String.”

While the concert will highlight the brilliant songs and legendary performers of the club, it will also tell another story. Internationally famous, the room attracted royalty. But the club also embodied American racism, with a “whites only” admittance policy that sent its performers to the kitchen for supper.  Combining live performance, dozens of rare still images and film clips, the concert will document this stunning chapter in American cultural history.

The concert will be co-hosted by TMTP artistic director Bill Rudman and CJO artistic director Paul Ferguson. Featured singers are Treva Offut and local jazz favorites Evelyn Wright and John Morton. Supplementing the 16-piece CJO is the Joe Hunter Trio with Hunter on piano.

Lakeland Community College, Dr. Wayne L. Rodehorst Performing Arts Center is located at 7700 Clocktower Drive in Kirtland, Ohio. Tickets for this performance are priced at $10-$30 and can be purchased through TMTP’s Box Office at (216) 245-8687. Stocker Arts Center is located at 1005 N Abbe Rd in Elyria, Ohio. Tickets for the Stocker Arts Center performance, are priced at  $10-$20 and are available at the Stocker Arts Center Box Office at (440) 366-4040.

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