‘Dinah: A Musical Review’ Continues Onstage at Pittsburgh Playwrights (Fri., 4/19/24)

DINAH: A MUSICAL REVUE (play with music) by Ernest McCarty. Pittsburgh Playwrights Theatre Company. April 5 – 28.

Mark Clayton Southers, artistic director of Pittsburgh Playwrights Theatre, first produced Ernest McCarty’s Dinah: A Musical Revue in 2015. The play––but let’s call it a show, because the story is propelled by great songs performed by a fluid assembly of great jazz artists––was a big hit. And it featured Delana Flowers as Dinah Washington, the acclaimed “Queen of the Blues,” Cheryl El-Walker as LaRue Mann, and Les Howard as singer-songwriter Brook Benton. All three actor/performers return in this year’s revival. McCarty became a Pittsburgh transplant in 1993 when he moved here from New York and became artistic director of New Horizon Theater the following year. A bassist and composer who, for five years accompanied Pittsburgh’s own Errol Garner, McCarty has written (or co-written) more than 25 plays and revues. Dinah, now revived, will see new life and seek higher acclaim with some of Pittsburgh’s greatest jazz artists live onstage, including Dwayne Dolphin, Tony Campbell, Dwayne Fulton and the incomparable Roger Humphries. Get ready for an evening of nostalgia, blues, and rollicking performances in Pittsburgh Playwrights’ newest theater featuring the intimacy of a nightclub complete with cabaret tables and cocktail lights. Pittsburgh Playwrights Theatre Company at the Madison Arts Center, 3401 Milwaukee St., Schenley Heights. (C.P.O.)

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