Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Calvin Manson and his Ira Aldridge Players: Gospel At Colonus

                                        Playwright and Director Calvin Manson
Sophocles probably had no clue about the many future playwrights his work would inspire or play formats into which his play Oedipus at Colonus would morph.  The Ira Aldridge Players under the direction of founder Calvin Manson will present a compelling Gospel Music musical version The Gospel at Colonus opening on October Friday 19th . Noting the entire trilogy, Joy Vandervort-Cobb of the Charleston City Paper in 2011 reminds readers, "And lest we forget, there is also Sophocles' Oedipus at Colonus, the last of Sophocles' three Theban plays (Oedipus the King, Antigone)."1.

I have had the pleasure of working with Calvin Manson on a couple of occasions. He is dynamic. As a director, he is gracious yet exacting. His work is creatively conceived on a longitudinal plane, yet he can be spontaneous when a gem of aesthetic beauty unfolds during the rehearsal process. His directorial choices have brought inspiration and pleasure to thousands. He is an award winning artist; the Gospel Musical is only one genre in which he works.

For those unfamiliar with Gospel musicals and adaptations, here is a collage from the Broadway production of Gospel at Colonus with several now well known artists including a young Morgan Freeman.

Manson's production of The Gospel at Colonus with adaptation and original lyrics by Lee Baeuer, adapted lyrics and
music by Bob Telson also features a star studded local and nationally recognized 

Gospel music artists. Among them are:  

Musical Coordinator - Eric Overstreet
Music Direcor - Stephen Gooden
Choir Director- Eddie Baltrip

Gospel music artists. Among them are: Art Boyd - Singer
Claude E. Cole Jr. - Pastor Theseus
Marion George - - Singer Ismene
Faatima Harley - Evangelist Antigone
Aaron Holland - Singer Oedipus
Robin Logan - Singer
Carl Overstreet – Singer
Grandison Phelps III - Preacher Oedipus
Kalif Price- Testifier Polyneices
Larry (Preacherman) Thompson - Choragos

Eddie Baltrip and The United Gospel Artists of San Diego

Tickets available: Box Office
                           Phone: 619-283-4574

Opens at: Educational Culture Complex Theater
                4343 Oceanview Blvd.
                San Diego, Ca. 92104

1. Joy Vandervort-Cobb    "The Gospel at Colonus brings the church to the Gaillard: 
 Hand to God," Charleston City Paper, 01 June, 2011, Opera & Musical Theater.

Theater in song,
Delores Fisher

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