The first round of auditions for the musical, “Soul Harmony: The Story of Deborah Chessler, Sonny Til & The Orioles” was wrapped up today. We understand a lot of progress was made in casting the musical. We’re not privy to all the results but we can now announce that Classic Urban Harmony’s own Charlie Horner has been cast to play him self in the musical’s opening scene!
The musical is based, in large part, on Charlie’s research and interviews with Sonny Til, Deborah Chessler and others. In a revision since it last ran in Oregon, the musical’s opening scene finds Charlie interviewing Sonny Til (played by his grandson, De’Sean Dooley) on Charlie’s 1980 radio program. It then flashes back to 1948.
We’ve also learned that popular doo wop singer, Joel Katz, will be playing the parts of Jerry Blaine, owner of It’s A Natural/Jubilee Records and possibly dee jay, Ray Carroll. Congrats to Joel. We believe he’ll make an excellent Jerry Blaine.
Of course, hold overs from the award winning run in Portland, Oregon, in 2015, are stars Monica Rodriques (as Deborah Chessler); De’Sean Dooley (Sonny Til’s grandson playing Sonny Til); and Julianne Johnson Weiss (as Ella Fitzgerald). Classic R&B songs by Deborah Chessler. Book, music and lyrics by Michael Allen Harrison, Alan Berg and Janet Mouser. Directed and choreographed by Terence Kelly.
The musical is amazingly historically accurate as it tells of the beginnings of R&B vocal harmony in Baltimore in 1948 and follows the Orioles rise to stardom. All this set to the Deborah Chessler compositions, Orioles songs and original tunes.
Soul Harmony opens June 20, 2018, at the Uptown! Knauer Performing Arts Center, 226 N. High Street in West Chester PA (outside of Philly) and runs through July 1 (ten performances). If you love R&B and Doo Wop vocal harmony, this is a must see!
We’re also hosting a big all acappella doo wop concert at the same venue on Saturday evening June 23, featuring De’Sean Dooley singing his grandfather’s Orioles songs backed acappella by Quiet Storm. Also on the concert are Joel Katz & the Dynamics, Quiet Storm, Reunion, A Perfect Blend and the Copians.
For more info and/or to purchase tickets go to our Events Page on Soul Harmony.