Flashback to the early '40s: A voluptuous Ella Fitzgerald strolls up to the mike and lays down a scat track in three octaves, accompanied by the legendary Dizzy Gillespie on horn. If the power pair was starting its career today, a waif-thin Ms. Fitzgerald would likely be singing watered-down pop tunes and Gillespie's unique intonation would be corrected by digital recording software. Sigh.
Memories of the glory days of jazz are the foundation of Black Theatre Troupe's production of Bill Harris' Stories About the Old Days, on stage through October 23 at Playhouse on the Park. The two-person show tells the tale of Clayborn, a blues singer turned janitor who befriends a female congregation member at the church sanctuary he has vowed never to leave.
Considering that bald badass Sinead O'Connor and the Spice Girls have both covered Fitzgerald's tunes in modern times, we don't blame Clayborn for waxing nostalgic over the good ol' days.