The Kennedy Center

Blues for a Royal Flush



Biography

Greg Watkins - as Billy Stayhorn, Original cast member, reprising their role
Scott Patterson - as Duke Ellington, Original cast member, reprising their role
Laree Simon - as Ethel Waters, Original cast member, reprising their role
Bina Malhotra - as Lena Horne, Original cast member, reprising their role
Nia Webb - as Reporter; Ta'Neesha Murphy, understudy (Duke Ellington School for Arts students)

Playwright Tom Minter was commissioned for Blues For A Royal Flush by Stanford in Washington (SIW), in 2013. It's premiere was held at the Duke Ellington School for Arts, on January 25th, 2014. As a work commissioned by an institute of education, Blues facilitates a unique musical/theatrical enjoyment, but is also able to function as resource for various arts disciplines to collaborate in standing up a performance, in that it's component parts, as script, can be presented, as 'blueprint', to engage the appetites of Theatre, Visual Image, Museum Studies, and Playwriting Track students, from high school, up through university.After its premiere Blues was presented in a joint production with SIW by the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery, and performed in the McEvoy Theatre Auditorium on September 22nd, 2014. In 2015 it was presented at Busboys & Poets on V Street, NW, D.C.

This presentation is made possible through collaboration with Kennedy Center DC School and Community Initiatives Education Division, Washington National Opera, Stanford in Washington, the office of Education and Public Programs at the National Archive, and the Duke Ellington School for Arts.

This performance of Blues For A Royal Flush is in memory of Billie Allen-Henderson. Fierce artist ..mentor ..patron soul to Blues - And like that!

Photo: Greg Watkins as Billy Strayhorn

Watch Past Performances

Video 2/20/2017: Blues for a Royal Flush

Playwright and author Tom Minter stages his original play BLUES FOR A ROYAL FLUSH - In 1967 Duke Ellington finds himself buffeted by the activism of the times, and reaching for a new direction of creativity..
Through such artists as Lena Horne, Ethel Waters and Billy Strayhorn, Blues For A Royal Flush is the riff of memory and music which surrounds Ellington, urging his reach forward.

This performance is presented as a companion piece to WNO’s February 13 Millennium Stage preview of Champion.

Blues for a Royal Flush