C. Robert Jones
Premiered by the Southern Appalachian Repertory Theatre (SART), and published shortly thereafter, Mandy Lou has had three different productions at the theatre, and remains SART's most popular and well-attended new play.
Jenny Lind Sings Tonight!
A Musical Comedy
9 men, 9 women - one interior set
The two-character show is set in Northampton, Massachusetts on the evening of May 6, 1852 at a farewell concert (based on fact) that Jenny and her accompanist husband, Otto Goldschmidt, gave as a benefit shortly before returning to Europe. Jenny sings many of the great songs and arias which she made famous . . . and weaves together her remarkable story, including her friendships with Felix Mendelssohn, Frederic Chopin, and even Queen Victoria.
The two performers playing Jenny and Otto must be exceptional musicians for this tour de force theatre piece.
"The Debutante Cotillion Ball" from Mandy Lou
Photos from the 2016 Atlanta (Hapeville) production directed by Brenda Porter and starring Michael Mario Good
A one-person musical play about one of the most admired men in show business.
Jenny Lind was probably America’s first musical superstar. When she was brought to the United States in 1850 by P. T. Barnum, she was already established in Europe as one of the most brilliant singers of the century.
Called the Swedish Nightingale, she turned the country upside down. There were riots to get into her concerts. Barnum managed her nearly-two year tour (her only one to the U. S.) so well that a whole cottage industry grew up around her, her name being given to a wide array of places and things.
By the turn of the 20th Century, Bert Williams–-actor, singer, dancer, composer, comedian, playwright–-was already established as one of the best-known black performers in the United States, and he soon was to conquer England, as well. He first gained fame as half of the popular Williams & Walker Comedy Team with George Walker as his partner.
After Walker’s death, Florenz Ziegfeld starred Williams in his famous Ziegfeld Follies from 1910 - 1919, and Williams was the first black performer to have this distinction. Though largely forgotten today, Bert Williams was the first major black recording star, recording exclusively for Columbia Records from 1906 till his untimely death in 1922.
Further, he was the first black actor to star in films, his most notable being A Natural Born Gambler (1916.) The play, which includes Williams’ signature song, "Nobody" (along with others he made famous–and also including several of his comedy routines), chronicles his struggles in an era where black performers were largely invisible in mainstream theatre.
The musical drama premiered at Mars Hill University in North Carolina and starred Kristofer Geddie as Williams.
A gentle, musical spoof of the Old South, with Jones's wittiest score, the play is set in Charleston, SC just prior to the Civil War.
Beautiful Amanda Louise de Beaupré (Mandy Lou), after a year away at a finishing school in Savannah, returns to Charleston to make her debut at the elegant Cotillion Ball, only to find her father has been falsely arrested and that there are attempts by overseer Rufus Tattnall to steal their stately mansion.
Mandy Lou's problems are further complicated by the arrival of an unknown baby and the plotting by the glamorous Jade Bennett to steal away Mandy Lou's new love, Jordan Kingsley.
Comic situations abound, particularly as three delectable characters, Mammy, Sassy, and Lump, become involved. A delicious romp!
(Left: Linda Edwards as Mandy Lou)
This page is still under construction.
Please visit again soon for a complete listing of C. Robert's musicals (and plays with music). You will also be able to hear a selection of songs from his musicals.