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Showing posts from April, 2015

The Unforgettable Nat King Cole

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The Unforgettable Nat King Cole By Shannon Stockwell
Nat King Cole was born Nathaniel Adams Coles in Montgomery, Alabama, on March 17, 1919. His family moved to Chicago in 1923, where his father, Edward Coles, realized his dream of becoming a Baptist minister. Young Cole learned to play the piano under the tutelage of his mother, Priscilla Coles, who was the organist at his father’s church.

Cole began performing in the mid 1930s when he was still a teenager, playing piano with his brother Eddie in jazz clubs. It was during this time that he acquired the nickname “Nat King Cole,” derived from the nursery rhyme about Old King Cole. After that, he became the pianist in the national tour of Broadway theater legend Eubie Blake’s revue Shuffle Along. The show went under in Long Beach, California, where Cole elected to stay.

Cole’s next big project was the King Cole Trio, made up of guitarist Oscar Moore, double bassist Wesley Prince, and Cole on the piano. In 1943 Cole penned the song that …

A.C.T.'s Let There Be Love Prologue Podcast

A Prologue Discussion: Director Maria Mileaf Talks About Let There Be Love at A.C.T.

In this exciting preshow discussion, A.C.T. Dramaturg Michael Paller discusses Let There Be Love with director Maria Mileaf. Mileaf’s passion for plays with strong characters led her to Kwame Kwei-Armah’s unforgettable work about a cantankerous, aging West Indian immigrant whose life and family relationships are transformed by a young Polish caregiver who has recently arrived in London. Mileaf has said that the play is bound to create a unique relationship between the actors and audience: “It’s a three-character play; they all have very different perspectives on the world, but they’re all dealing with the same events—maybe the person next to you is going to see the story through the point of view of a different character from the one you are most drawn to. That’s going to make for an interesting conversation after the show.” Mileaf discusses the rich world of Let There Be Love, from the …