Now through August 20 you don’t need to take the A train to see one of the world’s most beloved jazz musicians. Benny Goodman himself is playing at Trustus Theatre in Columbia
Okay, so the real Benny Goodman, the King of Swing himself, hasn’t been hitting any of those trademark high notes on his clarinet since he passed away in 1986. But in the world premiere of Alessandro King’s
new play, Swing ’39, now playing at Trustus, Goodman is brought to life by actor G. Scott Wild.
The play focuses on a group of young women in 1930’s East Harlem who get a chance to meet Goodman after designing the winning entry in a contest to create the uniform for his fan club. One of the girls, Maggie, begins a relationship with the jazzman. The affair seems to offer her everything she ever dreamed of – adventure, an escape from her life in Harlem, and most importantly someone to love and take care of. But Goodman’s famous dark side and his eccentric, competitive personality seem to threaten the romance.
Alessandro King’s play Swing ’39 was last year’s winner of The Trustus Playwrights’ Festival. Established in 1988, the festival receives entries each year from all over the country. Winning plays receive a staged reading the year they win, followed by a full production the next year. Past playwrights who have won have gone on to have shows produced on Broadway and one, David Lindsay Abaire, has even won The Pulitzer Prize in Drama for his play Rabbit Hole.
Swing ’39 rounds out this year’s season at Trustus, but tickets are already on sale for next year’s season. The lineup for Season 27 is exciting and includes plays like the award-winning August: Osage County, the powerful rock adaptation Spring Awakening, and the hilarious puppet musical Avenue Q.
The new season begins on Sept. 9 with a remount of the theater’s successful production of camp comedy, The Great American Trailer Park Musical.
for information on Swing ’39 or on Trustus Theatre’s upcoming season.