*CULVER CITY, Calif. — Launched as a 99-seat production at the Lillian Theatre, where it played to SRO houses and critical acclaim including a Los Angeles Times “Critic’s Choice” review, “Recorded in Hollywood,” the new musical chronicling the story of black businessman, record label owner and music producer John Dolphin, will receive a commercial run as a guest production at the 317-seat Kirk Douglas Theatre in Culver City.
The new production is led by Lou Spisto, former executive producer of San Diego’s Old Globe Theatre and producer on Broadway and London’s West End, and Jamelle Dolphin, the grandson of John Dolphin who has steered the development of this musical, based on his book “Recorded in Hollywood,” for the past three years. The five-week run begins on July 8, with the press opening set for July 16.
“As we continue to build a future life for this important and beloved show, it is essential that we give Los Angles audiences another chance to experience it,” says Spisto. “I’m particularly excited that we are heading to the Kirk Douglas; the size and location of the theater are perfect for this next step in our development. The show’s score features several new songs, and the book puts more emphasis on the racial issues facing the music industry and Los Angeles that made Dolphin’s stand for civil rights so necessary.”
Jamelle Dolphin comments, “We had such a great run last year — the response from audiences and critics was truly amazing, I can’t wait for our returning fans and new ones to fall in love again as we continue to tell this important story about my grandfather and his era with amazing music that always has them dancing in the aisles.”
Los Angeles entrepreneur and activist John Dolphin was a trailblazing black businessman who made his mark on the national music scene long before Motown ever existed. He opened his Dolphin’s of Hollywood record shop on legendary Central Avenue in 1948, where he launched and helped build the careers of some of the biggest names in music. Dolphin’s of Hollywood became the most famous record store in the country, with legendary DJs like Dick “Huggy Boy” Hugg, Hunter Hancock and Charles Trammel spinning records all night from the front window. A marketing genius, Dolphin was the first to keep his store open 24 hours, and he pioneered the “Buy One, Get One Free” marketing concept. Despite ongoing opposition and harassment from the LAPD under police Chief William H. Parker, Dolphin played an important role in integrating the Los Angeles music scene. The shop and its broadcasts were a gathering place for music lovers from every race and background and became “the place to be” in L.A. in the ’50s.
Jamelle Dolphin co-wrote the show’s book with Matt Donnelly. The musical features an original score by Andy Cooper as well as covers of some of the songs made famous by Dolphin’s recording artists and those he helped to bring to fame. Denise Dowse returns to direct the production.
For more information and to purchase tickets, call 213-972-4488 or go to www.RecordedInHollywood.com.