“Dinah,” a play about Dinah Washington, featuring Pittsburgh songstress Delana Flowers in the title role, will run from March 13 through April 5 at Pittsburgh Playwrights Theatre Company.
Ernest McCarty is both director and playwright of this lively musical set during the last year of the short life of the legendary blues singer. “Dinah” features over 25 songs from the Great American Songbook and biographical vignettes.
This show provides insight into the tragic and often controversial life of one of the most popular African-American singers of the 1950’s.
Washington, born Ruth Lee Jones, was known as “Queen of the Jukeboxes.” Her seventh husband, football great Dick “Night Train” Lane discovered her nearly lifeless body on December 14, 1963. An autopsy revealed she died at the age of 39 after taking a deadly combination of secobarbital and amobarbital. Her death was ruled accidental. It was known that she used prescription medicine for dieting and insomnia, among other things.
Legendary composer and record/ TV producer Quincy Jones in his 2001 biography Q recalls Washington’s unique vocal styling saying she “could take the melody in her hand, hold it like an egg, crack it open, fry it, let it sizzle, reconstruct it, put the egg back in the box and back in the refrigerator and you would’ve still understood every single syllable.”
Pittsburgh Playwrights Theatre Company was founded by Mark Clayton Southers in 2003.
Pittsburgh Playwrights Theatre Company is committed to developing and showcasing the works of local playwrights; from accomplished masters like August Wilson and George S. Kaufman to promising new talents. Pittsburgh Playwrights seek to nurture a racially and culturally diverse community of playwrights, directors, actors and technical specialists to hone their craft and to network creative opportunities.
“Dinah” performs at Pittsburgh Playwrights Theater, 937 Liberty Avenue, Pittsburgh PA 15222, on the 3rd floor. For tickets and more details, visit www.pghplaywrights.com.
Delana Flowers (Dinah Washington)
Ijasneem (reporter and Symphony Sid)
Leo Beatty (Dick “Night Train” Lane)
Cheryl El Walker (LaRue Mann)
Stephanie Akers (Alice Jones – Dinah’s mother)
Les Howard (Brook Benton)
(Preview night) Friday, March 13 at 8 pm
Opening night Saturday, March 14 at 8 pm
Sunday, March 15 at 3 pm
Thursday, March 19 at 8 pm
Friday, March 20 at 8 pm
Saturday, March 21 at 8 pm
Sunday, March 22 at 3 pm
Thursday, March 26 at 8 pm
Friday, March 27 at 8 pm
Saturday, March 28 at 8 pm
Sunday, March 29 at 3 pm
Thursday, April 2 at 8pm
Friday, April 3 at 8 pm
Saturday, April 4 at 8 pm
Easter Sunday, April 5 at 3 pm
* The Monday March 23 at 8 pm performance is Pay-What-You-Can at the door only