I am not a regular theater attendee. After years of going to plays and feeling dissatisfied, I finally had to admit it: I don't like the theater. It's not my thing. I've tried to like it. I've attended musicals, classic Shakespearean plays and strange "avant garde" productions. In fact, I'd given up on the theater. This always makes me feel horribly guilty because DC is a great theater town. Plus two of my former clients are costume designers and I have a lot of respect for their creative process.
Last night, I decided to give theater another chance and I attended the production of Duke Ellington's Sophisticated Ladies at the Lincoln Theater on U St. It was an enchanting evening!
One of the reasons I enjoyed it immensely was the history of seeing a show about Duke Ellington's music at the Lincoln Theater. I knew that U St. was the "Black Broadway" in the 20's and 30's but seeing it come to life was incredibly cool. Duke Ellington is from Washington, DC and he played at the Lincoln Theater with many other jazz greats like Ella Fitzgerald and Nat "King" Cole. Sophisticated Ladies is a history of Duke Ellington's musical career from it's start in the 20's to it's end in the 70's. It's an amazing chronicle of different musical influences and dances which was very entertaining to watch.
I knew U St. Corridor was a special place with an interesting history when I moved to the neighborhood in 2007. Seeing it come alive through Sophisticated Ladies was a wonderful experience that I'll treasure.