THE LLOYD PRICE MUSICAL, from March 9 to April 3
Before Rosa Parks refused to go to the back of the bus, before Martin Luther King, Jr. inspired a movement, Lloyd Price’s music brought young blacks and whites together. From obscure beginnings to overnight teenage sensation, unsung pioneer to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, Lloyd Price’s story has never been told on stage – until now.
Featuring a stellar ensemble of singers and dancers performing the singer-songwriter‘s iconic hits “Lawdy Miss Clawdy,” “Stagger Lee” and the legendary song that became its namesake, “Personality,” this comedy debut musical celebrates one of the most resilient and influential artists of the 20th century. With a screenplay written by B. Jeffrey Madoff in collaboration with Price himself, a team of American theater titans led by director Sheldon Epps (Broadway: Play On! and Blues in the Night) will bring Price’s story and his eternal legacy to the People’s Light stage.
Personality: The Lloyd Price Musical runs from March 9 to April 3 on the Leonard C. Haas Stage. Single tickets are $45. To purchase, call 610.644.3500 or visit peopleslight.org. People’s Light is located at 39 Conestoga Road, Malvern PA 19355.
Following the sold-out airing of our adaptation of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, People’s Light is thrilled to continue bringing audiences together in celebration of Lloyd Price. Although Price ranks among the most important musical artists of the mid-twentieth century, his multi-generational impact on the industry has remained shrouded in relative obscurity for too long. Director Sheldon Epps says, “I’ve always been drawn to stories about what I call the unsung heroes of our history. Lloyd Price certainly deserves our attention because he was a great showman, a pioneer and a true pioneer. It’s a great honor to bring his story and his music to life for audiences who may know him and especially for those who should know him.”
Price came from humble beginnings in his hometown of Kenner, Louisiana, where he faced incredible odds for a blossoming music career, especially as a young black man coming of age in pre-Civil Rights America. Movement. Armed with fierce determination and a soulful sound, Price rocketed to stardom in 1952 when his R&B single “Lawdy Miss Clawdy” was recorded by Specialty Records and released to acclaim, reaching No. 1 on the R&B charts. and selling over a million copies. His originality and dynamic personality won the hearts of America’s youth, helping to bridge racial divides and encouraging people to come together for the love of rock ‘n roll. But the path to the Hall of Fame was a winding one: Immediately after the success of his debut record, he was drafted to fight in the Korean War in 1953. Still, Price was a master of reinvention, finding his place in many times, creating his own label, and developing the bridge between the R&B and Pop music scenes.
Highly successful recent productions at People’s Light, such as Nina Simone: Four Women and Lights Out: Nat “King” Cole, have explored an iconic cultural figure in an intimate way. This production celebrates Price with a true “song and dance” musical, on a grander scale than anything that has performed on the People’s Light stage in over a decade. Music supervisor Shelton Becton (Broadway’s The Color Purple, Shuffle Along…, and more) will showcase Price’s signature musical flair and have the audience dancing for him. Edgar Godineaux (Broadway’s Ain’t Too Proud), whose choreography was last seen on Lights Out, returns to People’s Light to create the high-energy dance numbers for the cast of thirteen.
Price’s involvement in the creation of Personality sets the production apart from other biographical or jukebox musicals. Not only did he contribute the music and lyrics that serve as the scaffolding of Madoff’s narrative, but he worked directly with Madoff on his life story. Sadly, Lloyd passed away in May 2021 before he could see his efforts fully realized at the premiere. The personality will be a fitting tribute to Price, his tireless efforts and the legacy he created. “People’s Light has wanted to bring this story to our audiences for some time,” reveals People’s Light production manager Zak Berkman. “We’re sad that the pandemic kept us from bringing Personality to the stage before Price passed away, but we’re thrilled that audiences can witness his journey and learn more about a truly groundbreaking artist.”
In addition to Epps (former Pasadena Playhouse Artistic Director) Becton and Godineaux, the prestigious creative team of Broadway veterans includes set and projection designer David Gallo (Tony Award winner for Broadway’s The Drowsy Chaperone), costume designer nominee Lucille Lortel Karen Perry, lighting designer Jeff Croiter (Tony Award winner for Broadway’s Peter and the Starcatcher), video designer Steve Channon (The Mountaintop) and Rob Kaplowitz (Tony Award winner for Broadway’s Fela!) return to People’s Light as sound designer. Viveca Gardiner assists with the scenic and video design. Gwendolyn M. Gilliam manages the stage, assisted by Molly Norris. Saladin White II serves as the COVID Compliance Officer. Presented in partnership with Hard Kill LLC and Eric Cornell, Executive Producer. Casting to come.
Masks are required indoors for all who visit People’s Light, regardless of vaccination status. Ticket holders must show proof of full vaccinations or a negative COVID test, along with valid photo ID, to enter the theater. To be considered fully vaccinated, your performance date must be at least 14 days after your second dose of a two-dose COVID-19 vaccine or at least 14 days after a single-dose vaccine. Unvaccinated audience members must provide proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours of the performance start time or a negative COVID-19 antigen test taken within 6 hours depending on the start time of the performance. Home tests will be accepted. For more information on People’s Light policies, including new seating arrangements, audience capacity, and the safety of performers and staff, visit the Health and Safety page. Recommended protocols may change based on changing local and national guidelines. So please keep checking this page for the most up-to-date information when planning your visit to People’s Light.
People’s Light will offer socially distanced performances of Personality, limited to 50% capacity, on the following dates: March 11, March 18, March 20 (Relaxed Performance), March 22, March 25, March 29, and April 1. The laid-back 3/20 performance is at 2 p.m.; all other socially distanced performances are at 7:30 p.m.
Personality: The Lloyd Price Musical previews Wednesday March 9, Thursday March 10, Friday March 11 and Saturday March 12. The play opens Sunday, March 13 and runs through Sunday, April 3. Single tickets are $45. People’s Light is also offering a range of ticket discounts, such as a 50% Access Party on Thursday, March 24 at 7:30 p.m., 25% off for educators and the military, and tickets for families and young people who are 10% off the regular ticket price. for groups of 6, 7, 8 or 9. Find out more about the discounts available on tickets here.
Special rates are available for groups of 10 or more. For more information or to purchase group tickets, call Kelly Benedict at 610.647.1900, x111, or email [email protected] .
3, 4 and 5-Play subscription packages are still available for the Season 2021/2022 at People’s Light. Productions include Personality: The Lloyd Price Musical (March 9 – April 3); Hold These Truths (April 6 – May 1); Bayard Rustin Inside Ashland (May 18 – June 12); The Vinegar Tree (June 29 – July 24); and Grand Horizons (August 3-28).
To order single tickets or subscriptions, go to peopleslight.org or call the box office at 610.644.3500.
Cast, prices, productions, performance dates and times are subject to change. Additional service charges will apply.
Personality: The Lloyd Price Musical Open Caption (OC) performances take place March 23-27 and feature an LED screen near the stage that displays text simultaneously with speech and live action, for the hearing impaired and English learners. No other element of performance changes.
People’s Light features a laid-back performance by personality: The Lloyd Price Musical on Sunday, March 20 at 2 p.m. The laid-back performances provide a non-judgmental environment that invites people with autism, ADD, ADHD, dementia and other sensory sensitivities to enjoy theater in a relaxed, “no-hush” zone, a great option for parents with young children as well. This performance includes an audio description provided by Nicole Sardella, which is available upon request. Tickets for Relaxed Performances are $30 including fees. For more information, contact the box office at 610.644.3500.
Service animals are welcome at all performances at People’s Light. The theater provides a designated relief area and water bowl for their comfort.
People’s Light offers a range of audio and visual aids available free of charge to customers, including audio headsets, T-Coil “induction” loops, large sensory aids like fidgets, noise canceling headphones, and more. These media are available on a first-come, first-served basis, with no reservations required. Please collect them from the house manager in the theater halls. Learn more about accessibility at People’s Light here.