Jolson

Jolson is a musical with a book by Francis Essex and Rob Bettinson and a score composed of tunes by some of the all-time greatest songwriters of Tin Pan Alley.

Based on the life of legendary singer Al Jolson, one of America's most popular entertainers, it spans thirty years of his career. Out of the limelight, the plot emphasizes his personal faults as much as it does his professional successes. Other major characters include his wife Ruby Keeler and his longtime friend and agent Louis Epstein.

The West End production, directed by Bettinson, opened on October 26, 1995 at the Victoria Palace Theatre, where it ran for seventeen months. The cast included Brian Conley as Jolson, Sally Ann Triplett as Keeler, and John Bennett as Epstein.

Under the auspices of the Laurence Olivier Awards, it won the American Express Award for Best New Musical. Olivier nominations went to Conley for Best Actor in a Musical and Bennett for Best Supporting Performance in a Musical.

An original cast album was recorded live during the performances of February 29, March 1, and March 2, 1996 and released by First Night Records.

Jolson - The Musical was staged at the Royal Alexandra Theatre in Toronto from June through October 1997. A proposed move to Broadway never materialized.

Read more about Jolson:  Song List

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