The Exemplary Voice of Ella Fitzgerald

As you enter the room and close your eyes, the smooth music and rhythmic feeling that resonates from the singer and band fills your mind. Her vast vocal range along with the background beats bring forth feelings of elation, mournfulness and all those alluring feelings that make you think about the complexities and subtleties of life.
Maya Angelou once said, "I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel."
  Ella is the true story of the iconic “Queen of Jazz” singer Ella Fitzgerald. Her famed voice flows through and tells the audience about her life with her classic songs and a look back to her early days into one of her most challenging performances.

Kathy Tyree as Ella Fitzgerald

 In Ella Fitzgerald’s own words, she said, "I've had some wonderful love affairs and some that didn't work out. I don't want to dwell on that, and I don't want to put people down, but I think all the fabulous places I've been, the wonderful things that have happened for me, the great people I've met that ought to make a story.“
 She won 13 Grammy awards and sold over 40 million albums. Ella could even imitate every instrument in an orchestra. Audiences will get to know who Ella was on a personal level and how she became the legendary figure we all know today.
Kathy Tyree as Ella Fitzgerald
             From an early age, Ella loved listening to jazz music and dancing, even getting the nickname, “snake hips. Through hardship in her early life, she learns to find solace through her singing. Singing was a way for Ella to relate to people from all around the world of all different religious backgrounds, race, rich and poor alike, they all loved listening to Ella.
              Jim Boggess, music director of the production, can relate to Ella’s passion of singing with his own passion for music. “Music in any aspect is a different world for me. Listening feeds my soul. Ella Fitzgerald was an incredible singer and innovator through her use of “scat” singing. Her improvisatory style never interfered with her innate understanding of the composer’s intent or the text,” said Jim. “Besides a performance that will knock their socks off, audiences should come away with a three-dimensional portrait of Ella, the woman,” said Jim. 
Kathy Tyree as Ella Fitzgerald
              Director Susan Baer Collins has had a rewarding experience working on the production. “There is nothing more fun for me than to be in the same room with talented, creative people. Rehearsing with actress Kathy Tyree and Music Director Jim Boggess is an inspiring and exciting experience,” said Susan. “Both of these musicians are exceptional collaborators and they contribute great nuance and depth to this production.”
            “The audience is in for an exceptional concert of the music of Ella Fitzgerald,” said Susan. “What makes this special is they will come to know Ella as a vulnerable human woman, with whom they will identify and come to love and admire. I am thrilled with how Jeffrey Hatcher’s script explores both Ella’s personal challenges as well as her professional triumphs,”
Catch Ella Fitzgerald’s story in Ella, Feb. 28-March 30 in the Howard and Rhonda Hawks Mainstage at the Omaha Community Playhouse. Tickets are $40 for adults and $24 for students. For groups of 12 or more, adult tickets are $29 and student tickets are $18. For more information call (402) 553-0080, visit the Box Office or click here.
Story by Yoyo Ma

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