Lucky So and So
"Lucky So and So" spotlights the groundbreaking musical genius, Duke Ellington, whose pioneering influence still reverberates in today's popular music. "Lucky So and So" is also the only live stage show that has ever honored and fully conveyed Duke's dynamic life and profound musical legacy! The show demonstrates how Duke rose above early 20th Century racism, paving the way for many of today's music giants. The "Lucky So and So" creator, vocalist Angelo Divino and vocalist Arienne Battiste, artfully weave Duke’s life story between nineteen of Duke’s most beloved songs. "Lucky So and So" gives you the full scoop on how Duke became a worldwide success, creating sounds that will endure forever! The "Lucky So and So" script was recently upgraded to a full-scale stage production, with actors and singers relaying Duke's story, through the lens of Angelo's close friendship with Duke’s only sibling, Ruth Ellington.
Script excerpt from “Lucky So and So:”
Arienne- You can’t talk about Duke without mentioning his…complex personal life. The women loved Duke…and Duke loved the women! This included, but was not limited to his wife, Edna Thompson. They later separated, but never divorced. Former Cotton Club showgirl Evie Ellis was Duke’s very jealous live-in companion. He traveled with the glamorous Countess Fernanda de Castro Monte who permitted Duke’s irrepressible appetite to…
Arienne- …Sleep around! When Evie got wind of The Countess, she secretly flew to Japan, barging in on the two of them…
Angelo-…in the steamy throes of passion…
Arienne-…in the bed, doin’ it…and if there was ever a musical version of Duke’s love life, *the melody for “Concerto for Cootie (Willams),” with Bob Russell’s lyrics, would be perfect for Duke to sing to Evie at just that moment…and did I mention that Evie was threatening them with a gun?
Angelo sings: Do Nothing Til You Hear From Me
Arienne- And I thought that Evie could sing this number to Duke, about her predicament…with lyrics by Paul Francis Webster…
Arienne sings: I Got It Bad and That Ain’t Good
"How could anyone go wrong with the rich music Ellington composed, as demonstrated by Divino’s smooth delivery of “I’m Just a Lucky So-and-So,” Battiste’s sultry tones on “Mood Indigo,” or their combined power on Billy Strayhorn’s expressive “Take the A Train?” What makes the show so terrific, aside from the great music and excellent vocals, is the writing, including ample biographical information on Ellington, communicated through easy banter between the two singers —at once totally informative and entertaining!"
—Elliot Zwiebach, Cabaret Scenes Magazine
LET ME BE FRANK
“Let Me Be Frank” highlights what inspired Frank to sing and the loves that kept him singing hit after mega hit, for over five decades. This original one-man show honors Sinatra with songs spanning those decades, mixed in with tales of Frank’s lofty highs and devastating lows. From his humble beginnings with Big Bands to Big-time Hollywood, the show plays like a juicy novel, with over 20 songs that perfectly reflect his life at the time each song was recorded.
Script excerpt from “Let Me Be Frank:
In the Wee Small Hours/One for My Baby medley is sung. After...until it’s talked away:
Ava Gardner was the most beautiful creature I’d ever seen and I had to have her. When things were good between us, they were spectacular- the rest of the time...disastrous! While her star was rising like the sun, mine was sinking in the mud! Our affair led to Nancy’s public humiliation, driving away nearly all of my female fans- many of whom were no longer wearing bobby socks. Nancy finally gave me a divorce in 1951 and Ava and I were married 10 days later. The whole time I was with Ava, I barely had a hit record. I lost my movie contract, my recording contract and to top it all off- my voice. We were separated before our 2nd anniversary. I simply could not convince her that I wasn’t cheating on her, while she was in Spain with some bullfighter! ...that’s how it goes...end song.
On one of those lonely, desperate nights, I attempted taking my own life.
I’m A Fool to Want You is sung.
Divino was particularly outstanding when dealing with Sinatra’s love for Ava Gardner – singing “One For My Baby (and One More for the Road)” in a voice like warm liquid, followed by a tender, mellow, evocative “I’m A Fool to Want You” (Sinatra/Wolf/Herron). He showed off his crooning abilities on
“Night and Day” (Cole Porter), a superb, mesmerizing take on “Nancy (with the Laughing Face)” (Phil Silvers/Jimmy Van Heusen), and a deeply felt “All or Nothing at All,” ending with a sustained high note that demonstrated his pinpoint vocal control.
—Elliot Zwiebach, Cabaret Scenes Magazine
In “Sinatra 101,” Angelo Divino follows up his successful “Let Me Be Frank” show! This show reveals how a creative, shy, Italian ‘Wannabe’ Rocker grew up to be a Bona-fide Crooner, specializing in Sinatra’s brilliant material, life and career. Learn how Angelo found out early on that his voice was far more like Frank’s than those of his Rock idols, much to his eventual delight!
LOVE A TO Z
In the live performance of “Love A to Z,” Angelo takes you on the journey set out by the album’s 10 original songs. Each one tells a story of a facet of love, as only Angelo, who’s been through every facet, can relay. You’ll even hear how his artistic renditions of friendly space beings led to his fun delivery of the song “Flying Saucers,” written in 1952!