August 11, 2017 Published in Arts & Style

MetroStage Opening Season With Wizard Of Hip

Thomas W. Jones II in the Wizard of Hip, or When in Doubt Slam Dunk (courtesy image)

Producing Artistic Director Carolyn Griffin is pleased to announce that the season will begin with the Wizard of Hip (or When In Doubt Slam Dunk) , a play written, directed and performed by MetroStage Artistic Associate Thomas W. Jones II with original music by William Knowles, beginning Aug. 17, running five weeks through Sept 17. 
At MetroStage playwright, lyricist, director and choreographer, Thomas W. Jones II has written and directed Harlem Rose, Three Sistahs, Two Queens One Castle, Bricktop, Cool Papa’s Party, Pearl request, Ladies Swing the
Blues, Bessie’ Blues, Shake Loose, Uprising and Blackberry Daze, and directed The Gin Game, Anne & Emmett, and
Gee’s Bend for which he received a Helen Hayes nomination. This is the first time he will be performing on our stage
though he has been seen in Topdog/Underdog and Waiting for Godot at Studio Theatre and in Cherokee at Woolly Mammoth. He has also appeared on stage and directed at Mixed Blood Theatre in Minneapolis.
Wizard of Hip premiered at Jomandi Productions in Atlanta and was performed in more than thirty cities across the U.S. It was seen in DC twenty five years ago when it was performed at Studio Theatre in 1992, followed by his Hip 2: Birth of the Boom in 1996. Off Broadway Wizard of Hip played at Intar and then Top of the Gate at the Village Gate in NYC. The Lady Doo Wops and additional music have been added for this production. 

Music Director and  composer William Knowles is also a mainstay at MetroStage having music directed Anne & Emmett (also on tour including, most recently, at the National Museum of African American Festival), Shake Loose, Blackberry Daze, Uprising, Gee’s Bend (Helen Hayes nomination), Bricktop, His Eye is on the Sparrow, All Night Strut, Ella Fitzgerald: First Lady of Song, Cookin at the Cookery, Ladies Swing the Blues and Cool Papa’s Party

(Helen Hayes Award). He has also received Helen Hayes nominations for Dinah Was (Arena Stage), SLAM! (Studio Theatre), and Tambourines to Glory (Lincoln Theatre).
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