Lights Out: Nat "King" Cole


Lights Out: Nat "King" Cole

February 5 - March 24, 2019
Gil Cates Theater

West Coast Premiere Musical
Written by Colman Domingo & Patricia McGregor
Directed by Patricia McGregor
Music Supervision by John McDaniel
Choreography by Edgar Godineaux
Tap and Additional Choreography by Jared Grimes
Featuring Gisela Adisa, Connor Amacio Matthews, Bryan Dobson, Mary-Pat Green, Dulé Hill, Ruby Lewis, Zonya Love, Brandon Ruiter & Daniel J. Watts

In this electrifying exploration into the soul of an American icon, Tony and Olivier Award nominee Colman Domingo and Patricia McGregor imagine Nat “King” Cole as he faces the final Christmastime broadcast of his groundbreaking variety show and weighs the advice of his friend Sammy Davis Jr. to “go out with a bang.” Cole’s hit songs, such as “Nature Boy,” “It’s a Good Day” and “Smile,” underscore this boldly original homage to the renowned performer who struggled to break through America’s color barrier in the early days of television. A feast for the eyes, ears and soul, the musical incorporates lively choreography by Broadway veteran Edgar Godineaux and dazzling tap dance steeped in politics and pizzazz created by renowned hoofer Jared Grimes.

Reprising their roles from a sold-out run at People’s Light & Theater in Philadelphia, Emmy Award nominee Dulé Hill (West Wing; Psych; Bring in ‘da Noise, Bring in ‘da Funk) as Nat “King” Cole and Hamilton star Daniel J. Watts as Sammy Davis Jr. bring life to a play the Philadelphia Inquirer called “profound, ambitious, wide-ranging and dreamlike.” Like Cole himself, Lights Out promises to be “Unforgettable.”

In The News

Ovation Recommended by LA Stage Alliance

Review: For Nat King Cole in Lights Out, smiles on camera but ugly truths behind the scenes

Review: "Unforgettable... Dulé Hill is a study in finesse, capturing Cole's outer cool and inner blues."

Feature: Dulé Hill Brings An Icon To Life In Lights Out: Nat "King" Cole

Listen: Remembering Nat King Cole: Kurt Anderson interviews Dulé Hill on Studio 360

Review: ★★★★ "Dulé Hill is magnificent as Nat King Cole... Daniel J. Watts is electrifying as Sammy Davis Jr."

Review: "Dulé Hill’s mesmerizing, indefatigable star turn more than merits the standing ovation it receives."

Review: "Lights Out is spectacular entertainment... don't miss this show!"

Feature: Dulé Hill channels Nat King Cole, who met a racist world with songs of love, joy and grace

Interview: Colman Domingo and His Sly Deconstruction of Nat “King” Cole

Opening Night: About last night: Celebrating the 'unforgettable' play about Nat King Cole

Watch: Dulé Hill stars in Lights Out: Nat "King" Cole at Geffen Playhouse

Interview: Broadway’s Dulé Hill and Daniel J. Watts Reunite to Play Nat King Cole and Sammy Davis Jr. in this New Musical

Interview: Here's Why You Haven't Seen Colman Domingo Onstage Lately

Interview: Storyteller Extraordinaire Patricia McGregor Ruminates on Nat, Sammy, Dominique & Her 3 P's

Listen: Actor Dulé Hill discusses his role as Nat "King" Cole in Lights Out: Nat "King" Cole, how working on The West Wing and Psych strengthened his craft as an actor, and more on the Geffen Playhouse Unscripted podcast

Feature: Dulé Hill visits "The House that Nat Built" — Capitol Studios invites Dulé to their iconic Hollywood headquarters to record songs with Nat "King" Cole's original piano.

Interview: "It feels as if I'm on hallowed ground." — An interview with Lights Out: Nat "King" Cole actor Dulé Hill at Capitol Studios





Meet The Artists

A Tony, Olivier, Drama Desk and Drama League Award nominated artist, Mr. Domingo’s plays include Dot (Samuel French), Wild with Happy (Dramatist Play Service) and A Boy and His Soul (Oberon Books), among others. He co-wrote the Broadway musical Summer: The Donna Summer Musical. His work has been produced by the Public Theater, Vineyard Theatre, Humana Festival of New American Plays, New York Stage and Film, A.C.T, Tricycle Theatre in London, Brisbane Powerhouse in Australia, among others. He is the recipient of a Lucille Lortel, Obie, Audelco and GLAAD Award. His theater career of over 26 years spans the West End, Broadway, Off-Broadway, Australia, France and regional theaters across America. The multi-hyphenate has two television series in the works for AMC and HBO, which he will executive produce and write. He stars in the Golden Globe-nominated film If Beale Street Could Talk and on television on AMC’s Fear the Walking Dead.

PATRICIA McGREGOR (Playwright / Director)
Patricia McGregor is a director and writer from St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands. She has been profiled by The New York Times three times for her direction of world premieres. Recent credits include Place (world premiere at BAM Next Wave Festival), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (The Old Globe), Skeleton Crew (Geffen Playhouse), Lights Out: Nat “King” Cole (People’s Light), Skeleton Crew (Studio Theatre), Measure for Measure (The Old Globe), The Parchman Hour (Guthrie Theater), Hamlet (Public Theater), Ugly Lies the Bone (Roundabout Theatre Company), brownsville song (b-side for tray) (Lincoln Center Theater) and the world premieres of Good Grief (Center Theatre Group), Stagger Lee (Dallas Theater Center), Hurt Village (Signature Theatre), Holding It Down and Blood Dazzler (Harlem Stage) and The House That Would Not Stand (Berkeley Rep/Yale Rep). Other credits include A Raisin in the Sun, The Winter’s Tale, Spunk, Becky Shaw, Adoration of the Old Woman, Four Electric Ghosts and Nothing Personal. She served as tour consultant on J. Cole’s World Tour, directed the 24 Hour Plays on Broadway and staged readings for HBO’s writer’s Access program. McGregor is a co-founder of Angela’s Pulse and a Usual Suspect at New York Theatre Workshop. She was a Paul & Daisy Soros Fellow at Yale School of Drama where she earned her M.F.A. and served as Artistic Director of the Yale Cabaret.

JOHN McDANIEL (Music Supervision)
John McDaniel is a Grammy and Emmy Award winning Music Director, Composer, Arranger, Orchestrator and Producer and is an Artistic Director at the Tony Award-winning O’Neill Theater Center. Recently he has directed Sondheim Originals at 54 Below, Piano Men at Birdland and HAIR in Concert at the historic Patchogue Theater. On Broadway: Bonnie and Clyde (Drama Desk Nomination for Best Orchestrations), Catch Me If You Can, Brooklyn (Producer and Orchestrator), Annie Get Your Gun (Grammy Award), Taboo, Chicago, Grease, Patti LuPone on Broadway and Company – the Original Cast in Concert at Lincoln Center. Television: The Rosie O’Donnell Show (two Emmy Awards). John has collaborated with Cab Calloway, Shirley MacLaine, George Burns, Joel Grey, Carol Burnett, Betty Buckley, Bette Midler and has guest conducted at 15 Symphony Orchestras across America, including five concerts with his hometown St. Louis Symphony. John received a B.F.A. in Drama from Carnegie Mellon University.

Now At The Geffen

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Performance Info

This production contains adult language, theatrical haze and the smoking of herbal cigarettes.

90 minutes, no intermission.