The Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts Brings Satchmo at the Waldorf to Los Angeles



‘Satchmo’ arrives in Los Angeles following sold out engagements at the Long Wharf Theatre, Shakespeare & Company and Off Broadway in New York


LOS ANGELES (April 21, 2015) Described as “an absorbing and uplifting new play,” Terry Teachout’s Satchmo at The Waldorf makes its debut in Los Angeles this May at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts. Running from Tuesday, May 26 through Sunday, June 7 for a limited 15-performance engagement at the Lovelace Theater, Satchmo portrays the racial struggles and musical triumphs of the man who invented jazz, Louis Armstrong. Press opening is scheduled for May 27.


Starring Obie-winner John Douglas Thompson as Armstrong, Miles Davis and Joe Glaser, this exhilarating one-man show looks to give its audience an insight into the realities that Armstrong faced as he lived through a changing society in the late 60s.


“He was the joyous entertainer who sang ‘Hello, Dolly!’ and ‘What a Wonderful World’ and made millions of people feel warm inside,” said Teachout. “But Satchmo at the Waldorf is also about the private Armstrong. The fact that Satchmo (as he loved to call himself) had two sides to his personality doesn’t mean that the public man was somehow less real than the private one. Like all geniuses, Armstrong was complicated, and that complexity was part of what made his music so beautiful and profound.”


Set backstage during one of Armstrong’s last performances before his death in 1971, the play centers around the complex relationship Armstrong had with his manager of more than thirty-five years, Joe Glaser. As he wanders off with a recorder on hand, Armstrong reflects on his life’s journey recounting everything from his rough childhood to the moment his fame skyrocketed.


Known for having changed the sound of jazz, Armstrong created the jazz language that is known and recognized today. He was one of the most influential and important jazz artists of his time and many critics have gone as far as to claim that his 1920s recordings with the Hot Fives and Sevens were the single most important recordings in jazz history.


Teachout was inspired to write the play, his first, after completing Pops: A Life of Louis Armstrong, a biography on the life of the great Satchmo. There were aspects of the musician’s life that evoked more questions for him, particularly his career-long dealings with his mob-connected manager Joe Glaser. Unsure how Armstrong really felt about the man who steered his career, Teachout felt there was a dramatic truth to be explored that was absent from the unembellished biographical record.


Directed by Gordon Edelstein, Satchmo at The Waldorf played several sold out engagements at the Long Wharf Theatre, Shakespeare & Company and Off Broadway in New York. Both cast and designers received a number of riveting reviews from several publications for their work. The New Yorker, for example, described the show as “an altogether riveting performance.”


In 2013, Thompson won the Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle “Outstanding Solo Performance” awards for Satchmo at the Waldorf and was described by The New York Times as one of the most compelling classical stage actors of his generation.


For additional information or to purchase tickets, please visit The Wallis at For box office information, please call 310.746.4000 or visit The Wallis Ticket Services located at 9390 N. Santa Monica Blvd., Beverly Hills, CA 90210.


Calendar Listing for Satchmo at the Waldorf




Lovelace Theater

The Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts

9390 N. Santa Monica Blvd., Beverly Hills, CA 90210


Performance Schedule:

Tuesday, May 26 through Sunday, June 7, 2015

Tuesday – Friday at 8:30 PM; Saturdays at 3:30 PM, 8:30 PM; Sundays at 2:30 PM, 7:30 PM.  Running time is 90 minutes with no intermission.



This production contains strong, adult language. Suggested for mature high school students and up.



Price: $50 - $60

In Person – Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts Ticket Services

9390 N. Santa Monica Blvd, Beverly Hills, CA 90210

By Phone – 310-746-4000 

Online –



About the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts

Located in the heart of Beverly Hills, California, the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts (aka “The Wallis”) brings audiences world-class theater, dance and music, performed by many of the world’s most talented and sought-after artists. With eclectic programming that mirrors the diverse landscape of Los Angeles, and its notability as the entertainment capital of the world, The Wallis offers original and revered works from across the U.S. and around the globe. This fall marks The Wallis’ second season, which also includes its prestigious “Arts & Ideas” series, conversations with guests from the realms of culture, literature and politics. Housed in a breathtaking 70,000-square-foot venue designed by Zoltan E. Pali, FAIA of Studio Pali Fekete architects, The Wallis celebrates the classic and the modern. This is reflected in the juxtaposition of the restored, original 1933 Beverly Hills Post Office (on the National Register of Historic Places) that serves as the theater’s dramatic yet welcoming lobby, and houses the 150-seat Lovelace Studio Theater, as well as a theater school for young people, and the contemporary 500-seat, state-of-the-art Bram Goldsmith Theater. Together, these two structures embrace the city’s history and its future, creating a performing arts destination for LA-area visitors and residents alike. 

Add a Comment

(Enter the numbers shown in the above image)