Miami’s ‘Wonderful World’ New Drama About Louis Armstrong Finally Comes On The Stage – CBS Miami


MIAMI BEACH (CBSMiami) – A University of Miami graduate is among those staring in a new show called “A Wonderful World” at the Colony Theater in Miami Beach.

It is about the music and life of the great jazzman Louis Armstrong, but also focuses on the history of the breed in America. It was originally scheduled to open in spring 2020 but has been postponed due to the pandemic.

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Juson Williams, who plays Armstrong, spoke to CBS4’s Lisa Petrillo about what it’s like to play this legendary and iconic figure on stage.

“History is number one,” he said. “I didn’t know this life he lived and how he changed the trajectory of music. I’m a tenor, I’m a first tenor, so it’s so crazy when I have to be like ‘Well how do you do this and get into that’, and that deep sound in his voice doesn’t hurt at all . It has become a method for me, and I’ve learned to mix the two together, so I’m not trying to imitate it.

Juson Williams plays Louis Armstrong. (CBS4)

The story is told from the perspective of Armstrong’s four wives. “A Wonderful World” traces Armstrong’s journey from the birth of jazz in his native New Orleans to his international fame.

Williams says he learned to hold an Armstrong-style trumpet to capture his essence and bring audiences into this story.

“This is the journey of a person he didn’t even know, I don’t think he knew what he was to the extent of what he’s become. I don’t think he realized it and I think the public is going to have an adventure with us tenfold. “

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The musical also focuses on the complex history of race in America, leading up to the era of civil rights.

Nicole Henry, a University of Miami graduate who lives in South Florida, said history is also a history lesson.

“Of course he grew up around this time and performed at a time when black people weren’t always allowed to go through the same steps in the age of civil rights, and what he considered to be loved by the white audience, to be loved by black audience and to be accepted in general So this piece is about all that and of course and it’s a love story and it’s hilarious and the talent is amazing.

Director Christopher Renshaw said Armstrong had his flaws, but in the end, the man who changed the trajectory of jazz music was loved.

“He was very nice. He’s always had this crazy life, ladies, smoking and everything, but he was so adorable that I didn’t hear bad things from Louis as a person, ”Renshaw said.

The Miami New Drama presentation of “A Wonderful World: is now on stage at the Colony Theater on Lincoln Road through January 16.

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Click here for more information and to purchase tickets.