A Wonderful World, A New Musical about the Life and Loves of Louis Armstrong will play runs being billed as "pre-Broadway" in New Orleans and Chicago in the fall with Tony Award winner James Monroe Iglehart (Aladdin, Hamilton) starring in the title role.
The production will mirror Armstrong’s own musical path from New Orleans to Chicago, with performances scheduled for October 1-8 at the Saenger Theatre in New Orleans, followed by an October 11-29 engagement at Chicago's Cadillac Palace. Additional casting will be announced.
Conceived by Tony nominee Christopher Renshaw (The King and I, Taboo), who also directs, and novelist Andrew Delaplaine, A Wonderful World has an original book by author Aurin Squire (This Is Us) and features songs made popular by Armstrong.
The new musical tells the story of jazz legend Louis Armstrong, from his early days in New Orleans through five decades of international stardom, through the eyes of the women in his life.
Annastasia Victory (Caroline, or Change) and Michael O. Mitchell (MJ the Musical) provide original music, arrangements, orchestrations, and music direction with choreography by Rickey Tripp (Once on This Island, Choir Boy). Christina Sajous is the associate director, and Aurelia Michael is the associate choreographer. Casting is by Stewart/Whitley's Duncan Stewart.
Miami New Drama produced the world premiere of A Wonderful World in December 2021 at the Colony Theatre.
Producers for the upcoming production are Thomas E. Rodgers, Jr., Renee Rodgers, Andrew Delaplaine, and Martian Entertainment (Carl D. White and Gregory Rae). The consulting producer is Irene Gandy with general management by Martian Entertainment.
Private industry readings of A Wonderful World were presented in September 2022 in Manhattan, also starring Iglehart.