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This show closed on October 12, 2019

About jazz singer

An uncompromising new theatrical interrogation of the first talking film, JAZZ SINGER is a provocative musical exploration of how we grapple with problematic art.

Abrons Arts Center presents the world premiere of JAZZ SINGER, a theatrical exhumation of the first feature-length “talkie”, reinterpreted by director Joshua William Gelb and composer Nehemiah Luckett. Set on the Lower East Side, the 1927 film tells the story of a jazz crooner forced to choose between his immigrant Jewish heritage and becoming a Broadway star. Though historically significant for its integration of synchronized sound, it is mostly remembered for its controversial use of blackface. Gelb and Luckett’s musical rendering, featuring a different guest jazz musician each night, offers a contemporary take on this distinctly American story, one that interrogates appropriation, assimilation, atonement, and whether escape from the specter of blackface is possible.

Run Time

1hr 30min (no intermission)

Start Date

End Date



Abrons Arts Center Playhouse

466 Grand Street, New York, NY 10002

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