The Making of Jelly's Last Jam
In November 1992, SDC Foundation hosted a conversation with the creative team behind Jelly's Last Jam on Broadway: George C. Wolfe (book and direction), Hope Clarke (choreography), Susan Birkenhead (lyrics), Luther Henderson (music arrangement and additional music), Robin Wagman (set design) and Jules Fischer (lighting design) to discuss their creative process. They discuss the journey from workshops and a production at the Mark Taper Forum to the addition of Wagman, Fischer and Gregory Hines on its way to Broadway, and how each of the design elements and the addition of tap choreography helped to shape the show and discover the heart of the piece. George Wolfe and Luther Henderson talk about working with Jelly Roll Morton's music and manipulating it in order to create a piece that was about Jelly's personality and story as much as it was about what he created. Listen to this conversation for a fascinating discussion of the nature of collaboration at the heart of this production, and a sneak peek into the creation of an original Broadway show.