Last year I posted an interview with Greg Machlin, who wrote a terrififc play called Seven Days: a Fantasia on the Life of Miles Davis. I had written about the play earlier when it was playing at the UI Theatre Building on the campus of Iowa University.
“Seven Days: a Fantasia on the Life of Miles Davis” follows a seven-day stint in 1954 during which Miles Davis returns to Illinois to try to kick his heroin addiction.
The narrative bounces between events leading up to his addiction and after he quits. While the events are as accurate as possible, the play is presented as ‘an imaginative examination of a musical genius.’
Machlin recently dropped me a line to let me know the play is getting a workshop production this Saturday and Sunday (April 30, May 1) at Studio Stage, in Hollywood.
The lead actress is Nina Daniels, who just had her film Pariah show at Sundance. The cast also includes Broadway actor Arnell Powell as Miles Davis, James Jolly, Annie McCain Engman and Maureen Chesus. Playing Charlie Parker is Ben Cainis who toured in Florida starring in “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.” Joe Luis is directing.
Machlin breaks down the story of the play:
January, 1954. Miles Davis, desperate to kick his heroin addiction, returns to his father’s farm to go cold turkey—or lose his career, and possibly his life. He’s battling his demons, but one demon in particular has come: The Bluesman, who’s determined to drive Davis to his death. She plays mean. And she plays to win.
Scenes from Davis’ life (past and future) play out as he and his only ally, the ghost of Charlie Parker, battle the Bluesman’s siren song of despair. We see all sides of the complicated Davis, and meet his friends, collaborators, and lovers. But to regain control, Davis must face the dark truth of the Bluesman alone.
So if you’re in Los Angeles and want to check out a terrific play this weekend – and even better if you love Miles Davis! – be sure to swing by and see “Seven Days: a Fantasia on the Life of Miles Davis.”
Show starts at 7 PM.
Seven Days: a Fantasia on the Life of Miles Davis
Studio Stage, 520 N Western Ave., (south of Melrose), Hollywood CA
Tickets are free, but a donation of $7 is suggested to help with fundraising efforts for a longer run later this year.