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Come celebrate music by the king of soul music, Ray Charles this season. Producer Stuart Benjamin is collaborating with Sheldon Epps, Karen and Howard Baldwin to bring to the California Performing Arts Center, a Broadway presentation that represents the personal life and career of the legend. Audiences can view this forthcoming theatrical production by making their way to the Ray the Musical showcase, to relive the magic that was created by Ray Charles over a career span that lasted for more than five decades.
With a technical team that includes music supervisor Rahn Coleman, choreographer Kenneth L. Roberson, musical director Shelton Becton and orchestrator Harold Wheeler, the show will be led by the iconic singer, Brandon Victor Dixon. Nicknamed “Unchain My Heart”, this production has been inspired from the Pulitzer Prize winning feature film called “Ray” starring Jamie Foxx that was produced by Stuart Benjamin in 2004. Having worked with Charles for a time period of fifteen years, Benjamin and Charles developed a close relationship and created the masterpiece movie “Ray” that won two Academy Awards including the award for “Best Picture” out of the six nominations. The soundtrack of the motion picture bagged a Grammy Award in the same year and sold over four million records throughout America.
After the demise of his dear friend Ray Charles, Benjamin took the initiative of becoming an executive producer and director of the Ray Charles Tribute Concert held in 2004 in Los Angeles. It was then in 2007 that Benjamin created a tribute theatrical production that he named “Unchain My Heart… The Life and Music of Ray Charles”. Taking this production a notch forward, Benjamin is making his Broadway debut at the California Performing Arts Center in May and inviting you to attend this upcoming release. Reserve your seat amongst the crowd by buying Ray the Musical tickets as soon as you get the time.
Fans can expect this Broadway production to be marvelous as the award winning director; Benjamin has quite a few hit directions in his repertoire. The list includes movies such as “The Abduction”, “Intruders”, “Rooftops”, “La Bamba” and “Safe House”. Reinventing some of Charles’s most popular compositions such as “Unchain My Heart”, “America the Beautiful”, “Blackjack”, “Here We Go Again” and “You Don’t Know Me”, Benjamin will try to present on stage the political, charitable and business related endeavors foreseen by Charles.
Even though the inspiration for this Broadway act has been taken from the 2004 film, the intent and scope of this project is completely different from what was seen in the movie. Benjamin states that the upcoming event will disperse more warmth and personality of the artist as various stories and anecdotes will also be shared up-close with audiences that will develop a sense of proximity that is impossible to achieve otherwise, on screen. Furthermore the play will provide audiences with a more sanitized depiction of Charles’s life as most of the movie showed the artist struggling with infidelities and drugs addiction. Describing the love and respect he has for Charles, Benjamin also talks about how big a responsibility this production is for him since he was very close with the artist. Taking a time period of five years to perfect his previous theatrical tribute production, audiences can surely expect an unforgettable showcase.
One advantage the director has is the supply of ample material to work with as the name Ray Charles is never left out wherever good quality music is celebrated. Being inducted in countless Hall of Fames throughout the world, Charles has been able to cement his name in the hearts of jazz, soul, blues, rhythms, and gospel, country and R&B listeners. Blinded at the age of seven, this artist found relief in music and made it his one and only love of life. Releasing fifty five studio albums, seven live albums, twenty four compilation albums and an astounding amount of one hundred and twenty seven singles, Ray Charles redefines the meaning of the world legend.
Watch one of Charles’s dearest colleagues pay tribute by bringing to center stage, the Ray the Musical. Listen to some of the artist’s most sensational singles by buying Ray the Musical tickets today.
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