1937.  Milwaukee.  Lil Hardin Armstrong (Louis' second wife), pianist, singer, tapper, composer of 'Struttin' with Some Barbecue', 'Doin the Suzy Q', plays in the Bronzeville nightspots, and  comes up against the St Benedict the Moor Church and School (alumni include red Foxx, Lionel Hampton and Harold Washington, the first Black may of Chicago).  The struggle is for the artistic soul of one Calpurnia Ann Hampton, 11 year old tapper and trombone player.  Does she stay at St Bennie's and sing in the choir led by Sister Ignatius Loyola, a devotee of Buxtehude, or go to Chicago and live with Lil and hang on the South Side?

All Lil's music included.

O, yes, the 400 year old ghost of St. Benedict the Moor (the Andre De Shields role, which he read at New Dramatists in May 2014).


Lonnie Carter