“Prez the Lester Young Story” is a solo play about the legendary jazz musician Lester Young.
“Prez,” a one-man show featuring live melodious excerpts of Prez’s saxophone solos are played on a glistening tenor sax. This show is a harmonious symphony of musicality and emotion.
Told from the perspective of a widely known interview by French photojournalist Francois Postif in Prez’s Paris hotel room, the interview was conducted less than two months before his death. Prez, with his famous porkpie hat, sipping Absinthe, sprinkling hipster language throughout the dialogue, is compelling.
I knew Lester Young to be an important jazz figure although not familiar with the impact of his music, its reach influence, nor his tribulations. Lester Young, whose music and life story is known to jazz aficionados was made clearer for me as a novice. I was hypnotically drawn into the story by dramatically moving dialogue and musical performances as his story unfolded.
The “Prez” story is a roller coaster of emotions, along with countless famous names of those with whom he performed. Throughout his life, Young struggled against imposed racism. Despite that, he was a successful musician who had played with legends to include; Count Basie, Nat King Cole, Oscar Peterson, Teddy Wilson, and his best friend, alter ego, and musical soul mate Billie Holiday, to name but a few. His style, soft and lyrical, was in opposition to the aggressive, hard-driving sounds of his era. Prodded to change his style, he stood his ground, playing his saxophone with sensitivity, soft and sweet.
Fans of Lester Young “Prez” and jazz buffs will absolutely, unequivocally love attending this one-man show. If you’re a novice, like me, you will enjoy this rare opportunity to experience some jazz excerpts and insight into the man behind the music.
Leslie Jones, actor/musician as Prez, gives us an magnificent opportunity to see his multiple talents in acting, performing on drums and, of course, playing a sexy sweet saxophone.
Prez was great! Attributed first and foremost to the performance of Leslie A. Porter, along with author Willard Manus, producers Tamra Pica and John Lant, and Alonzo Tavares with lighting.
Tickets are available for this run through April 29th Sundays at 2:00pm at this link Prez the Lester Young Story via Brown Paper Tickets.