‘Slippin’ Through the Cracks’: The Blues Journey of Bobby Rush

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Bobby Rush sits in with part of the cast at the end of the Saturday night performance of “Slipping Through the Cracks.”

“Slippin Through the Cracks” is the first time a musical has been developed depicting the life and times of Grammy Award winning funky Bluesman Bobby Rush.

Author/Director, Stephen Helper, and Music Director, Vasti Jackson, respectively, brought the stage biopic of Bobby Rush to the world at the New Stage Theatre via a Reading Workshop. Helper scripted the story that was told to him by Bobby Rush, and Jackson arranged and laid down the music to bring the script to life. Jackson has been the musical architect behind the signature Bobby Rush sound from the early days of the 1950s that has become known to the world. And Tiffany Anderson choreographed the dance steps to the Bobby Rush songs that aligned with the life-scenes of “The Blues Journey of Bobby Rush.”

 A very special, select, and appreciative group of invited guests and Bobby Rush fans had the privilege of attending a reading of the new play with dedicated music from the man’s considerable repertoire on Saturday, June 25, 2022 (7:00 p.m.) and Sunday, June 26, 2022 (1:30 p.m.) inside the intimate seating of Jackson’s premiere neighborhood theatre, New Stage. 

The cast of local talent read the script with cinematic bravado that one would expect from Broadway stars. Mark Henderson portrayed one of the lead roles as Bobby Rush’s father, Emmett Ellis Sr., and he had the crowd standing on their feet. Several of the cast members sang songs that the audience chimed in to sing-a-long to because they were so familiar with the lyrics of Bobby Rush hits. The dance scenes were also just as well-known to the audience and as much chair dancing as could be was observed.

The reading of the play received rave reviews and accolades along with a standing ovation during several scenes and at the end of each act that climaxed with the final curtain. 

Artistic Director, Francine Reynolds, welcomed everyone to the reading workshop and informed the audience that New Stage wishes to put the show into full production with the help of donors and financial sponsors in the near future. 

Visit www.newstagetheatre.com and/or call 601-948-3533 to inquire about upcoming shows, memberships, and ticket packages.

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‘Slippin’ Through the Cracks’: The Blues Journey of Bobby Rush

By Brinda Fuller Willis
July 10, 2022