If you’re looking for some great plays to see that feature a saxophone as a key instrument, then this article is for you! There are many wonderful plays out there that make use of the saxophone and its unique sound.
We’ve selected three best plays to check out if you love jazz and blues. These are the perfect ways to immerse yourself in classic American culture while getting educated on jazz and blues.
Saxophone in the Theater- 3 Great Plays to See
THE PIANO LESSON by August Wilson (1987)
One of the most popular plays you can’t miss featuring a saxophone is August Wilson’s The Piano Lesson, running a decade-and-a-half after his landmark masterpiece Fences.
Winner of several theater awards, this play follows ten years in the life of Pittsburgh furniture delivery man Huddie Ledbetter. In the course of his story, he meets up with different people who cross his life and leaves an indelible mark on them all.
The saxophone is used to great effect throughout this series, profoundly impacting everyone it encounters. For example, Huddie’s baby sister Nellie insists on selling her soul to the devil so that she may live forever with her sickly six-year-old brother Sam.
When Huddie strikes up a friendship with a street musician named Toussaint, there’s almost no chance he could resist being corrupted by Toussaint’s music. The piano lesson soon becomes an exercise in soul possession.
A RAISIN IN THE SUN, by Lorrainw Hansberry (1959)
Another fantastic Broadway play that features jazz musicians is A Raisin in the Sun from 1959. Set in Chicago, this play tells the story of a family struggling to make ends meet. Upon his father’s death, Walter Lee Younger moves into his mother’s house and struggles to bring up his siblings.
Walter’s sister Lena and her children share a difficult life in the ghetto where they live. The two sisters and their two sons do not get along with each other at all.
As such, we are given an incredible narrative about how family ties can be so important when you’re living hand-to-mouth and finding yourself in dire financial straits. This play is mostly rehearsed and showcased in the best live theater Utah has got.
THE TEMPEST, by Willian Shakespeare
The Tempest may just be Shakespeare’s most famous play. Filmed in 1985 and 1992, this play is set on the Isle of Man and follows the story of Ferdinand (portrayed by Laurence Olivier), a prince from Spain who falls in love with Miranda (Judith Bruce).
Most saxophonists consider the Tempest to be one of his most successful musical works. It has been performed in various theaters across the globe, and Utah is no exception.
THE CRUCIBLE by Arthur Miller
The Crucible is a drama that occurs during the Salem witch trials in Massachusetts. It stars Daniel Day-Lewis, Winona Ryder, and John Travolta. The play was first staged in 1953, making it one of the oldest and longest-running shows on Broadway.
It was also one of the first drama plays to address social issues such as witch trials and paranoia that plagued America during this period (1947). This play has been performed since then, including staging at BYU Provo 11 times between 1993 and 2001.
There are so many great plays out there for you to enjoy. And some of them are specifically about music. Whether jazz or symphonic, these three modern plays will immerse you in the world of music.