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A musical entertainment, originally conceived and directed by Sheldon Epps.

Donmar Warehouse London
Previewed 9 June 1987
Opened 12 June 1987
Closed 19 July 1987

Donmar Warehouse London (Cast Recording)
25 and 26 August 1987

Piccadilly Theatre London
Previewed 23 September 1987
Opened 28 September 1987
Closed 23 July 1988

Billed as 'The Broadway Blues Musical', Blues in the Night is set in a seedy Chicago hotel in the '30's where three women tell a sizzling story of love and abandonment through the songs of Bessie Smith, Alberta Hunter, Duke Ellington, and other gaints of blues and jazz.

Maria left the cast early, probably in February 1988 to join The Musical Comedy Murders of 1940.

Maria on Blues in the Night

"I spent most of the rehearsal period retreating to my dressing-room and weeping. There I was from a background of classical music singing the blues with three black singers whose whole history was gospel and soul. It was in their blood. Hell, what was I doing there? I tried copying them - I tried the scatting, the improvising. Big mistake. Then it finally dawned. Look, I'm a white English girl singing American music. I can only make it musical and heartfelt..." So there she was, the first preview, nervous as hell, but heartfelt, when this voice from the gallery yells, "Sing, ya bitch!" Back to the dressing-room. More tears. More self-recriminations. But at the interval, co-star Carol Woods is banging on her door: "Way to go, girl!" Apparently, "Sing, ya hitch" is right up there with "Diva" or "You're bad" in the compliment stakes. So Maria Friedman was bad, really bad. And that was good. "I'd learnt a valuable lesson: you can only tap into what you have to say, what you've got to offer. I needed to go far enough down the wrong road to bring me very swiftly to the right one." [read full interview]

Cast (Donmar Warehouse)
Woman of the WorldDEBBY BISHOP
Girl with a DateMARIA FRIEDMAN
Man in the SaloonCLARKE PETERS
Lady from the RoadCAROL WOODS
The Quartet (Band) 
Musical Director/ KeyboardsNEIL McARTHUR
SaxophoneTONY COE

Cast (Piccadilly Theatre)
Woman of the WorldDEBBY BISHOP
Girl with a DateMARIA FRIEDMAN
Man in the SaloonPETER STRAKER
Lady from the RoadCAROL WOODS
The Sextet (Band) 
Musical Director/ KeyboardsNEIL McARTHUR
Saxaphone/ ClarinetPETE HURT

During the run HELEN GELEZER took over the role of 'Woman of the World'. Maria left the cast [date?] during the run at the Piccadilly Theatre

Production Team

Musical Numbers
Blue BluesThe Company
Four Walls (And One Dirty Window) BluesThe Man and The Lady
I've Got A Date With A DreamThe Woman and the Girl
New Orleans Hop Scop Blues #The Lady
Stompin' At The SavoyThe Woman
Taking A Chance On LoveThe Girl
It Make My Love Come DownThe Company
Lush Life #The Woman
I'm Just A Lucky So-and-soThe Man
Take Me For A Buggy RideThe Lady
Wild Women Don't Have The BluesThe Man
Lover ManThe Lady
Willow Weep For MeThe Girl
Kitchen Man #The Lady
When Your Lover Has Gone #The Woman and The Girl
Everything But You #The Woman
Take It Right BackThe Company
Jam Session( Wild Women Don't Have The Blues) #The Band
Blues In The NightThe Company
Dirty No-gooder's Blues #The Lady
When A Woman Loves A Man/ Am I Blue? #The Company
Rough And Ready ManThe Woman
Reckless BluesThe Girl
Wasted Life BluesThe Lady
Baby DollThe Man
Nobody Knows You When You're Down and OutThe Company
I Gotta Right To Sing The BluesThe Company
Four Walls (Reprise)The Company
# not on cast recording


In October 1987 a benefit performance of Blues in the Night was staged in memory of the actor Geoffrey Burridge.

Quotes From The Press

"...Providing welcome relief from the blues are some mainstream standards, well-sung (generally) by Debby Bishop and Maria Friedman (one of the West End's most promising musical actresses) as two women whose men done them wrong..." Mark Steyn, The Independent (15 June 1987)

"...Maria Friedman proves to be a sturdy exponent of the 'can belto' method which serves this music well..." Charles Spencer, The Daily Telegraph (16 June 1987)

"...The lyrics, and the talents of the singers, make this one of the most watchable musicals now running in London" Lester Middlehurst, Today (19 June 1987)

"...But for me the great discovery of the event is Maria Friedman, a misty-eyed, misty blonde who exuldes a faintly soiled innocence that is irresistible and matches it to a voice that is thrillingly versatile whether crooning hurt or belting defiance. Were I a producers I would be at Miss Friedman's door this very morning offering her all the roles I might have earmarked for Sarah Brightman, Elaine Paige and the rest." Jack Tinker, The Daily Mail (30 September 1987)

Cast Recording

Recorded live at the Donmar Warehouse
25 and 26 August 1987

The cast recording recording was recorded before an invited audience at the Donmar Warehouse and featured the Donmar Warehouse cast while the band comprised the Piccadilly Theatre's Sextet with the exception of Bass which was played on the recording by MICK HUTTON from the Donmar Warehouse band.

The Recording Engineer was JOHN TIMPERLEY (Mobile Facility), it was mixed at ANGEL STUDIOS ISLINGTON and the Producer was JOHN CRAIG.


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