The First Lady of Song? How about Empress of All That Swings? Ella Fitzgerald comes to life again in the voice and scat-itude of Chicago actress E. Faye Butler. The glitzy production of the bio-musical, which arrives here from a sold-out run at Chi-towns Northlight Theatre, is stacked with jazzy tuneslots of Cole Porter and the Gershwinsplayed by a hot combo (the trumpet player is a gas!) and sung by Butler, who can wail to the rafters like Miss Ella herself. The two-hour show is more concert than play, but the title character pauses between tunes to reminisce about her life and career, which were marked with personal tragedies. A sign that the Dallas Theater Center crowd digs this one: After the curtain call and encore, the preview night audience headed for the parking lot, singing, swingin and scattin away.
Full review at: First Ladies of Jazz Tuesdays-Thursdays, 7:30 p.m.; Fridays, Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Saturdays, Sundays, 2 p.m.; Sun., Feb. 24, 7:30 p.m. Starts: Feb. 7. Continues through Feb. 24, 2008