The Nearness of Ella

"'S Wonderful," the George Gershwin tune often sung by Ella Fitzgerald, could be sung in tribute to her fans. "'S wonderful, 's marvelous, that you should care for me." Fans did care and do care. And now there's an entire musical devoted to the life and times of the sultry songstress, who, because of her 57-year career success is often referred to as the First Lady of Song. Half biography, half concert, Ella chronicles Fitzgerald's debut at Harlem's classic Apollo Theater at age 16, and follows her career, which included collaborations with Louis Armstrong and Count Basie. Those collaborations, along with her classic interpretations of the songs of George and Ira Gershwin and Cole Porter, earned her 13 Grammy Awards and a place in music history. The play serves as a biography and also a live anthology of many of Ella's greatest hits, including "That Old Black Magic," "They Can't Take That Away from Me," "Blue Skies" and "The Nearness of You." The curtain rises on Ella at 7:30 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays, 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 2 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays, through February 17 at the Kalita Humphreys Theater, 3636 Turtle Creek Blvd. Tickets are $16 to $60. Call 214-522-8499 or visit
Tuesdays-Thursdays, 7:30 p.m.; Fridays, Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Saturdays, Sundays, 2 p.m.; Sun., Feb. 24, 7:30 p.m. Starts: Jan. 23. Continues through Feb. 24, 2008

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