LIGHTS OUT: NAT “KING” COLE at the Geffen Playhouse

Photo by Jeff Lorch

Dany Margolies – The Daily Breeze

Is anything more fascinating than the mind of man?

From the 1930s through the ’60s, entertainer Nat “King” Cole seemed the epitome of gentlemanliness, clad and coiffed to perfection, his quiet croon a soothing voice in turbulent times.

But in “Lights Out: Nat ‘King’ Cole,” a West Coast–premiering play with music, at the Geffen through March 17, playwrights Colman Domingo and Patricia McGregor imagine the intense, fractured, bleak, violent, self-abasing thoughts clashing in Cole’s mind moments before the final broadcast of his groundbreaking variety show. Read more…

Margaret Gray – LA Times

YouTube clips from Nat King Cole’s short-lived TV variety show, which premiered in 1956, convey the singer’s legendary charm. Handsome, elegant, impeccably dressed and graceful, Cole looked at ease on camera. More than at ease: happy.
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Rob Stevens – Haines His Way

Nat “King” Cole once considered himself the “Jackie Robinson of Television” because he was the first African-American to host a television variety show. The show began as a 15-minute outing in November, 1956 on NBC. It began without a national sponsor because a fear by Madison Avenue of a backlash in the Deep South.
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Now running through March 24