February 5 - February 28, 2016
By Willard Manus
Fri, Sat. 8pm
A World Premiere Play by award-winning playwright Willard Manus, Prez is an intimate portrait of Lester Young, a unique jazzman whose deceptively simple style–laid back, low key, relaxed yet earthy and swinging–-brought him fame, first with the Count Basie Orchestra, then with the likes of Nat 'King' Cole, Oscar Peterson, Teddy Wilson, and his best friend and alter ego, Billie Holiday. Born in the Jim Crow south to a showbiz family, Young was a non-conformist who fought against racism and intolerance all his life, climaxed by his battle against the segregated army in WW II, an experience that affected his attitude toward life but not his playing, which never lost its creative spirit–-the very spirit of jazz.
Lovell Estell III of StageRaw says "Jones does a good job of channelling Young."
Lyle Zimskind of LAist.com says "Jones' performance is affecting and engaging."