“Dinah Was” by Oliver Goldstick

Dinah Was
by Oliver Goldstick
Length: 1 hr and 43 mins
Published January 1st 2003 by LA Theatre Works

Whenever I listen to an audiobook that is a biography or autobiography of a musician I always end up getting perturbed when they talk about a song or the writing of a song and I cannot hear that song immediately. I think audiobooks in particular should at least have a clip of that song in the audio recording. But it rarely happens, and thus I have to stop where I am in the story and seek out that song. It helps the story to make sense. I once read a book about Bruce Springsteen’s music with my phone and a blue tooth speaker handy just so I could hear each song being discussed. It was pure heaven.

That being said, you don’t have to worry about this audio production of the play, “Dinah Was” by Oliver Goldstick. First of all it’s another L.A. Theatre Works production so the production and acting is all superb. The role of Dinah Washington in this production is played by Yvette Freeman. Ms. Freemen does an awesome job singing the songs and all in the right place, in otherwords where I would normally have to stop and go find the song.

So now you just have to sit back and listen to a beautiful performance about the life of “The Queen of the Blues,” Dinah Washington. I love the scene in the opening of the play where she is booked to play a Las Vegas hotel but being black she is not allowed into the hotel proper. I hate that our society was once that bad, I would like to say we are getting better and from then to now improvements have been made in our society, but we still need work.

This play condenses the short life of Dinah Washington and her influence on the music biz. If nothing else the music is delicious. Go and consume this production from LATW, it will be worth it.

Publisher’s Summary
In a white fur coat, ‘The Queen of the Blues’ sits on her luggage outside a Las Vegas hotel. It’s 1959—the legendary star can’t enter the hotel without a white escort. So Dinah Washington, in her inimitable style, takes a long pull from her flask and starts kicking up a fuss. Yvette Freeman reprises her OBIE Award-winning performance in this passionate play by Oliver Goldstick that reminds us “What a Difference a Day Makes”. Features songs made famous by Dinah Washington and performed in the play by Yvette Freeman.
Original orchestrations and arrangements by Jason Robert Brown; performed by Lanny Hartley on piano, Leroy Ball on bass, and Washington Rucker on drums.
Includes a conversation with playwright Oliver Goldstick.
Recorded before a live audience at the Skirball Cultural Center, Los Angeles in May of 2002.
Directed by Gordon Hunt
Paul Eiding as Spinelli/Sam Greenblatt
Yvette Freeman as Dinah Washington
Adriane Lenox as Maye/Mama Jones/Violet
Bud Leslie as Frick/Rollie
Darryl Reed as Boss/Chase Adams/DJ