POPS! is a fully staged, live theatrical play based on the life of Louis Armstrong, which fully integrates the music created and popularized by this extraordinary artist into his life story and legacy. Based on Armstrong’s extensive personal audio tapes, as well as interviews with Mr. Armstrong, and from those who knew and worked with him, POPS! will use Louis Armstrong’s own words to tell his story.
POPS! is about the man and his music, and how that music influenced the very sounds we hear today. Louis Armstrong revolutionized the way music is played, sung, and recorded. Without him, there would be no modern rock, rap, pop, soul, or jazz as we now know it. Perhaps more importantly, Louis Armstrong did more for race relations than any other artist or Civil Rights leader had accomplished up to that time by bringing all races of audiences together worldwide by virtue of his extraordinary musical gift and love for all people. Yet for everything that he gave to the world, there was a deeply personal price to be paid.
Written by Tom Langdon and Reno Wilson, and starring Reno Wilson as Louis Armstrong, POPS! will feature a live band re-creating the Louis Armstrong All-Star Band, and a top-notch cast of actors to present the life and music of the man who remains, unquestionably, the most beloved, honored, and influential musician of the 20th Century.