“Jelly’s Last Jam,” is a play about the life of Ferdinand Joseph LeMothe, otherwise known as Jelly Roll Morton. Morton thought of himself as the father of jazz music.The play begins with an introduction from “The Chimney Man,” who is supposed to bring Jelly Roll back into the past so that he could relive the darkest points of his life. Chimney Man does this to give Jelly Roll a chance to correct his wrongs.
Jelly Roll Morton, a jazz artist from Louisiana, was born into a Creole family. Yet, Morton doesn’t acknowledge that there is any black blood in him. This causes his family to disown him.His behavior eventually causes him to destroy his friendship with his lifelong buddy, Jack the Bear. Morton also ruins his relationship with his girlfriend, Anita. His arrogance also takes a toll on his career, when he realizes that nobody in New York, his dream industry, knows who he is. It is up to Jelly Roll Morton to fix his relationships and all of the hurt that he has caused loved ones. Will he be able to do it?
The main characters include: Jelly Roll Morton, played by Ted Louis Levy; Jack the Bear, played by Robert Diago DoQui; Gran Mimi, played by Mikhala Iverson; Anita, played by Idella Johnson; Chimney Man, played by Damien Moses; and Young Jelly, played by L.G. Williams II.
The play is showing at the Le Petit Theatre through February 12, Thursdays- Saturdays 7:30 p.m., and Sundays at 3 p.m. It cost $15 for Xavier students with a university I.D.