Ballad of Billy Lee (Encore Presentation)
Henry Brown, distinguished stage, film and television actor, will perform and sing the role of Billy Lee in an Encore Presenation of "The Ballad of Billy Lee," on November 18 at 3 pm. The one-man show, written by Len Lamensdorf and directed by Asa Olsson, is the story of Billy Lee, an African-American slave who served as George Washington's valet and was, in fact, President Washington's closest companion in war and peace.
Billy Lee was an African-American slave who served as George Washington's valet, but was, in fact, his closest companion in war and peace. Eighteen years younger than Washington, Billy Lee was a superb horseman, a bold soldier and literate aide. He was at Washington's side when he crossed the Delaware, his companion through the miseries of Valley Forge (where Billy met the love of his life), the struggles at Boston, New York and Yorktown. He galloped at the general's side in battle after battle: a slave armed with two pistols, a carbine and a spyglass. He was personally responsible for Washington's private papers at the Continental Congress and the Constitutional Convention.
Billy Lee was also with Washington every day at Mount Vernon, riding his properties regardless of weather. He was freed at Washington's death, and was the only slave individually named in Washington's will. Lee's unflinching courage and unswerving loyalty had a powerful impact on Washington, helping greatly to change Washington's view of slavery over the years, and contributing to his eventual condemnation of it as a crime against man and God.
In "The Ballad of Billy Lee," he tells his own story in words and the familiar songs of the era (Yankee Doodle, Michael Row the Boat Ashore, numerous spirituals, etc.) plus several new songs written specifically for this show by Len Lamensdorf. As one lyric says, "A hero for the ages but forgotten by the sages." In this production we are giving Billy Lee the honor and admiration he so bravely earned.
This special Encore Presentation of "The Ballad of Billy Lee" will be held on Sunday, November 18 at 3 pm. Tickets are $20 and available online, at the Curious Cup Bookstore, 929 Linden Ave., and at the theater box office the day of the performance.
About Henry Brown
A long time Santa Barbara resident, Henry Brown works in T.V., film, and theatre. He has been featured in such television series as; M.A.S.H., Bay Watch, Pickett Fences, Chicago Hope, Saved By the Bell and Star Trek: Voyager. T.V. Movies include, "Friendly Fire" and Oprah Winfrey's production of "Their Eyes Were Watching God." Big screen credits include, "The Man in the Glass Booth" directed by Arthur Hiller. "Lethal Weapon", 1, & 3, directed by Richard Donner. His independent films include; "George B.", "Heavens Fall" and "Not Easily Broken". Most recently he stars as the title character in the award winning "Indie" feature "Everyday Black Man."
In addition to co-starring in the Perry Lang helmed web series "Blue Belle," Henry just recently made his directorial debut with the well-received music video "Nothing Sacred" by Mr. Way. Henry has appeared in numerous stage productions. Locally, in addition to having a substantial history with Speaking of Stories he has performed in; "A Lesson of Aloes" at Ensemble Theatre, "The Peabody Duck" at UCSB, "Bug" at Center Stage Theatre. In Los Angeles he was Kofi Anan in
the Mark Taper forum production of David Hare's "Stuff Happens."
About Lens Lamensdorf
Len Lamensdorf is an award-winning author of eight novels, three full-length plays, and one motion picture. A three-time Silberman Memorial Scholar and an honors graduate of the University of Chicago, Len studied playwriting at UCLA with Theatre Arts Department Chairman Kenneth Macgowan, founder of the world-famous Provincetown Players and the original producer of the plays of Eugene O'Neill. Lamensdorf also received his J.D. degree from the University of Chicago Law School, where he was Associate Editor/Managing Editor of the University of Chicago Law Review, and completed his post-graduate work at Harvard Law School. Len's career in law and business spanned more than 30 years and he draws on his extensive travel experiences on five continents to create realistic settings for his work.
Plaza Playhouse Theater (View)
4916 Carpinteria Avenue
Carpinteria, CA 93013
|Kid Friendly: Yes!|
|Dog Friendly: No|
|Wheelchair Accessible: Yes!|