Crescent City Baby (staged reading)

A Jazz Odyssey

by Solon Snider

Crescent City Baby Poster

“Crescent City Baby” (a staged reading), Solon Snider’s senior thesis in Music and Theatre Studies, is the product of years of research and collaboration. Developed with guidance from Professor Joseph Roach through his seminar, “Literary New Orleans Performed,” it is a musical set in 1933 New Orleans and Chicago, at a time when many of New Orleans’ celebrated jazz musicians (such as King Oliver, Jelly Roll Morton, Louis Armstrong, Kid Ory, Sidney Bichet, and many more!) were moving to places like Chicago and New York. In New Orleans, a city of mixture—ideological, racial, cultural—a musician who played with Buddy Bolden (the quasi-mythic founder of jazz), his handyman, his forbidden ex-lover and their mixed-race daughter, the daughter’s own forbidden lover, and a communist stripper unite to create their own radio station, where they can play music together without constraint. In “Crescent City Baby,” we trace the Odyssey of American music out of New Orleans and into the minds and hearts of the world through a plot that mirrors Homer’s Odyssey. The 1933 Chicago World’s Fair becomes the site of Odysseus’ (Trent’s) adventures, while New Orleans comes to represent Ithaca, where Penelope, Trent’s forbidden lover, stays, leaving room for a suitor (Mara) to pursue her love. As we trace their adventures, we learn that you can’t take the jazz out of New Orleans, and you can’t take New Orleans out of jazz.

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Performance Dates & Times

April 18, 2018 - 8:30pm

April 20, 2018 - 6:30pm

April 21, 2018 - 2:00pm

April 21, 2018 - 8:00pm


Pauli Murray Lighten Theatre

Patron Information

Patrons should arrive at the theater 15 minutes before the performance to claim their reservation. At the scheduled performance time, patrons will be let in off of the waitlist based on when they signed up on the YDC website. Patrons with reservations arriving after this time will be treated as if they are at the top of the waitlist.


Willie "Fixit" Ashford
Trent "Ulysses" Hunter III
Penelope Lavelle
Mara Wilson
Walter "Daddy" Lavelle
Marie-Thérèse Thibodeaux
Cara Mia O'Flanagan

Production Team

Musical Director
Lighting Designer
Props Designer
Graphic Designer
Diction Coach
Music Composer