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Hershey Felder to present Louis Prima-Keely Smith revue at Chicago’s Royal George Theatre

Hershey Felder, the writer/actor/pianist/producer behind such critically acclaimed musical stage productions as “George Gershwin Alone,” “Monsieur Chopin,” “Beethoven, As I Knew Him” and “Maestro: Leonard Bernstein,” will be presenting Taylor Hackford’s “Louis & Keely ‘Live’ at the Sahara” beginning March 27, 2015, at the Royal George Theatre.

Based on the live musical performances of Louis Prima and Keely Smith, the husband-and-wife team of powerhouse jazz/pop singers who were among the hottest and most successful entertainers of the 1950s and ’60s, “Live’ at the Sahara” is a throwback to the showrooms of Las Vegas during the Golden Age of nightclubs.

Co-written by Hackford (who also directs, and is known for his feature film work including “An Officer and a Gentleman,” “Ray” and “Against All Odds”), Vanessa Stewart and Jake Broder — the show features such Prima-Smith hits as “That Ol’ Black Magic,” “What Is This Thing Called Love,” “Night Train” and “Hey Boy, Hey Girl,” among others.

Prima’s career spanned more than five decades, beginning as a New Orleans-style jazz artist in 1920s New York, to feature films in the 1940s and ’50s, to his big band years when his career was reignited via his partnership (and marriage) to singer Smith. The couple’s two-week gig in 1954 at the Sahara Hotel in Las Vegas kickstarted one of the most beloved and celebrated musical acts of the era.

An accomplished jazz-pop singer, Smith was the “straight guy” to Prima’s comedic turns during their stage performances. She also enjoyed a solo career following the couple’s divorce in 1961 after an eight-year marriage.

Tickets, $65, will go on sale Dec. 30, at the Royal George box office, 1641 N. Halsted, by phone at (312) 988-9000 or online at