theadanews.com - Ada, Oklahoma

October 24, 2012

'Route 66: Finding Nat King Cole' comes to East Central University


The Ada News

Ada — Experience an “Unforgettable” performance by film and stage actor Jeff Obafemi Carr as he performs his one-man show “Route 66: Finding Nat King Cole” at East Central University’s Hallie Brown Ford Fine Arts Center at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 2. Tickets are $18 and may be purchased online at tickets.ecok.edu or at the box office the night of the show.

“Route 66: Finding Nat King Cole” is a phenomenal one-man show that takes the audience backstage to the dressing room of the actor tasked with bringing to life the music and memory of the great Nat King Cole, while struggling to maintain his own distinctive voice. The audience is taken on a remarkable journey filled with humor, sentimentality, and yes, the songs of the “greatest generation.”

Full of storytelling, Carr reveals little-known details about the life of Cole while singing some of his greatest hits, including “When I Fall in Love,” “Straighten Up and Fly Right,” “Smile” and “Unforgettable,” to name a few.

The performer tells of how his own father’s love of Cole’s music rubbed off on him. He recounts Cole’s youth, during which he spent much time daydreaming about making music. And he touches on Cole’s struggles against racial prejudice.

Carr is an award-winning playwright, actor, director and producer who, as a young man, was expelled two weeks before high school graduation and sent to a juvenile detention center for a vandalism prank. While in the detention center, he decided this wasn’t the way he wanted to live his life and upon release, he worked hard to finish high school. Carr was accepted into Tennessee State University, where he made his mark as a campus leader, activist and scholar. He graduated cum laude from TSU with a degree in speech communication and theatre.

Carr has been a newspaper publisher, radio talk show host, writer and actor, having appeared in more than 30 professional stage productions nationwide.  He co-starred in the 2006 feature film The Second Chance with recording artist Michael W. Smith, and he appears in the forthcoming Steve Taylor film Blue Like Jazz. He also is the founding artistic director of the Amun Ra Theatre, a not-for-profit, professional theatre company in Nashville dedicated to exposing the world to African-American culture. A licensed minister, Carr holds a doctor of arts degree in divinity and spirituality.

For more information about the performance, contact the Hallie Brown Ford Fine Arts Center Box Office, 580-559-5751 or visit tickets.ecok.edu. This event is sponsored in part by the Oklahoma Arts Council, the ECU Foundation Inc., the East Central Credit Union, Citizens Bank, the ECU Bookstore, Blue Moon Café, Valley View Regional Hospital and Bob’s BBQ.