New York, NY (Top40 Charts)
has partnered with Mills Entertainment, the leading producer of alternative and branded live entertainment, to produce DEATH OF A KING: A LIVE THEATRICAL EXPERIENCE a multi-media stage presentation of Smiley's best-selling book, Death of A King: The Real Story of Dr. Martin
Luther King Jr.'s Final Year commemorating the upcoming 50th anniversary of his death.
serving as narrator and original compositions performed by the genius of the modern piano, jazz pianist Marcus Roberts, this joyful tribute tells the little-known story of King's final year. Against all the odds and with his popularity in deep decline, King summoned the courage, conviction, commitment and character, to bring a message of peace, equality and justice to a bitterly divided nation.
This widely-anticipated tour will launch on Dr. King's birthday, January 15, 2018, and continue through the anniversary of his death, April 4. This stage presentation brings together elements of visual imagery and live music with eloquent prose, declaring the truth of the impact that one man's integrity and strong faith in humanity had on the American people, and people across the globe- a truth as timely today as it was 50 years ago.
"I'm excited to partner with Mills on such an important and timely project," said Smiley. "In our current political climate, DEATH OF A KING represents a narrative shift that's not just about the normal discussion of left versus right and conservative versus liberal, but really a reset of our deepest values. Dr. King said in 1968 we needed a revolution of values, and 50 years later, DEATH OF A KING aims to reunite America
with its best self."
"Tavis' performance is a true tour-de-force, radiating unmatched energy andcommitment to social change through the monumental story of Dr. King. Tavis represents the best possible narrator for this essential piece oftheatre," said Michael Mills, CEO of Mills Entertainment. "Mills is privileged to work with Tavis in bringing the final and untold year of Dr. King to audiences across the country at this pivotal moment in Americanhistory."
The tour, sponsored by Walmart, will make stops in 40 cities across the country, including Chicago, New York, Atlanta, and Memphis. A full tour schedule will be announced in November.
The book Death of A King is a New York Times best-seller and is being developed as a television event series with Emmy Award-winner J.J. Abrams and Smiley
executive producing, in partnership with Warner Bros. Television. Smiley's PBS late-night talk show, Tavis Smiley, is currently in its 14th successful season.
About Tavis Smiley
is currently host of the late night television show Tavis Smiley
on PBS its 14th season, as well as "The Tavis Smiley
Show" from Public Radio
International. He is the author or co-author of 21 books, and his non-profit Tavis Smiley
Foundation is now in the midst of a $3 million four-year campaign called "Ending Poverty: America's Silent Spaces" to help focus on alleviating endemic poverty in America. TIME magazine named Smileyto the TIME 100, a list of "The World's 100 Most Influential People."
About Marcus Roberts
Marcus Roberts is a brilliant composer and jazz pianist whose career was featured on a segment of the celebrated CBS News television show 60 Minutes ("The Virtuoso") in 2014. Roberts is perhaps best known for his work integrating jazz and classical music styles through his ground-breaking arrangements of Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue and other orchestral works. He has received numerous prizes and awards, including commissioning awards from major symphony orchestras as well as from Jazz at Lincoln Center, Chamber MusicAmerica, and ASCAP, and also received the Helen Keller Award for Personal Achievement. His many recordings include solo piano, duets, and trio arrangements of jazz standards, original suites of music, large ensemble works,and symphony orchestra recordings on CD and DVD. Roberts has been on theforefront, fighting for the development and use of technology solutions for blind musicians. Roberts is Associate Artistic Director
of the Savannah Music
Festival and an associate professor of music at Florida State
University. He holds an honorary Doctor of Music
degree from The Juilliard School.