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Ray Charles Life Story To Hit The Stage

Late R&B legend Ray Charles’ life story has been turned into a new stage musical. The production, from the producers of biopic RAY, will premiere in Pasadena, California at the end of 2007 before embarking on a US tour. Directed by Sheldon Epps, the show, RAY CHARLES LIVE! A NEW MUSICAL, will feature the singer/songwriter’s greatest hits. The plot surrounds the late Charles as he reviews his life while working on a final live album, according to trade magazine Daily Variety. Producer Stuart Benjamin tells the publication he approached Charles with an idea to turn his life into a stage musical in the late 1980s and admits the new production will be hard-hitting and more personal than the Ray movie, which earned Jamie Foxx a Best Actor Oscar. The producer says, “We don’t shy away from things, the womanizing, the drug use. But the play focuses more on the music. It’s more personal.”

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