Janie’s Song, The Musical (2006) · 45 min (15 tracks)

A musical based on the New York Drama Critic’s Circle Award-winning play The Taking of Miss Janie by Ed Bullins; book and lyrics by Ed Bullins and Anthony De Ritis; music by Anthony De Ritis and Jude Gold

flute, trumpet, trombone, percussion, drum set, electric guitar, electric bass, piano; 9 vocalists/actors

Program Note

Time magazine called The Taking of Miss Janie, the New York Drama Critic’s Circle Award-winning play by Ed Bullins, a “hot, sly, funny, sexy, drunken montage of black-white confrontation.” Set during the Civil Rights era, the 1975 play centered on the relationship between a black revolutionary man and a liberal white woman. Bullins, one of the most powerful black voices in contemporary American theater, has now turned his play into a musical, with music by Anthony De Ritis and Jude Gold. The world premiere of the show featured a pit band anchored by Gold and a nine-member professional cast from Boston and New York.

Janie’s Song is a musical metaphor for social struggle, sexuality, race conflict, and generational transition, cast in motion by a group of political idealists who rap and remix America’s past and future; produced by Northeastern University’s Center for the Arts and directed by Del Lewis, and featured Kelly Sullivan as Janie, Sean Phillips as Monty, Keili Turner as Flossy, Tom Sawyer as Lonnie Montez Cardwell as Rick, Kaimy Masse as Peggy, Kishan Redding as Len, Ben Wiggins as Mort, and Amanda Good Hennessey as Sharon. February 24 & 25, 2006. Blackman Theatre, Northeastern University.

Janie’s Song was presented in a concert arrangement at New York City’s Serial Underground at the Cornelia Street Cafe, hosted by Demetrius Spaneas, February 11, 2013; featuring Bill Lowe, musical director, trombone; Warren Smith, percussion; Freddie Bryant, guitar; Ron Mahdi, bass; Kevin Harris, piano; Ron Murphy, vocals; Jerry Sabatini, trumpet; Demetrius Spaneas, reeds; Amy Crawford, vocalist.


Foster, Catherine. (2006, February 24). “He gives ‘Miss Janie’ new life — as a musical.” The Boston Globe. [article]

Daniels, Susan. (2006, February 24). “‘Janie’ helps De Ritis step out of the box.” The Patriot Ledger. [article] 

Campbell, Karen. (2006, February 23). “Theater Picks.” The Boston Globe. [preview] 

Daniels, Susan. (2006, February 23). “The range of ‘Janie’s Song’.” The Jewish Advocate. [article] 


Janie’s Song [postcard]

Janie’s Song, [poster]