Logo - Side ManSide Man
by Warren Leight

Feb. 21 - Mar. 15, 2003
Directed by Rhonda Clark

In jazz parlance, a side man is a paragon of dependability, a player for hire who can blend in or stand out, play backup or solo, according to what is required. Playwright Warren Leight shines the spotlight on this kind of musician in his award-winning  comedy-drama SIDE MAN which received its Oklahoma City debut at Carpenter Square Theatre.
SIDE MAN is a family story spanning 32 years, as well as a tribute to big band jazz. Leight describes his play as "autobiographical enough" and draws from his own childhood in Manhattan. His father, Donald Leight, now almost 80, was a trumpet player who worked with Woody Herman, Claude Thornhill, and other big bandleaders through the 1950s.

The son in Leight's play is Clifford Glimmer (named after jazz trumpet legend Clifford Brown) who at the play's start is visiting his parents one last time before moving west.
As Clifford sifts through his memories on the eve of his "clean break," the play moves freely back and forth through the years spanning 1953 to 1985. The memories are woven in layers - a layer of family struggles and a layer of America's cultural history when the big bands are soon to be drowned out by rock and roll.

Scenes from the Glimmer home are intercut with scenes from his father's world in jazz clubs. As the Glimmer's marriage unravels, we see their son Clifford become the peacemaker and parent for the family. In sharp contrast to their home life is the joy and camaraderie of Gene's "other family" - his fellow musicians who joke and jive and share a passion for their music.
"This is my favorite kind of play," says director Rhonda Clark. "A story that balances heartache and joy. Just as jazz encompasses melancholy blues and exuberant swing, SIDE MAN runs the spectrum of emotions. Also, it's an ensemble piece, where each character is an important facet of the story. No one's quite a villain and no one's quite a hero, but each is unique."

SIDE MAN garnered the 1999 Tony Award for Best Play and was a Pulitzer Prize finalist. Among several other awards and nominations, Warren Leight received Newsday's 1998 Oppy Award for Best New American Playwright.




Clifford Glimmer   John Brumley
Gene Glimmer   Steve Vann
Terry Glimmer   Sue Ellen Reiman
Jonesy   Russell Webster
Ziggy   James Tyra
Al   J. David Bliley
Patsy   Ginger Gilmartin-Smith


Sound Design
Set Design
  Rhonda Clark
Light Design &
Tech Director
  Steven Gillmore
Costumes   Corey Martin
Asst. Director & Sound Operator   Sara Phoenix
Stage Manager & Light Operator   Bob Cross
Set Construction   Steven Gillmore
Corey Martin
Shane Schnetzler
Bob Bates
John Brumley
Dean Gillmore
April Gillmore
Lighting Crew   John Brumley
Running Crew   Jennifer Coon
Ryanne Pemberton
Scenic Artists   Rhonda Clark
Corey Martin
Massage Therapist   Roger Oxford


Tom's Formalwear, Inc. - Horn Trader - Tommy's Italian-American Grill - Suzanne Charney - Chris Crane - Addie Veal - Mark Wegener - Terry Veal - Lance Garrett - Ellen Webster

Cast Sponsor: Chris Steves
Opening Night Party Sponsor: Suzanne Charney

This production is made possible with the assistance of the Oklahoma Arts Council, the National Endowment for the Arts and Allied Arts.

Produced by special arrangement with
Dramatists Play Service, Inc.


1999-2011, Carpenter Square Theatre.
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