Blues in the Night is a musical revue conceived by Sheldon Epps.
Set in a rundown Chicago hotel in 1938, the dialogue-free show focuses on three women's relationships with the same snake of a man, their interweaving stories told through the torch songs and blues of Duke Ellington, Bessie Smith, Johnny Mercer, Harold Arlen, Vernon Duke, Gordon Jenkins, and Alberta Hunter, among others.
It originally was staged by Epps and Gregory Hines under the supervision of Norman René at the off-Broadway Playhouse 46, where it ran for 51 performances between March 26 and May 11, 1980.
After thirteen previews, the Broadway production, directed by Epps, opened on June 2, 1982 at the Rialto Theatre, where it ran for 53 performances. Jean Du Shon, Debbie Shapiro, Leslie Uggams, and Charles Coleman comprised the cast. The show was nominated for the Tony Award for Best Musical.
The West End production, directed by Steve Whately, opened on June 9, 1987 at the Donmar Warehouse, where it ran for six weeks. Maria Friedman, Debby Bishop, Carol Woods, and Clarke Peters comprised the cast. With Peter Straker replacing Peters, it transferred to the Piccadilly Theatre, opening on September 23 and running for ten months .
The show was nominated for the Laurence Olivier Award for Musical of the Year and Woods received a nod for Outstanding Performance of the Year by an Actress in a Musical .
The London cast album was recorded live during the August 25-26 performances at the Donmar.