See H. Jolson, Mistah Jolson (1951); M. Freedland, Jolson (1972).
Based on the life of legendary Al Jolson, it spans thirty years in the career of one of America's most popular entertainers. Out of the limelight, and the plot emphasizes his personal faults as much as it does his professional successes. Other major characters include wife Ruby Keeler and his longtime friend and agent Louis Epstein.
The West End production, directed by Bettinson, opened on October 26 1995 at the Victoria Palace Theatre, where it ran for seventeen months . The cast included Brian Conley as Jolson, Sally Ann Triplett as Keeler, and John Bennett as Epstein.
Under the auspices of the Laurence Olivier Awards, it won the American Express Award for Best New Musical. Olivier nominations went to Conley for Best Actor in a Musical and Bennett for Best Supporting Performance in a Musical .
An original cast album was recorded live during the performances of February 29, March 1, and March 2, 1996 and released by First Night Records .