Tavis Smiley and Mills Entertainment partner to present a multi-media live theatrical presentation honoring the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s death.

Kicking-Off Nationwide January 2018,

Smiley and Renowned Jazz Musician, Marcus Roberts,
Will Bring the Untold Story of Dr. King’s Final Year to the Stage, Shedding New Light on This American Hero

LOS ANGELES (August 31, 2017) – Tavis Smiley has partnered with Mills Entertainment, the leading producer of alternative and branded live entertainment, to produce DEATH OF A KING: A LIVE THEATRICAL EXPERIENCE a multi-media stage presentation of Smiley’s best-selling book, Death of A King: The Real Story of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Final Year commemorating the upcoming 50th anniversary of his death.

With Smiley serving as narrator and original compositions performed by the genius of the modern piano, jazz pianist Marcus Roberts, this joyful tribute tells the little-known story of King’s final year.  Against all the odds and with his popularity in deep decline, King summoned the courage, conviction, commitment and character, to bring a message of peace, equality and justice to a bitterly divided nation.

This widely-anticipated tour will launch on Dr. King’s birthday, January 15, 2018, and continue through the anniversary of his death, April 4. This stage presentation brings together elements of visual imagery and live music with eloquent prose, declaring the truth of the impact that one man’s integrity and strong faith in humanity had on the American people, and people across the globe– a truth as timely today as it was 50 years ago.

“I’m excited to partner with Mills on such an important and timely project,” said Smiley.  “In our current political climate, DEATH OF A KING represents a narrative shift that’s not just about the normal discussion of left versus right and conservative versus liberal, but really a reset of our deepest values. Dr. King said in 1968 we needed a revolution of values, and 50 years later, DEATH OF A KING aims to reunite America with its best self.”

“Tavis’ performance is a true tour-de-force, radiating unmatched energy and commitment to social change through the monumental story of Dr. King. Tavis represents the best possible narrator for this essential piece of theatre,” said Michael Mills, CEO of Mills Entertainment. “Mills is privileged to work with Tavis in bringing the final and untold year of Dr. King to audiences across the country at this pivotal moment in American history.

The tour, sponsored by Walmart, will make stops in 40 cities across the country, including Chicago, New York, Atlanta, and Memphis.  A full tour schedule will be announced in November.

The book Death of A King is a New York Times best-seller and is being developed as a television event series with Emmy Award-winner J.J. Abrams and Smiley executive producing, in partnership with Warner Bros. Television.  Smiley’s PBS late-night talk show, Tavis Smiley, is currently in its 14th successful season.

About Tavis Smiley

Tavis Smiley is currently host of the late night television show Tavis Smiley on PBS its 14th season, as well as “The Tavis Smiley Show” from Public Radio International.  He is the author or co-author of 21 books, and his non-profit Tavis Smiley Foundation is now in the midst of a $3 million four-year campaign called “Ending Poverty:  America’s Silent Spaces” to help focus on alleviating endemic poverty in America.  TIME magazine named Smiley to the TIME 100, a list of “The World’s 100 Most Influential People.”

About Marcus Roberts

Marcus Roberts is a brilliant composer and jazz pianist whose career was featured on a segment of the celebrated CBS News television show 60 Minutes (“The Virtuoso”) in 2014. Roberts is perhaps best known for his work integrating jazz and classical music styles through his ground-breaking arrangements of Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue and other orchestral works. He has received numerous prizes and awards, including commissioning awards from major symphony orchestras as well as from Jazz at Lincoln Center, Chamber Music America, and ASCAP, and also received the Helen Keller Award for Personal Achievement. His many recordings include solo piano, duets, and trio arrangements of jazz standards, original suites of music, large ensemble works, and symphony orchestra recordings on CD and DVD. Roberts has been on the forefront, fighting for the development and use of technology solutions for blind musicians.  Roberts is Associate Artistic Director of the Savannah Music Festival and an associate professor of music at Florida State University. He holds an honorary Doctor of Music degree from The Juilliard School.

About Mills Entertainment

Mills Entertainment collaborates with top networks, agencies, and licensors to create original, world-class live experiences. With full global distribution and partnerships worldwide, Mills Entertainment takes shows from concept to stage, serving as a complete solution in realizing the vision.  In April 2015, Creative Artists Agency (CAA) made an equity investment in Mills Entertainment.  Current projects include Theresa Caputo Live! The Experience, Mel Brooks: Back in the Saddle Again, Bring It! Live, #IMOMSOHARD, Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood Live!, and The Scott Brothers House Party. www.millsentertainment.com

###

Media Contact:

Deborah Mann, Mills Entertainment, deborah.mann@millsentertainment.com, 518.306.4333