But Never Jam Today

The Broadway production of “But Never Jam Today” opened at the Longacre Theater in New York on January 31, 1979. It arrived two years after an Off-Broadway showcase production at the Urban Arts Theater had been praised by the drama critic of The New York Times, Walter Kerr. The show, conceived and directed by Vinnette Carroll, is based on “Alice In Wonderland” by Lewis Carroll. The all-black cast portrayed many of the characters in the famous children’s story—Alice, The Cheshire Cat, Humpty Dumpty, The Mad Hatter and the crazy Queen Of Hearts. An additional character, a renegade called Persona Non Grata, was created to guide Alice as she advances square by square to become the new queen. The title of the show is derived from one of the rules and regulations of Wonderland: “You can have jam yesterday and tomorrow, but never jam today.”

Bob Larimer wrote the lyrics, collaborated with Bert Keyes on the music and with Ms Carroll on the book. Among the show’s cast, Cleavant Derricks went on to earn a Tony nomination and Brenda Braxton is currently playing the role of Velma in “Chicago.”