May 22 — June 24
On the Main Stage

By Charles Bevel, Lita Gaithers, Randal Myler, Ron Taylor and Dan Wheetman
Based on an original idea by Ron Taylor
Directed by Randal Myler
“A master class on the birth of the blues” —NJ Star Ledger

“Looking for a sure cure to the blues? Latch on to a ticket for It Ain’t Nothin’ But the Blues. More than a musical feast… it is a potent blend of visual eloquence and historical sweep that engages the eye and touches the heart, while its songs soothe the ear, occasionally work mischief on the funny bone and always raise the spirits.” —The New York Times

From African chants and Delta spirituals to the urban electricity of a Chicago nightclub, from dusty backroads bluegrass to the twang of a country juke joint, It Ain’t Nothin’ But the Blues is a stirring retrospective of blues classics that summons the soul of American music. Over two dozen musical numbers are included, among them “I’m Your Hoochie-Coochie Man,” “Goodnight, Irene,” “Fever,” “Walkin’ After Midnight,” “The Thrill Is Gone” and “Let the Good Times Roll.” It Ain’t Nothin’ But the Blues was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Musical, and has played to rave reviews all over the country. Through the music that is cherished as an original American art form, the standout group of musicians and singers on stage share a moving American story of troubles and triumph.

Performance times:
Tuesday - Sunday evenings at 7:30 p.m
Saturday and Sunday matinees at 2 p.m.
Thursday matinees at noon

A full list of performances and dates will appear when you enter the ticketing section of the website.

It Ain’t Nothin But the Blues runs approximately two hours and 15 minutes with one intermission.

View the cast and creative team bios

View the playbill for It Ain’t Nothin’ But the Blues

Learn more about accessibility options at PCS

Reviews and Features

Chris Bisgard | Broadsheet360 [Review 12 Jun 2012]

Maybe it’s due to the years I spent working behind the scenes, or maybe it’s because the immediacy of a live performance makes its flaws so much more glaring, but I don’t often walk away from a theatrical production feeling completely satisfied. So, believe me when I say that It Ain’t Nothin’ But the Blues, running through June 24 at Portland Center Stage, is not only satisfying—it’s one hell of a good time.

read more

Holly Johnson | The Oregonian [Review 12 Jun 2012]

It’s no secret. The blues can cheer you up, even after your heart has been wrenched from your chest.

In the newly opened musical revue at Portland Center Stage, “It Ain’t Nothin’ but the Blues,” the cherished American musical form is celebrated pull-out-all-the-stops style by six top-notch vocalists and five band members who appear to be plugged into an unlimited energy source. Although thin on narrative and rather in a hurry to squeeze nearly 40 songs into a two-hour evening, the show’s a solid crowd-pleaser because the performances are so strong and the songs are legendary.

read more

Join the conversation! We invite you to share your comments with us on our Facebook page.


Art for It Ain’t Nothin’ but the Blues View on Flickr »

Sugaray Rayford talks It Ain’t Nothin’ but the Blues with Oregon Music News. View on YouTube »

Sugaray Rayford performs Muddy Water’s “Hoochie Coochie Man.” View on Vimeo »

Trailer for It Ain’t Nothin’ but the Blues. View on Vimeo »

Resource Guide

Download resource guide (PDF)

Tweets (#pcs_blues)

There are no posts for #pcs_blues at this time.

Production blog

What’s Your Blues Name?

What’s Your Blues Name?

12 June 2012 & Posted by Kinsley Suer

Everyone loves a good nickname. Whether they’ll admit it or not, it’s nice to have a special term of endearment that’s reserved specifically for you. But what if no one has taken the time to give you the creative, bluesy moniker you know you deserve? We’d say it’s time to take matters into your own hands. Just take a peek at this blues name alphabet and plug in your initials. My blues name is Curly Bones Davis. What’s yours?


Under the Influence of the Blues

07 June 2012 & Posted by Kinsley Suer

It Ain’t Nothin’ But the Blues traces the history and progression of blues music, from Mississippi Delta blues to the electric blues style of post-war Chicago. But what came after? Almost every genre of popular music today has, in one way or another, been influenced by blues music. Jazz, rhythm & blues, gospel, country and rock ‘n’ roll (and all music that would later spawn from these genres) are just a few of the styles that owe much of their progression and style to blues music.


Meet the Cast of “It Ain’t Nothin’ But the Blues”

25 May 2012 & Posted by Kinsley Suer

Boy, can they sing! We’ve assembled an amazing ensemble of musicians and artists for our production of It Ain’t Nothin’ But the Blues - including some of the original cast members from the Broadway production! Can’t wait to see the show in person? Here are a few video clips of each of our cast members, to tide you over until you see them live on our Main Stage.


Keep In Touch

Sign up for the
PCS e–newsletter.