Hugh Laurie Makes House Call at Florida Theatre This Week

The English actor best known as the star of FOX’s hit show House turned blues musician will stop in Jacksonville for a performance at the Florida Theatre for one night only on Saturday, November 2, 2013 in support of his second album, Didn’t It Rain. Tickets, on sale now at the Florida Theatre, range from $78.50 to $43 and are available in person at the Florida Theatre Box Office, by calling 904-355-ARTS, or through any Ticketmaster outlet.
Didn’t It Rain, Laurie’s second studio album and follow-up to 2011’s Let The Talk, was released earlier this year. Like its predecessor, the album contains several blues songs but unlike the previous album, branches into the genres of jazz and R&B, among others. Laurie once again sings and plays piano and guitar, with the Copper Bottom Band playing additional instruments.
“Music is the greatest exercise I have,” he says in a mild, British voice, far removed from the American accent he used for eight seasons on Fox’s House. “It is just the greatest thing to stand out there in front of 1,000 or 5,000 people and deal with them in such a different way than you do acting.”
Laurie will be showing off that aspect of his multisided career November 2nd at the historic Florida Theatre in Jacksonville. He is touring in support of his second album, Didn’t It Rain, and Laurie says the show has matured steadily in its 100 stops.
Even at the beginning of the tour, the London Times said: “Close your eyes and you could be in a club in New Orleans.” Another newspaper there, The Upcoming, added: “Hugh Laurie is charming, charismatic and wildly entertaining.”
Laurie says performing musically is important because “music is the most all-consuming thing for most people. People get home from a day at work and they put on some music. They don’t go to their Shakespeare and decide to take a look at
Life in a musical setting is a definite change for Laurie, 54, a Brit who has made a name for himself in many ways on TV and in theaters. Besides his eight-year run as the grumpy, cane-carrying doctor, he has done guest roles on Friends, The Simpsons, and Family Guy. In England, he starred in two popular comedies – Black Adder, in which he played a variety of roles, and Jeeves and Wooster, based on the P.G. Wodehouse books about wealthy but lazy Bertie Wooster (Laurie) and his butler Jeeves (Stephen Fry).
But singing is something completely different, he says. In acting, the performer is telling a story by playing a role – by being something that is not real. In music, a singer tries to tell a story or convey an idea by being as real as he or she can be.
“Singing is not trying to be someone else,” he says. “How many people can you think of who failed trying to be Hank Williams or Robert Johnson?”
Laurie says he is trying to be as real as he can be in singing blues rooted in New Orleans and the American South. He says he was hooked the first time he heard that music.
“I was riding in a car with my family and it came on the radio – I think it was a Willie Dixon song – and I sat bolt upright and thought, ‘That’s the greatest stuff in the world.'”
Of the inspiration for his new album, Laurie says, “I have resolved to forge on, deeper into the forest of American music that has enchanted me since I was a small boy.” “And the further I go, the more bewitched I become – both by the songs and by the people I have been lucky enough to play them with.”
Laurie is performing with the Copper Bottom Band, which has David Piltch on bass, Vincent Henry on horns, Elizabeth Lea on trombone, Jean McClain and Gaby Moreno with backup vocals, Herman Matthews on drums and Mark Goldenberg on guitars.
Fans can see Laurie perform at the Florida Theatre in Jacksonville on November 2, 2013. Tickets, on sale now at the Florida Theatre, range from $78.50 to $43 and are available in person at the Florida Theatre Box Office, by calling 904-355-ARTS, or through any Ticketmaster outlet ( The Florida Theatre is handicapped accessible and has secure and convenient parking. For further information please visit