After Midnight, starring Fantasia and Dulé Hill (of “Psych”) is a new musical that celebrates Duke Ellington’s Cotton Club years and takes the sexy and smoky glamour of the Jazz Age and displays it through a contemporary lens. Produced by Scott Sanders and living jazz legend, Wynton Marsalis, After Midnight sets timeless jazz tunes against a narrative of Langston Hughes poetry, allowing the 25 vocalists and dancers and 16 hand-picked musicians(Jazz at Lincoln Center All-Stars) to conduct a live jam session from the past. And honestly, they steal the show! It’s one of the coolest Broadway experiences I’ve had in a long time.
Must Read: Win $2,500 In Our My Best Me Sweepstakes!
The show runs through about 25 jazz songs, of which Fantasia lends her hauntingly gorgeous voice to four of them, convincing you that she needs to release a jazz album. There’s one point where Fantasia sings “Zaz Zuh Zaz” (by Cab Calloway and Harry White) and she flirts with the quartet and you can’t help but fall in love with her. But one of the most standout performances, next to the delicious vocals Fantasia offers is Adriane Lenox, who was incredibly hilarious and a firecracker on stage. One of the songs she laid her comedic genius on was “Go Back Where You Stayed Last Night” (by Sidney Easton and Ethel Waters), which detailed her instructions to her no-good man, who came knocking on her door and she was none too pleased.
This incredible show features a special guest and Fantasia’s run is up on February 9th, but she will be succeeded by K. D. Lang (Feb. 11-Mar. 9) and then Toni Braxton & Babyface (Mar. 18-30) Future guest stars will be announced soon. Directed and choreographed by Warren Carlyle, this high-energy show boasts a company of 42 incredible singers, dancers (with rubberband limbs) and musicians. They take the stage and burn it down in a white hot heat that will pull you to the edge of your seat. It’s a sticky sweet tale laced in show-stopping performances. The dances ranged from ballet to street to tap and you never knew what was coming next. Blink and you’ll miss ballet great, Desmond Richardson, who lends his gravity-deyfing moves to “The Mooche.”
I know that many reviews call amazing shows a must-see, but with this show switching up featured guests, it’s a must-see again and again and again!
Venue: Brooks Atkinson Theatre, New York (runs indefinitely)
Cast: Fantasia Barrino, Dule Hill, Adriane Lenox, Karine Plantadit, Dormeshia Sumbry-Edwards, Julius “iGlide” Chisolm, Virgil “Lil’O” Gadson, Jared Grimes, Marijah Abney, Phillip Attmore, Everett Bradley, Christopher Broughton, Taeler Elyse Cyrus, C.K. Edwards, Carmen Ruby Floyd, Bahiyah Hibah, Rosena M. Hill Jackson, Monroe Kent III, Erin N. Moore, Cedric Neal, Bryonha Marie Parham, T. Oliver Reid, Desmond Richardson, Monique Smith, Daniel J. Watts
Director-choreographer: Warren Carlyle
Conceived by Jack Viertel
Text: Langston Hughes
Set designer: John Lee Beatty
Lighting designer: Howell Binkley
Costume designer: Isabel Toledo
Sound designer: Peter Hylenski
Orchestrations: Larry Hochman
Music supervisor: Daryl Waters
Presented by Scott Sander Productions, Wynton Marsalis, Roy Furman, Candy Spelling, Starry Night Entertainment, Hal Newman, Allan S. Gordon/Adam S. Gordon, James L. Nederlander, Robert K. Kraft, Catherine & Fred Adler, Robert Appel, Jeffrey Bolton, Scott M. Delman, James Fantaci, Ted Liebowitz, Stephanie P. McClelland, Sandy Block, Carol Fineman, in association with Marks-Moore Turnbull Group, Stephen & Ruth Hendel, Tom Kirdahy
LIKE HelloBeautiful On Facebook!
Check Out This Gallery Of Toni Braxton’s Best Songs In Preparation Of Her “After Midnight” Appearance: