The acclaimed production of Cotton Club Parade, which originally ran at New York City Center in November 2011, and then returned again last fall due to strong response, is heading to Broadway in October, and with a new name: After Midnight.
Fantasia Barrino was previously cast to star in the show – her first Broadway appearance since starring in the musical, The Color Purple, a couple of years ago.
Announced today, we can add Dulé Hill to the cast, who joins Barrino in a project conceived by Jack Viertel and presented under the auspices of City Center’s Tony Award-winning Encores! series, Cotton Club Parade (or After Midnight), and will once again be directed and choreographed by Warren Carlyle, with music direction by Jazz at Lincoln Center Artistic Director Wynton Marsalis.
Dulé Hill (Stick Fly, The Tap Dance Kid, and TV’s Psych) will serve as a character known simply as “The Host” of the evening, “leading the audience through the heat and glamour of the Harlem Renaissance using the words of Langston Hughes.”
The original incarnation of the show featured the Jazz at Lincoln Center All Stars under the direction of Daryl Waters.
The show is described as a Broadway-style revue that recreates Duke Ellington’s years at the famed Harlem nightclub in the 1920s and ’30s, when the joint was jumping with shows featuring big band swing and blues. As in the original revues, After Midnight will feature singers, dancers and variety acts, with songs by the greatest jazz composers of the time, including Jimmy McHugh and Dorothy Fields, a young Harold Arlen, and of course, Duke Ellington himself.
It opened at City Center on November 18, 2011 for a limited, six-performance run and received unanimous rave reviews. It was hailed as “90 minutes of pure joy” by The Daily News and named Best Jazz Moment of 2011 by The Wall Street Journal. The New York Times said it “made period jazz come to life with a focused intensity and rhythmic savvy that left me open-mouthed with wonder.“
After Midnight will mark the Broadway debut of fashion designer Isabel Toledo, who is known for creating Michelle Obama’s first inauguration day dress. She’ll be handling costumes.
The $6 million After Midnight is scheduled to start previews at the Brooks Atkinson Theater on October 18, with an opening night on November 3. Tickets are already on sale.