After Midnight, the award-winning revue celebrating Duke Ellington’s tenure as bandleader at the legendary Cotton Club, will end its Broadway run at the Brooks Atkinson Theater on June 29 after 19 previews and 272 regular performances. The show’s special guest star slot is currently filled by Patti LaBelle. Producer Scott Sanders told The New York Times he was hoping to run the show through August with planned guest star appearances by Gladys Knight and Natalie Cole. He said he had wanted to close the show for the July 4 week between the engagements of LaBelle and Knight when sales would be slow, but that not all the theatrical unions involved would agree.
The plotless show is derived from Cotton Club Parade, a series of concerts presented by Jazz at Lincon Center and Encores! in 2011 and 2012. Directed and choreographed by Warren Carlyle and conceived by Jack Viertel, the show features the Jazz at Lincoln Center All-Stars orchestra, hand-picked by producer Wynton Marsalis. The special guest star slot has been filled by American Idol winner Fantasia Barrino, K.D. Lang, Toni Braxton, Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds, and Vanessa Williams. Also starring are Dulé Hill (The West Wing, Psych) as the host of the evening, Tony winner Adriane Lenox (Doubt), Karine Plantadit (Come Fly with Me), Dormeshia Sumbry-Edwards, Julius “iGlide” Chisolm, Virgil “Lil’O” Gadson, and Jared Grimes.
Carlyle won the Tony, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle and Astaire Awards for Outstanding Choreography. The Drama Desk also named Midnight Outstanding Musical Revue. Plantadit, Sumbry-Edwards, and Grimes won Astaire Awards as the Best Dancers on Broadway this season.
There have been reports that the musical version of Honeymoon in Vegas, which ran last year at the Paper Mill Playhouse inNew Jersey, would take over the Atkinson in the fall, but the producers of that show have not confirmed the booking.