About After Midnight
New York’s Encores! has long been known for its high-profile concert stagings of classic musicals featuring big-name stars. And After Midnight originated as a special offering of this popular series a couple of seasons back – an original show called Cotton Club Parade that featured the famed music of Duke Ellington and his contemporaries, who created unforgettable songs that were performed by true greats in one of Harlem’s treasured venues.
Now, this critically acclaimed musical arrives on Broadway, starring a rotating cast of special guest stars, beginning with Fantasia, the Grammy Award winner who earned raves in The Color Purple. Dule Hill (Bring in ‘da Noise/Bring in ‘da Funk, Stick Fly) will perform as The Host. The electrifying score is performed by none other than the Jazz at Lincoln Center All-Stars, an elite orchestra hand-picked by the esteemed Wynton Marsalis. Rounding out the company will be 25 vocalists and dancers combining Ellington’s songs (like “I Can’t Give You Anything But Love” and “Stormy Weather”), Langston Hughes’ poetry and the stage magic of director/choreographer Warren Carlyle (Finian’s Rainbow).
Reviewing the original version of the musical in The New York Times, Stephen Holden cheered, “A thrilling celebration… this peerless ensemble created by Mr. Marsalis made period jazz come to life with a focused intensity and rhythmic savvy that left me open-mouthed with wonder.”
90 minutes (no intermission)
Did you know?
Duke Ellington’s career spanned more than 50 years, and his songwriting hits included such classics as “It Don’t Mean A Thing (If It Ain’t Got That Swing),” “Sophisticated Lady” and “Take the ‘A’ Train.”
The Cotton Club was located in the heart of Harlem and operated mostly during Prohibition, featuring some of the biggest African-American stars of the day, such as Lena Horne and Cab Calloway.
If you love classic jazz, rhythmic dancing and period style, this is the show for you. After Midnight is a unique combination of song and storytelling, with ample star power thrown in for good measure.
Good for kids?
The littlest kids won’t be into it (and actually, no children under the age of four are allowed in the theatre), but slightly older children should get caught up in the excitement of the song and action.
Brooks Atkinson Theatre Location Information:
256 W 47th St.
New York, NY 10036
C, E to 50th St. (Eighth Ave.); 1 to 50th St. (Broadway); N, Q, R to 49th St. (7th Ave.)