Harlem Song, George C. Wolfe's history of New York City's world-famous African-American neighborhood, will be recorded by Columbia/Legacy Records for release Oct. 8. The new musical revue, featuring music by Bring in 'da Noise, Bring in 'da Funk's Daryl Waters and Zane Mark , is currently in previews at the historic Apollo Theatre in Harlem.
The brand-new score, some of which is jazz and R&B pastiche, includes the numbers "Well Alright Then," "Drop Me Off in Harlem," "Donnies Inn Kids," "Tarzan of Harlem," "Shakin' the Africann," "For Sale," "Drop Me Off in Harlem (Reprise)," "A Train," "Doin' the Niggerati Rag," "Hungry Blues," "Miss Linda Brown," "Here You Come With Love," "Time Is Winding Up," "King Joe," "Joe the Bomber," "Fable of Rage in the Key of Jive," "Apple Honey," "Dream Deferred," "Shake" and "Tree of Life."
Tony nominee BJ Crosby (Smokey Joe's Cafe) and solo performer Queen Esther lead the company of Harlem Song. Also in the cast are Rosa Arredono, Renee Monique Brown, Gabriel Croom, Rosa Curry (The Rocky Horror Show, Chicago), Randy Andre Davis (Peter Pan), Delandis McClam, Sinclair Mitchell, Zoie Morris (Ragtime, The Scarlet Pimpernel), Dana Shavonne Rainey, Stacey Sargeant, David St. Louis (Jesus Christ Superstar), Keith Lamelle Thomas (Swing!) and Charles E. Wallace (Miss Saigon).
Harlem Song revisits and transforms the great songs that have come out of the neighborhood's vibrant musical community, be they jazz standards or rap or R & B hits. Using projections and photographs, the musical recreates life in Harlem from the Jazz Age and the Harlem Renaissance to the area's current spirit of urban renewel and economic rebirth.
Designing the show are Jules Fisher and Peggy Eisenhauer (lighting), Riccardo Hernandez (settings), Paul Tazewell (costumes), Acme Sound Partners (sound) and Batwin and Robin (multi-media). Daryl Waters and Zane Mark are the musical directors and co-composers of Harlem Song. Wolfe directs the show with Ken Roberson as choreographer. Harlem Song's producers include The John Schreiber Group, Wolfe, musical theatre composer Frank Wildhorn, David Goodman, Margo Lion, Daryl Roth, music industry legend Herb Alpert and actress (and Thoroughly Modern Millie producer) Whoopi Goldberg.
Tickets are $20-$55. Harlem Song, beginning performances July 6, will run on a three day a week schedule, playing three shows on Saturday, two on Sunday and two on Monday. For reservations, call (212) 307-7171. The Apollo Theatre is located at 253 West 125th Street. Harlem Song is on the web at http://www.harlemsong.com.
— By Christine Ehren