Debbie Allen is set to dance in D.C. April 16-26 in the new children's musical, The Brothers of the Knight.
Allen, who collaborated as director on the show with Academy Award-nominated composer, James Ingram, also choreographed and will perform in the show with Ingram.
Brothers of the Knight is the second Kennedy Center collaboration for Allen, who also created Pepito's Story for the Center in 1996. Allen, an experienced actress, director, and choreographer, starred on Broadway in Sweet Charity, won a Golden Globe and two Emmys for her role on "Fame," directed episodes of "Fame", "Family Ties", "Bronx Zoo", and "A Different World", and has choreographed the Academy Awards for five consecutive years. Ingram, as a composer, has earned three Grammys and 17 Grammy nominations.
The Brothers of the Knight is based on the Brothers Grimm tale of "The Twelve Dancing Princesses", but with a modern twist. The tale has been moved to Harlem where two young brothers leave torn up shoes by their bed every morning. Their father, a preacher, has forbidden them to dance, but every night the boys sneak out into the city to dance. One night, however, the boys' housekeeper follows them and learns the secret of the torn up shoes.
Allen stars as the boys' housekeeper, Sunday, and Ingram will be the Reverand Knight. Lacy Philips, recently nominated for a Tony award for Play On, will be Happy the Dog. Also in the cast are 13 year old Vivian Nixon, Allen's daughter, 16 year old International Male Dance Champion Michael Connolly, Los Angeles hip-hop instructor Undre Revis and 26 D.C. area young people. The design team includes Reggie Ray (costumes), Kim Peter Kovac (lights), and Ray Klausen (sets and props).
Tickets for public performances are $10 and can be ordered by calling Instant-Charge at (202) 467-4600. There are special school performances on April 16 and 17 at noon, and April 21-23 at 10 AM and noon.
-- By Christine Ehren