Harlem Song survived the weekend's danger of closing with strong sales and a "ground-swell of support in the community," production spokesperson Carol Fineman told Playbill On-Line. The George C. Wolfe-inspired revue, currently playing at Harlem's historic Apollo Theatre, has posted a provisional closing notice with performances guaranteed through Nov. 10 and possibly longer.
At the moment, Harlem Song is negotiating written contracts for several verbal agreements made by "angels" who want to save the show. If all contracts are signed, Harlem Song will take down the closing notice later this week and run through the end of the year. The feeling among producers, cast and crew is "very positive," Fineman said.
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, including jazz standards, rap and R & B hits. Using projections and photographs, the musical re-creates life in Harlem from the Jazz Age and the Harlem Renaissance to the area's current spirit of urban renewal and economic rebirth.
The brand-new Daryl Waters and Zane Mark 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." Harlem Song celebrated its opening at the historic Apollo Theatre Aug. 4. Previews began July 8 after the first three performances were canceled due to technical difficulties in rehearsal. For further information and tickets, call (212) 307-7171 or visit Harlem Song on the web at http://www.harlemsong.com.
—By Christine Ehren