Newest After Midnight Guest Stars Toni Braxton and Kenny "Babyface" Edmonds Greet the Press
Braxton and Edmonds recently teamed up for their first album of duets, "Love, Marriage & Divorce," which will arrive in stores Dec. 3 on Motown Records. "Hurt You" has hit Top 10 on the Billboard charts. The duo first collaborated on a duet for Braxton's 1992 debut "Give U My Heart," which was co-written and co-produced by "Babyface."
Tony Award winner Adriane Lenox reprises her performance in the Broadway engagement of After Midnight, which also features Tony Award nominees Desmond Richardson and Karine Plantadit, as well as Grammy Award nominee Everett Bradley. Emmy Award-nominated actor Dulé Hill (Stick Fly, The Tap Dance Kid, "The West Wing," "Psych") serves as "The Host" of the evening, leading the audience through the heat and glamour of the Harlem Renaissance using the words of Langston Hughes.
Lenox, who appeared in the revue at New York City Center, when it was titled Cotton Club Parade, returns to the production in an eclectic cast of performers that also includes Julius "iGlide" Chisolm from the dance crew RemoteKontrol (he'll reimagine Harlem's popular 1920's "snakehips" dance); hip hop star Virgil J. Gadson; Tony Award-nominated dancers Plantadit (Movin' Out, Come Fly Away) and Richardson (Fosse, Movin' Out); tap dancers Dormeshia Sumbry-Edwards and Jared Grimes; and vocalists Everett Bradley, Cedric Neal, T. Oliver Reid, Monroe Kent, Carmen Ruby Floyd, Rosena M. Hill Jackson and Bryonha Marie Parham.
Dancers for the evening include Marija Abney, Phillip Attmore, Christopher Broughton, Taeler Elyse Cyrus, C.K. Edwards, Bahiyah Hibah, Erin Moore, Justin Prescott, Monique Smith, Daniel Watts, Danielle Herbert and David Jennings.
Director-choreographer Warren Carlyle (Chaplin, Follies) and fashion duo Isabel and Ruben Toledo, who designed costumes, join The Jazz at Lincoln Center All-Stars and All-Stars artistic director, nine-time Grammy Award and Pulitzer Prize winner Wynton Marsalis — who chose the big band of 17 musicians — to create the atmosphere of the famed Harlem nightclub in the 1920s and 1930s.
Here's how the production is billed: "Jazz is a state of mind. It's a structure for innovation, forward momentum and freedom. The evocative new musical After Midnight will take the sexy, smoky glamour of the original Jazz Age and catapult it into a whole new era of heart-pounding, mind-blowing entertainment for modern Broadway audiences. Refracted through a contemporary lens, After Midnight will celebrate Duke Ellington's years at the Cotton Club using his original arrangements and performed by a world-class big band of 17 musicians hand-picked by living jazz legend, Wynton Marsalis. The timeless tunes set against a narrative of Langston Hughes poetry will provide an authentic backdrop for an array of cutting-edge performances by 25 sensational vocalists and dancers, including special guest stars, whose interpretations will shatter everything you think you know about music, nightlife and Broadway. Welcome to the new Jazz Age."
After Midnight features pieces by jazz composers of the time, including Jimmy McHugh and Dorothy Fields ("I Can't Give You Anything But Love" and "Digga Digga Doo"), Harold Arlen ("Stormy Weather," "I've Got the World on a String," "Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea") and Duke Ellington ("Rockin' in Rhythm," "Cotton Club Stomp," "Black and Tan Fantasy" and "Creole Love Call").
"In the Swing Era, jazz dominated the music charts for a reason: it's sophisticated yet down-home, and people can get down for a profoundly good time while still being uplifted. Those things have never left our music, and Broadway is the perfect place to showcase to the world the contemporary relevance of swing," said Marsalis in a previous statement. "Come on down, to get down and be lifted up."
Tickets for After Midnight can be purchased at Telecharge.com.
For more information, visit AfterMidnightBroadway.com.