Charles Randolph-Wright directs the production, with additional choreography by Kenneth Lee-Roberson and Mercedes Ellington, granddaughter of Duke Ellington, acting as artistic consultant to provide insight to the famed musician's life and music. According to press notes, "Sophisticated Ladies is a musical revue based on the music of Duke Ellington and was conceived by Donald McKayle. It explores the legacy of jazz hero Duke Ellington and follows his journey from the beginnings in D.C. through his time in New York City to his national and international stardom. The show travels through a history of song and dance with "authentic, jazzy, brassy sound and dancing of high voltage and precision."
In addition to Hines, the cast of Sophisticated Ladies also includes Wynonna Smith (Hot Feet), Marva Hicks (Caroline, or ChangeJanine DiVita (Grease), Karla Mosley, Sam Cahn (Wicked), Sabra Lewis (Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Tony Mansker (Mary Poppins), Keith Lamelle Thomas (Ragtime), DeMoya Watson, Hollie E. Wright (Hot Feet), Richard Riaz Yoder (White Christmas), and teenage brothers John and Leo Manzari.
Here's a look at the production:
Sophisticated Ladies at Arena Stage
For more information, please visit ArenaStage.org