The Shubert New Haven Theatre will present the current Broadway musical, Swing!, May 8-20, 2001. Shubert performing Arts Center president and CEO Caroline Werth announced that the show will be part of the New Haven theatre's 2000-2001 subscription series.
The show will not actually start its tour in New Haven as earlier reported. Instead, by the time it plays New Haven, Swing! will have run in Los Angeles, Seattle, East Lansing, Baltimore, Miami, Dallas, Chicago and Cleveland. Other cities in the tour will be announced shortly.
Songwriter and Swing! band leader Casey McGill performed the opening ukelele number from the Tony nominated Best Musical at a presentation for producers and press at the New Haven theatre on June 12. McGill wrote four songs the Swing! show at the St. James Theatre.
The presentation audience in New Haven saw a film clip as well, which represented the show favorably. A marketing representative for Swing! told Playbill On-Line that other filmed segments of the show have had positive reactions, including the recent Tony Award show performance by the entire cast.
McGill described the Broadway cast in detail but later told Playbill On- Line that specific assignments were still being decided for the New Haven run and it was not clear whether original cast members would be performing there next year. As of now, Swing! sources say the show's Broadway engagement remains open. Tickets for the Shubert New Haven engagement of Swing! will range from $33-$65.
As reported last year, director and choreographer Lynne Taylor-Corbett's Swing! is an all-singing, all-dancing show that showcases Broadway singing and dance talent in a revue of Swing, Lindy Hop and Broadway styles.
Taylor-Corbett's associate choreographers on Swing include Scott Fowler, Rod McCune and Ryan Francois, the World Lindy Hop champion. Show originator Paul Kelly and several cast members including dancer Caitlin Carter unanimously cite McCune's contributions. McCune served as both dance captain and "lift coach," which they say helped enabled the Broadway dancers to learn the Swing and Lindy Hop skills that Ryan and his wife and partner Jenny Thomas brought to the project.
Taylor-Corbett's previous credits include choreographing Titanic and Chess, as well as the films "Footloose" and "My Blue Heaven."
Kelly and the producers searched worldwide for virtuoso dancers and singers, who specialized in various styles of Swing. Though this is a purely American art form, it has become popular all over the world and, in order to find the very best Swing dancers, they considered dancers from as far away as Stockholm, Singapore and Germany, as well as the two American hot beds of Swing -- New York and California. In fact, Ryan Francoise and Jenny Thomas have come all the way from London.
Based on an original idea by Paul Kelly, Swing is produced by Marc Routh, Richard Frankel, Steven Baruch, Thomas Viertel and Jujamcyn Theaters, in association with BB Promotion, Dede Harris/Jeslo Productions, James D. Stern/Douglas L. Meyers, Libby Adler Mages/Mari Glick and PACE Theatricals/SFX.
The 30 dance numbers in Swing represent the many forms of swing that are popular around the world including neo-Swing dances, country western, Latin and traditional Swing dancing. The Gotham City Gates, a new Swing band comprising former members of the Blues Jumpers, Illinois Jacquet and the Lionel Hampton Band, performs throughout the show, giving it a distinctive and compelling sound.
Cast members Bradley, Callaway and MacGill also made musical contributions to the show.
The Swing song list features familiar songs, some new arrangements and a few world premiere numbers. An asterisk (*) denotes world premiere songs.
"You Can't Do It Alone" by Casey MacGill
"It Don't Mean a Thing if it Ain't Got that Swing" by Duke Ellington
"Airmail Special" / "New Jersey Bounce" / "Opus One"
"Airmail Special" by Benny Goodman, James R. Mundy, Charles Christian
"New Jersey Bounce" by B. Plater, T. Bradshaw, E. Johnson, B. Feyhe and D. Ellington
"Opus One" by Don George, Johnny Hodges and Harry James
"Jumpin' at the Woodside" by William "Count" Basie
"Bounce Me Brother (with a Solid Four)" by Don Raye, Hughie Prince
"Two and Four"* by Ann Hampton Callaway
"Hit Me with a High Note and Watch me Bounce" by Don George, Duke Ellington
"Throw that Girl Around"* by Everett Bradley, Ilene Reid, Michael Heitzman
"Show Me What You Got"* by Everett Bradley, Jonathan Smith
"Bli Blip" by Duke Ellington, Sid Kuller
"Detroit Swing City" by Paul Stanley, Bob Ezrin
"Rhythm Crossover" by Casey MacGill
"Humphrey Bogart" by Jerry Leiber, Mike Stoller
"Blues in the Night" by Harold Arlen, Johnny Mercer
"Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy" by Don Raye, Hughie Prince
USO Section featuring:
"GI Jive" by Johnny Mercer
"String of Pearls" by Edgar DeLange, Jerry Gray
"Gal in Kalamazoo" by Mack Gordon, Harry Warren
"Candy" by Mack David, Joan Whitney, Alex C. Kramer
"Dinah" by Samuel M. Lewis, Joseph Young, Harry Akst
"I'm Gonna Love You Tonight" by Casey MacGill, Jack Murphy,
"I'll Be Seeing You" by Irving Kahal, Sammy Fain
USO Finale featuring:
"Flyin' Home" by Benny Goodman and Lionel Hampton
"American Patrol" by F.W. Meacham, Becket and James Sanderson
"Sharp as a Tack" by Harold Arlen and Johnny Mercer
"GI Jive" by Johnny Mercer
"Airmail Special" by Benny Goodman, James R. Mundy and Charles Christian
"Swing Brother Swing" by Walter Bishop, Lewis Raymond and Clarence Williams
"Harlem Nocturne" by Earl H. Hagen and Dick Rogers
"Dancers in Love" by Duke Ellington
"Spring Can Really Hang You Up" by Frances Landesman and Thomas J. Wolf, Jr.
"Take Me Back to Tulsa"/"Stay All Night" by James Robert Wills, Tommy Duncan
"Boogie Woogie Country" by Jack Murphy, Jonathan Smith
"All of Me"/"I Won't Dance"
"All of Me" by Seymour Simons and Gerald Marks
"I Won't Dance" by Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein II
"Bill's Bounce" by Bill Elliott
"Cry Me a River" by Arthur Hamilton
"Kitchen Mechanics Rhythm Crossover" by Casey MacGill
"Kitchen Mechanics Night Out" * Lyrics: Paul Kelly, Casey MacGill, Lynne Taylor-Corbett, Music: Casey MacGill, Jonathan Smith
"Shout and Feel It" By William "Count" Basie
"Stompin' at the Savoy" by Benny Goodman, Edgar M. Sampson, Chick Webb, Andy Razaf, Lyrics: Andy Razaf, additional lyrics and arrangement: Ann Hampton Callaway
Finale: "Sing, Sing, Sing" by Louis Prima, Andy Razaf, L. Berry
"It Don't Mean a Thing (If it Ain't Got that Swing)" by Duke Ellington
"Swing Brother Swing" by Walter Bishop, Lewis Raymond, Clarence Williams
The Swing Era: A Timeline of Swing, Then and Now
[taken from press materials for the show]
1920 Louis Armstrong joins Fletcher Henderson's jazz band at the Roseland Ballroom and introduces Swing rhythms.
1926 The Savoy Ballroom opens in Harlem.
1927 The Duke Ellington Band begins engagement at the Cotton Club in Harlem, continuing there until 1932. At a dance marathon in New York City, dancer Shorty Snowden coins the name "Lindy Hop."
1930 Bands across the country embrace the new 4/4 swing rhythms.
1935 Benny Goodman's Palomar Ballroom concert in L.A. heralds the beginning of The Swing Era.
1936 Count Basie opens in New York City at the Roseland Ballroom.
1937 "A Day at the Races," featuring Whitey's Lindy Hoppers, is released.
1938 Benny Goodman brings jazz to Carnegie Hall. This famous concert legitimizes jazz for the general public. Glenn Miller Orchestra records "In the Mood" and "Moonlight Serenade."
1938 Whitey's Jitterbugs perform on Broadway in Swingin' the Dream with Benny Goodman and Louis Armstrong.
1940 The Cotton Club closes.
1941 Life magazine does a spread on the Harvest Moon Ball, highlighting wildly acrobatic Lindy Hop entrants.
1942 The Lindy Hop division in Harvest Moon Ball is changed to Jitterbug Jive.
1943 Life magazine cover story "The Lindy Hop: A True National Folk Dance Has Been Born in the U.S.A." The movie musical, "Stage Door Canteen" opens, featuring Benny Goodman, Count Basie and Kay Kyser.
1948 "A Song is Born," a film starring Louis Armstrong, Benny Goodman, and Tommy Dorsey, opens.
1956 Jitterbug Jive division of the Harvest Moon Ball changes to Rock 'n' Roll.
1958 Savoy Ballroom closes.
1982 Swing dancing at City Limits becomes meeting ground for future NY Swing Dance Society Board.
1985 New York Swing Dance Society (NYSDS) is formed as a non-profit organization.
1986 NYSDS performance group, The Big Apple Lindy Hoppers, is formed. The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre premieres "Opus McShann," with a Lindy Hop section.
1989 Lincoln Center inaugurates its annual Midsummer Night's Swing.
1992 Debbie Allen's TV film "Stompin' at the Savoy" airs.
1993 PBS documentary "Dancing: New Worlds, New Forms" covers the Lindy.
1999 PBS airs "Swingin' with Duke", featuring Frankie Manning and Wynton Marsalis. The Swing revival is profiled in People magazine. Swing opens on Broadway at the St. James Theatre.