Isabel and Ruben Toledo Hoping Aretha Franklin Will Join After Midnight

By Michael Gioia
08 Jun 2014

Aretha Franklin
Aretha Franklin

Tony Award-nominated costume designer Isabel Toledo and her husband Ruben are hoping that Grammy Award winner Aretha Franklin will join the musical revue After Midnight.

When asked who they would like to design for next in the Tony Award-nominated production, Isabel Toledo told Playbill.com on the red carpet, "Aretha."

Her husband Ruben added, "Yeah, that's true. Hopefully Aretha happens. Aretha Franklin's supposed to be one of [the guest-star vocalists]. But working with these iconic women is just beyond because it's more than just the clothes. They bring so much artistry, history and passion to this. We learn so much. It's beyond the clothes — it's the icing on the cake."

As previously announced, the show will welcome Patti LaBelle, Gladys Knight and Natalie Cole (in her Broadway debut) as guest-star vocalists this summer.



LaBelle will play June 10-29 with Knight performing July 8-Aug. 3 and Cole performing Aug. 5-31 at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre.

On the women heading to Broadway's Cotton Club, Isabel said, "They're oozing [with] sexuality. They're incredible. These women — they open their mouths, and they are oozing. It's incredible to have them in front of you. They're really inspiring."

Ruben added, "Their art is coming right out of them, which is always so sexy. They just create on the spot… It really is about each character — their personality. Isabel really studies their body language — their gestures — and takes it from there.”

"And, it's really incredible to see how they react to the garments," said Isabel. "They get into the garments, and they all of a sudden come to life. It's really incredible."

After Midnight was nominated for seven 2014 Tony Awards, winning for Best Choreography: Best Musical, Best Choreography (Warren Carlyle), Best Direction of a Musical (Warren Carlyle), Best Costume Design (Isabel Toledo), Best Featured Actress (Adriane Lenox), Best Lighting Design (Howell Binkley) and Best Sound Design (Peter Hylenski).