Dulé Hill and Cast Members from Broadway's After Midnight Perform for President Obama
By Michael Gioia
Emmy Award-nominated actor Dulé Hill (Stick Fly, The Tap Dance Kid, "The West Wing," "Psych"), who will serve as "The Host" of the upcoming Broadway musical After Midnight, performed for President Barack Obama and the First Lady Sept. 23.
Hill, along with fellow After Midnight cast members Bryhonha Marie Parham, Carmen Ruby Floyd and Rosena M. Hill Jackson, sang for Barack and Michelle Obama during a U.N. GA Summit reception at the Waldorf Astoria, a spokesperson for After Midnight confirmed to Playbill.com.
"Today I felt a little like Marilyn...Monroe...wait, WHAT!?? #WaldorfAstoria," Hill tweeted following his performance.
Hill performed Harold Arlen and Ted Koehler's "I've Got the World on a String," with Parham, Floyd and Jackson singing Arlen and Koehler's "Between the Devil in the Deep Blue Sea" and Floyd singing Duke Ellinton's "Creole Love Call."
The three songs will all be featured in After Midnight, which includes pieces by jazz composers of the time, such as Jimmy McHugh and Dorothy Fields ("I Can't Give You Anything But Love" and "Digga Digga Doo"), Arlen ("Stormy Weather," "I've Got the World on a String," "Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea") and Ellington ("Rockin' in Rhythm," "Cotton Club Stomp," "Black and Tan Fantasy" and "Creole Love Call").
Warren Carlyle (Chaplin, Follies) will direct and choreograph the musical, which will begin performances Oct. 18 at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre, prior to its official Nov. 3 opening.
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."
For more information, visit AfterMidnightBroadway.com.
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