Will Shirley Bassey Return to Broadway in After Midnight?
By Adam Hetrick
Shirley Bassey, the belter known for such songs as "Goldfinger," "Big Spender" and "Diamonds Are Forever," may be the next headliner to join the Broadway cast of After Midnight, the new jazz-age musical revue, according to the New York Post.
The musical, which reintroduces the Cotton Club's tradition of welcoming the stars of today in limited engagements throughout its run, opened with Fantasia Barrino (The Color Purple, "American Idol") and currently features Grammy Award-winning artist k.d. lang.
The Post reports that After Midnight producers are currently wooing Bassey to be one of the next headliners in the production that opened Nov. 3, 2013, at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre.
Bassey was last seen on Broadway in her 1986 concert engagement at the Marquis Theatre.
Following lang's engagement through March 9, After Midnight will welcome Grammy Award-winning artists Toni Braxton and Kenny "Babyface" Edmonds (March 18-30).
Director-choreographer Warren Carlyle (Chaplin, Follies) and fashion duo Isabel and Ruben Toledo, who designs costumes, join Wynton Marsalis (Jazz at Lincoln Center's nine-time Grammy and Pulitzer Prize Award-winning artistic director) — who hand-picked the big band of 17 musicians — to create the atmosphere of the famed Harlem nightclub in the 1920s and 1930s.
Here's how producers Scott Sanders and Marsalis bill the production: "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 includes 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").
Other members of the creative team include Peter Hylenski (sound) and Tony Award winners John Lee Beatty (set design) and Howell Binkley (lighting design).
After Midnight is produced by Scott Sanders Productions, and Wynton Marsalis, in association with Marks-Moore-Turnbull Group; Stephen and Ruth Hendel; Tom Kirdahy.
Tickets for After Midnight can be purchased at Telecharge.com.
For more information, visit AfterMidnightBroadway.com.
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