Earth Wind & Fire Musical Sets Its Feet on Broadway April 20

News   Earth Wind & Fire Musical Sets Its Feet on Broadway April 20
Hot Feet, the new Earth, Wind & Fire musical, will begin its Broadway life on April 20, when previews began at the Hilton Theatre.

Hot Feet director-choreographer Maurice Hines.
Hot Feet director-choreographer Maurice Hines. Photo by Aubrey Reuben

The date is two days later than the one first announced: April 18. A press spokesman said the extra 48 hours will give the production the proper amount of time it needs to load into the Hilton Theatre. Opening is still April 30, which means Hot Feet will have a ten-day preview period—shortish by Broadway musical standards.

New York audiences should expect a show slightly different from the one seen during a pre-Broadway tryout at Washington, DC's National Theatre. Work has been done on the book by Heru Ptah, which was particularly taken to task by DC critics. The musical may also be a trimmer version of itself; in D.C., it clocked in at two hours and 45 minutes, the last 20 minutes consisting of an extended ballet sequence called the "Hot Feet Ballet."

Hot Feet—the fourth "jukebox" musical to land on Broadway this season, after Lennon, Jersey Boys and Ring of Fire—is the new dance musical directed and choreographed by Maurice Hines, and featuring the music of Earth, Wind & Fire. Hot Feet features a book by Heru Ptah and music and lyrics by Maurice White of Earth, Wind & Fire fame.

The show's leads will be played by Vivian Nixon, Keith David, Ann Duquesnay, Allen Hidalgo, Wynonna Smith, Michael Balderrama and Samantha Pollino.

David's many Broadway and Off-Broadway credits include Seven Guitars, Othello and Jelly's Last Jam.. Duquesnay won a Tony Award for Bring in 'da Noise, Bring in 'de Funk. Balderrama appeared in Urban Cowboy and Movin' Out. Smith performed on Broadway in Grind and Sophisticated Ladies. The ensemble Kevin Aubin, Brent Carter, Gerrard Carter, Dionne Figgins, Ramon Flowers, Keith Anthony Fluitt, Karla Puno Garcia, Nakia Henry, Duane Lee Holland, Dana Marie Ingraham, IquailS. Johnson, Terace Jones, Dominique Kelley, Matthew Warner Keirenan, Steve Konopelski, Sumie Maeda, Jon-Paul Mateo, Vasthy E. Mompoint, Tera-Lee Polin, Samatha Pollino, Sandra Reaves Phillips, Danita Salamida, Caesar Samayoa, Monique Smith, Daryl Spiers, Felicity Stiverson, Hollie E. Wright.

Hot Feet, according to a press statement, is a "Faustian tale about a beautiful young dancer — Kalimba, whose whole life's dreams and ambition are to be a Broadway dancer. Kalimba is cajoled to dance with a pair of magical and enchanted red shoes; when she puts them on they begin to take control of the talented dancer's fate."

The creative team for the production comprises James Noone (set design), Paul Tazewell (costume design), Clifton Taylor (lighting design) and Acme Sound Partners (sound design).

Maurice Hines began his career at the age of five as a dancer alongside his brother and, later, his father. His Broadway credits include appearances in Eubie!, Bring Back Birdie and Sophisticated Ladies. Tony Award nominated for Uptown...It's Hot!, Hines went on to direct Satchmo, Harlem Suite and become the first African-American director for Radio City Music Hall.

Earth, Wind & Fire racked up a string of hits in the '70s and early '80s. A large ensemble, the group's sound was characterized by gladful, buoyant melodies, falsetto harmonies and the use of horns. After early funk-based hits such as "Shining Star," the act moved in a romantic period of melodic, almost sing-a-long anthems such as "Sing a Song," "Getaway," "September" and "After the Love Has Gone." They largely dropped off the charted after the early '80s hit "Let's Groove." White went on to a solo career.

TransAmerica presents Hot Feet, produced by Rudy Durand in association with Kalimba Entertainment, Inc.

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