Sophisticated Ladies Tour Launches in NYC Public Schools

News   Sophisticated Ladies Tour Launches in NYC Public Schools
Duke Ellington's Sophisticated Ladies began a New York City public schools tour March 1, at P.S. 304X in the Bronx. The tour, produced by Inside Broadway, is set to play over 50 schools.

Directed and choreographed by Barry McNabb (original cast member of The Phantom of the Opera and Me and My Girl, Drama Desk nominee for his choreography for Finian's Rainbow at the Irish Rep), Sophisticated Ladies features Gabrielle Porter, Lexi Rhoades and Jason Sparks.

The opening performance of Sophisticated Ladies is sponsored by New York City Council Member Jimmy Vacca.

According to press notes, "Sophisticated Ladies premiered on Broadway in 1981 and was nominated for eight Tony Awards including Best Musical, running for a total of 787 performances. The show features several classic Duke Ellington songs including "Take The 'A' Train," "In a Sentimental Mood," "Don't Mean a Thing if it Ain't Got That Swing" and "Sophisticated Lady." For this tour, Inside Broadway has created a special edition of the show that incorporates the rich history of jazz and the Harlem Renaissance.

Sophisticated Ladies features musical direction by John Bowen, costume design by Karl Ruckdeschel and scenic design by Carl Talent. Scott Early is the production stage manager.

Sophisticated Ladies will play through May 21 and will be seen by over 20,000 students in over 50 of the city's public schools throughout the five boroughs.Inside Broadway was established in 1982 at the invitation of Bernard B. Jacobs, the late president of The Shubert Organization, as an effort to create a student ticket program for New York City schools students. Today, Inside Broadway develops and produces touring Equity musical productions as well as a wide range of educational programs that allow students to interact with professionals in the field and experience theatre hands-on in the classroom.

For more on Inside Broadway, visit

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