Sept. 19, the Duke Theatre at the New 42nd Street Studios makes its official debut with Duquesnay - that is, Tony Award-winning actress Anne Duquesnay, star of The In-Gathering, a new Civil War-era musical from John Henry Redwood (The Old Settler) and Daryl Waters (Bring in 'da Noise, Bring in 'da Funk).
Duquesnay won her Supporting Actress Tony for Waters' Noise/Funk, on which she served as co-composer/lyricist. Other credits include Gran Mimi in Jelly's Last Jam , the most recent Broadway revival of The Wiz and Blues in the Night.
The In-Gathering, taking its name from a term used by former slaves attempting to reunite their separated families, follows the journey of an emancipated man named January who travels to New Orleans to find his previously sold wife. Things have changed for her since she last saw her husband; a black slave owner has made her his concubine.
Kimberley Jajuane co-stars. Jajuane played the maid Lisette opposite Audra McDonald in Marie Christine. In New York, she also appeared in Ragtime, King David and Running Man.
Hope Clarke directs and choreographs. Clarke was Tony nominated for her choreography in Jelly's Last Jam. For tickets and information, call (212) 398-2666. The Duke Theatre is located at 229 West 42nd Street.
The In-Gathering is the inaugural production for the New Professional Theatre, a new company dedicated to performing the works of African-American artists. Sheila Kay David, a former actress and one of Little Shop of Horrors original cast members, is the artistic director. The New Professional Theatre is on the web at http://www.newprofessionaltheatre.org.
-- By Christine Ehren