The threat of closure that has put Harlem Song in criticial condition the past few weeks has passed. The uptown musical, directed by George C. Wolfe, will continue to play through Dec. 31.
In other upbeat news, Harlem Song will also release its cast recording on Nov. 26. The CD has had several tentative release dates in October and November, but will finally be available in stores and on-line on Nov. 26.
The CD, a Legacy Recording from Columbia, features 24 numbers from the show, including: "Here Comes My Daddy Now," "Late One Night," "Well Alright Then," "Drop Me Off in Harlem," "Tarzan of Harlem," "Shakin' the Africann Intro," "Shakin' the Africann," "For Sale Intro," "For Sale," "Drop Me Off in Harlem (Reprise)," "Doin' the Niggerati Rag," "Coge El A Train (Take the A Train)," "Depression Chant," "The Hungry Blues," "Miss Linda Brown," "Here You Come With Love," "King Joe," "Fable of Rage in the Key of Jive," "Uptown Jazzmen," "Dream Deferred Intro," "Dream Deferred," "Shake," "Tree of Life" and "One Word."
Tony nominee BJ Crosby (Smokey Joe's Cafe) and solo performer Queen Esther lead the company of Harlem Song. Also in the cast are Rosa Arredono, Renee Monique Brown, Gabriel Croom, Rosa Curry (The Rocky Horror Show, Chicago), Randy Andre Davis (Peter Pan), Delandis McClam, Sinclair Mitchell, Zoie Morris (Ragtime, The Scarlet Pimpernel), Dana Shavonne Rainey, Stacey Sargeant, David St. Louis (Jesus Christ Superstar), Keith Lamelle Thomas (Swing!) and Charles E. Wallace (Miss Saigon).
Harlem Song revisits and transforms the great songs that have come out of the neighborhood's vibrant musical community, including jazz standards, rap and R & B hits. Using projections and photographs, the musical re-creates life in Harlem from the Jazz Age and the Harlem Renaissance to the area's current spirit of urban renewal and economic rebirth. Harlem Song celebrated its opening at the historic Apollo Theatre Aug. 4. Previews began July 8 after the first three performances were canceled due to technical difficulties in rehearsal. For further information and tickets, call (212) 307-7171 or visit Harlem Song on the web at http://www.harlemsong.com.
—By Christine Ehren