All That Jazz: Fantasia & Dulé Hill Dazzle In “After Midnight”
“After Midnight” is an alluring new Broadway production that shines bright like the mid-day sun! Set in the 1930’s in Harlem, this finger-snapping, foot-tapping trip through the Renaissance era is a seductively joyous jazz journey.
Repackaged from the 2011 and 2012 “Cotton Club Parade” production, which was a partnership between City Center and Jazz at Lincoln Center – “After Midnight” is the same production with a different name due to licensing issues.
The move to the Great White Way has offered “After Midnight” a beautiful wardrobe designed by Isabel Toledo, as well as two all-star headliners, actor Dulé Hill and singer Fantasia Barrino.
Hill is the heartbeat of the show, serving as the emcee. The star of “Psych” and “The West Wing” is engaging as he shows of his tap dance skills, sings (who knew he could?) and offers verses of Langston Hughes’ finest poetry throughout the show.
Barrino, winner of the third season of “American Idol” and star of Broadway’s “The Color Purple,” is captivating as she shows her vocal prowess—and restraint—on numbers like ‘I Can’t Give You Anything But Love,’ the iconic ‘Stormy Weather,’ and the delightful Cab Calloway classic, ‘Zaz Zuh Zaz.’
There are also great show numbers by Jimmy McHugh and Dorothy Fields (‘I Can’t Give You Anything But Love’), Harold Arlen and Ted Koehler (‘I’ve Got the World on a String’), and the showstopper herself, Adriane Lenox, who razzle-dazzles the crowd with ‘Women Be Wise’ and ‘Go Back Where You Stayed Last Night.’
Dance superstars Julius “iGlide” Chisolm and Virgil J. Gadson bring an extra pop of excitement to “After Midnight” with their amazingly eccentric and captivating dance performances.
And let’s not forgot the 17-piece Jazz at Lincoln Center All Stars orchestra, whose musical score and masterful arrangements are ovation-worthy. They’re so good that when the show is over, they get the encore and the audience stays until the last note is played.
“After Midnight” is produced by Scott Sanders and Wynton Marsalis and directed by Warren Carlyle.
Housed at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre (256 West 47th Street), the show runs 90 minutes without an intermission.
Barrino appears until Feb. 9, 2014, and then K.D. Lang joins the show (Feb. 11 – March 9).
The duo of Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds and Toni Braxton will take a turn in the production following Lang (March 18 – 30).
VIDEO: Get a glimpse into the Broadway musical, “After Midnight.”
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