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After Midnight


edjames
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The current buzz around Broadway is that the new musical revue called After Midnight is going to be a big hit. It's getting lots of good word of mouth.

 

I can safely say that the folks doing the talking are correct and this is one hellva good evening of music and dance!

 

This show was previously seen for several performances at NY's City Center and it has transferred to Broadway where it will open later this week on Nov 3.

 

I'll quote from one of the Broadway sites about this show:

"At the heart of After Midnight is The Jazz at Lincoln Center All-Stars, an orchestra of 17 world-class musicians hand-picked by nine-time Grammy Award winner Wynton Marsalis. The timeless songs of Duke Ellington and his contemporaries, woven together by the prose of Langston Hughes, provide a backdrop for cutting-edge performances by 25 sensational vocalists and dancers. This thrilling experience puts you at the center of one of Harlem’s legendary nightclubs, in a hotbed of Jazz––its intoxicating rhythms, its innovative style, its unpredictable danger and fun. After Midnight blurs the line between past and present to prove that Jazz is more than music–it's a state of mind."

 

AND as if that all wasn't enough, throw in a world-class performance by an American Idol winner, Fantasia Barrino and another by Tony winning actress Adrienne Lenox and what a great evening of entertainment. It's an even tie on who tries to stop the show, Fantasia or Adrienne. I was a little apprehensive about seeing Fanastia but she does some serious singing in this show and her first number has overtures of Ella and her version of Stormy Weather invokes the great Billie Holiday. Unbeleiveable!

 

The show runs a fast 90 minutes and is jammed packed with 25 classic numbers ranging from I Can't Give You Anything But Love, Stormy Weather, On the Sunny Side of the Street and many others.

 

A talented and energetic cast dances and sings their way throughout, and the orchestra is superb. The audience loved it and the performance I saw was sold out.

 

My only warning is that the show intends to bring in other guest vocalists in the future and KD Lang (think she'll wear a dress????) has been signed to appear following Fantasia and Toni Braxton is also scheduled. If I were the producers, I wouldn't let Ms. Barrino go anywhere.

 

This website page has a 3 minute promo video on the show...

http://ppc.broadway.com/shows/after-midnight/

 

Highly recommended!

 

ED

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  • 2 weeks later...

I've been missing for a while, but will try and catch up on what I've seen and thought.

 

I did see After Midnight and it's like falling into a time warp and landing in a Harlem Nightclub in the 30s...the only things missing are the cafe tables and the dense fog of cigarette smoke.

 

Performers are all wonderful, the band most of all. The direction and choreography are fast-paced and fierce.

 

In many shows you don't see where your ticket price is going...(except to line the pockets of superstar performers...). Here you see every dollar...in addition to the large cast, the costumes and lighting are wonderful, and the drops/curtains/etc, are classy and appropriate.

 

I will go back if K.D. Lang comes in, but suspect I'll be back before then.

 

It's playing on 47th St. at the Brooks Atkinson, which isn't a huge theater, but I had an up front, side seat through TDF that was wonderful. Discounts are off the table right now, the reviews were VERY strong, but I bet that discounts will return in the winter months.

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The reviews were excellend and word of mouth is strong. I don't know anyone who has seen this that hasn't like it and gived it high praise.

 

This from today's Michael Reidel column in the NYPost:

 

Out of nowhere — a hit!

If you had said to me a few weeks ago that “After Midnight,” the elegant and joyful celebration of the music of Duke Ellington at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre, would upend the Broadway terrain, I would have taken a nice long toke from my (completely legal) pipe, blown a silky, sexy cloud of smoke in your face and said, “It Don’t Mean a Thing if It Ain’t Got Hugh Jackman.”

Well, “After Midnight” doesn’t have Hugh Jackman, but, suddenly, it does mean a thing.

The terrific reviews for this show that nobody was talking about now have them all talking.

Where did it come from?

How come I didn’t see it coming?

Why didn’t I invest?

What does this mean for my show?

Will I still win a Tony?

Too soon to say, my dears, but you certainly have some competition.

“After Midnight” — a musical that no one, no one, had given a thought to — opened yesterday to some of the best reviews of any Broadway show this season.

The box office was taking in zero dollars last week.

Yesterday morning, it took in $300,000.

There were a lot of Tony nominators at the opening. I spoke to some of them this week, and they loved it.

Mark my words, “After Midnight” is going to be nominated for Best Musical, Best Direction, Best Sets, Best Costumes and Best a whole bunch of other things.

What makes the success of this show so delicious is that one of its producers has labored for years as an ad man for a bunch of big-time producers who used to order him around.

His name is Sandy Block, and he was standing at the back of the theater the other night telling a producer he once worked for, “I’m a producer now.”

He is indeed.

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The reviews were excellend and word of mouth is strong. I don't know anyone who has seen this that hasn't like it and gived it high praise.

 

This from today's Michael Reidel column in the NYPost:

 

Out of nowhere — a hit!

If you had said to me a few weeks ago that “After Midnight,” the elegant and joyful celebration of the music of Duke Ellington at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre, would upend the Broadway terrain, I would have taken a nice long toke from my (completely legal) pipe, blown a silky, sexy cloud of smoke in your face and said, “It Don’t Mean a Thing if It Ain’t Got Hugh Jackman.”

 

I suppose Riedel is trying to be funny with his mention of Jackman. (It's a limp joke if anything, IMO). Problem is, what would a white Aussie like Jackman be doing in this all-black show in the first place? (which is why it's a pretty dumb joke, lol).

 

I do hope the show does well. For me, nothing could ever take the place of Ain't Misbehavin' for a revue of black material in this bygone era, but I've also never seen a production of that show that has come close to matching the chemistry of the original cast, so maybe it's better to try something else entirely, lol.

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