After Midnight, the new name of the revue formerly known as the Cotton Club Parade, is heading to Broadway.
Previews are set to begin October 18 at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre, with the official opening set for November 3. The production was conceived by Jack Viertel, and has previously played to engagements at New York City Center.
While no casting has been officially announced, the New York Times reports that American Idol winner Fantasia Barrino will star in the production.
Here’s how the new production is billed, which reveals quite a bit about not only the story, but of the big names that are involved:
Jazz is a state of mind. It’s a structure for innovation, forward momentum and freedom. The evocative new musical After Midnight will take the sexy, smoky glamour of the original Jazz Age and catapult it into a whole new era of heart-pounding, mind-blowing entertainment for modern Broadway audiences. Refracted through a contemporary lens, After Midnight will celebrate Duke Ellington’s years at the Cotton Club using his original arrangements and performed by a world-class big band of 17 musicians hand-picked by living jazz legend, Wynton Marsalis. The timeless tunes set against a narrative of Langston Hughes poetry will provide an authentic backdrop for an array of cutting-edge performances by 25 sensational vocalists and dancers, including special guest stars, whose interpretations will shatter everything you think you know about music, nightlife and Broadway. Welcome to the new Jazz Age.
The production features pieces by many jazz composers of the time, including Harold Arlen, Jimmy McHugh and Dorothy Fields, and Duke Ellington.
“In the Swing Era, jazz dominated the music charts for a reason: it’s sophisticated yet down-home, and people can get down for a profoundly good time while still being uplifted.” said Marsalis in a statement. “Those things have never left our music, and Broadway is the perfect place to showcase to the world the contemporary relevance of swing. Come on down, to get down and be lifted up.”