Ever wondered what it was like to sit in a club, listening to big band jazz and watching skit after skit of rising talent in the heart of New York City in the 1930’s? Well, now you have the chance. After Midnight conceived by Jack Viertel featuring American Idol winner, Fantasia and narrated by “Psych’s” Dulé Hill is a rousing good time created to invoke such a feeling.
The show incorporated so much of what made old Broadway shows spectacular before we had such technological advances that make Spiderman and Wicked spectacular. The music is the jazz collection of Ellington, Mills, Koehler, and Arlen and brings back to mind the time when, while the country was devastated by the Depression, there were still those daring to dream and compose and create.
Highlights of the show include French dancer, Karine Plantadit whose magnificence onstage is indescribable. She communicates perfectly her situation onstage; drawing the audience in to her heartbreak and joy effortlessly. Adriene Lenox delivers comedy with her solos that made my sides ache from laughing so hard. Dormeshia Sumbry-Edwards, Phillip Attimore, and Daniel Watts bring the art of tap back on to Broadway in a glorious way. Their percussion is spot on and inspires. While I’m on the subject of tap, Jared Grimes wowed the audience with his tap number to Duke Ellington’s “Tap Mathematician.”
Another performance worth mentioning is the performance given by The Jazz at Lincoln Center All Stars! The orchestra was onstage the entire time and was having a good time which translated in their music. I am so pleased I was able to see such talent.
The only thing that didn’t heighten the show was the performance given by Fantastia. I had expected more from her, but I found her numbers to be rather boring compared to the rest of the show. And while this only an aesthetic critique, I feel it needs to be said, women did not have tattoos in the 1930s and I found hers to be incredibly distracting from the show whenever she was onstage.After Midnight officially opened at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre on November 3, 2013 and is running through March with special guest star K.D. Lang performing from Feb. 11-Mar. 9 and Babyface and Toni Braxton performing Mar.18-30. Here is where you can find tickets: After Midnight on Broadway.
Photos by Matthew Murphy
Review by: Aziza Seven