Theatre Review: After Midnight


The other Saturday, my family and I decided to drive into the city and see what was available on TKTS on 42nd Street.  Obviously, the earlier you get there, the more there is available for that days performances but we didn’t get there until 1:20 pm, with most of the shows starting at 2 pm.  Since there weren’t many options, we decided to see After Midnight.  The New York Times liked it, so it really couldn’t be bad, could it?

We got to our seats with ample time to spare. The show didn’t start until 2:07 pm. Our seats were in the last row of the Mezzanine, off toward stage right, but we had a decent view.  There was only one point during the show that the view was obstructed.  When the curtains opened, we didn’t know what to expect.

The opening act was incredible.  The entire cast wore white costumes, all set in 1920’s style vaudeville. The audience was watching the Cotton Club with the famous Duke Ellington Band, as the performers sang and danced their hearts out!

After the first song, I couldn’t believe how I was totally engaged.  I didn’t look at my watch or see where we were with the program until we were almost at the finale. (This is unusual for me.  I’m usually trying to follow along with the Playbill, although I barely could see the words in the dark.)

The actors were fantastic.  The dancing was incredible, including the tap dancing scenes with Daniel J. Watts and Phillip Attmore.  I loved when the singing trio of Carmen Ruby Floyd, Rosena M. Hill Jackson & Bryonha Marie Parham came out.  Their voices went so well together.  The lead male actor, which is usually played by Dule Hill was played by his understudy David Jennings, engaged the audience and kept the flow of the musical revenue in sync. But the night went to Fantasia, winner of American Idol. She has the most incredible voice that captivated the audience.

There were more than 25 songs, most by Duke Ellington, but all in the Duke Ellington style.  The band, The Jazz at Lincoln Center All Stars, was amazing.  The horns were incredibly passionate and talented, which came out throughout the performance.

If someone asked me who was better, the singers, the dancers or the musicians, I wouldn’t be able to answer.  I thought they were all superb!

The show doesn’t have a story, so if you go, don’t expect one.  When you enter the Brooks Atikinson Theatre on 47th Street, you are not entering a broadway show, you are going back in time to the days of the Cotton Club, New York City’s infamous Harlem nightclub, that featured the best and brightest performers of the day.  And that’s exactly what you will see here.

If you like jazz, you will love this broadway musical, After Midnight.  I would highly recommend it and glad we bought tickets for it.


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