Show Clips: SHUFFLE ALONG, Starring Audra McDonald - YouTube The new musical will use the Blake & Sissle music with an original libretto by Wolfe. The backstage story is about the making of one of the first all-black Broadway musical hits that was also written by African-Americans. [28] The adaptation received ten 2016 Tony Award nominations but won none. Don't miss: "Broadway babies" join the cast of "Shuffle Along" Savion Glover and George C. Wolfe revive "Shuffle Along" George C. Wolfe on a "footnote" of 1921 The four writers were African-American Vaudeville veterans who first met in 1920 at a NAACP benefit that was held at the newly opened Dunbar Theatre in Philadelphia. "[22] Loften Mitchell, author of Black Drama: The Story of the American Negro in the Theatre, credited Shuffle Along with launching the Harlem Renaissance,[citation needed] as did Langston Hughes. [6][10] Its appeal to audiences of all races, and to celebrities such as George Gershwin, Fanny Brice, Al Jolson, Langston Hughes and critic George Jean Nathan, helped to unite the white Broadway and black jazz communities and improve race relations in America.[6][7][11]. The plot involved two old friends who run against one another for the office of mayor of their town, each promising to hire the other if elected. Which Musical Theatre Character Are You Becoming in Quarantine? She will play the 1920s headliner Lottie Gee, the star of Shuffle Along. Sam keeps his promise to appoint Steve as chief of police, but they begin to disagree on petty matters. Playbill Vault's Today in Theatre History: February 22, 16 Broadway Plays and Musicals You Can Watch On Stage From Home. Copyright 1991-2020 © Playbill Inc. All Rights Reserved. A Tony winner for Kinky Boots, Porter’s Broadway credits also include Smokey Joe’s Café, Grease, Five Guys Named Moe and Miss Saigon. [29] The production closed on July 24, 2016. Glover made his Broadway debut in 1983 at age 10 in The Tap Dance Kid, but has spent most of the last 18 years touring with his own dance troupe. "Shuffle Along" opens on April 28, 2016. [27] The cast starred Audra McDonald as Lottie Gee, Brian Stokes Mitchell as Miller, Billy Porter as Lyles, Brandon Victor Dixon as Blake and Joshua Henry as Sissle. After nearly a decade on Broadway, the stage manager is not just working in theatre—he’s shaping it for the better. However, with little fundin… The show announced its supporting cast: Brooks Ashmanskas, Felicia Boswell, Amber Iman, Adrienne Warren, Phillip Attmore, Darius de Haas, C.K. They resolve their differences in a long, comic fight. Scott Rudin is producing the show, which will start previews at the Music Box Theatre March 14, 2016, and open April 21. The musical launched or boosted the careers of Josephine Baker, Paul Robeson, Florence Mills, Fredi Washington and Adelaide Hall. Once in office, however, the two find themselves at odds. A 1952 revival, starring Sissle and Blake, Avon Long and Thelma Carpenter and choreographed by Henry LeTang, was also unsuccessful. In the same year theatres shutdown, his profile skyrocketed. [19], After Shuffle Along, nine African-American musicals opened on Broadway between 1921 and 1924. But with an infectious jazz score and exuberant dancing, Shuffle Along [which contained the hit 'I'm Just Wild About Harry'] ignited not just Broadway but all of New York City. By the time Shuffle Along stumbled into town after a back-breaking pre-Broadway tour, it was deeply in debt and set to open at a remote Broadway house on West 63rd Street. "[21] Nevertheless, scholar James Haskins stated that Shuffle Along "started a whole new era for blacks on Broadway, as well as a whole new era for blacks in all creative fields. As they fight, their opponent for the mayoral position, virtuous Harry Walton, vows to end their corrupt regime ("I'm Just Wild about Harry"). If either one wins, he agrees to appoint the other his chief of police. Here, she describes the costumes. [6][10] According to Time magazine, Shuffle Along was the first Broadway musical that prominently featured syncopated jazz music and the first to feature a chorus of professional female dancers. Love Will Find a Way (From "Shuffle Along") by Ivan Harold Browning. It, and another similar short featuring Miller and Lyles, were found in the Warner Bros archives in 2010, where they had been misfiled. By the time Shuffle Along stumbled into town after a back-breaking pre-Broadway tour, it was deeply in debt and set to open at a remote Broadway house on West 63rd Street. The new Broadway musical Shuffle Along, Or The Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed opened April 28 at the Music Box Theatre.. Shuffle Along: New Directions in the Broadway Musical. Dixon and Henry will play the songwriting team of Eubie Blake and Noble Sissle. Shuffle Along, a musical comedy by composer Eubie Blake and lyricist Noble Sissle which featured an all-black cast, was the most significant achievement in black theatre of its time. 3:47 Listen Now $0.99 In MP3 cart View MP3 Cart 6. He also received three nominations for Ragtime, King Hedley II and Man of La Mancha. [7] Promoters were skeptical that a black-written and produced show would appeal to Broadway audiences. Henry is a two-time Tony nominee for The Scottsboro Boys and Violet, and he has also appeared in Porgy and Bess, Bring It On: The Musical and American Idiot. Mitchell won a Tony Award for his performance in Kiss Me, Kate. Harry gets the people behind him and wins the next election, as well as the lovely Jessie, and runs Sam and Steve out of town. "[5] Nevertheless, the African-American community embraced the show, and performers recognized the importance of the show's success to their careers. Read the Playbill.com feature by Tony Award winner Tonya Pinkins, in which she shares her memories of working on Jelly's Last Jam with Wolfe. Shuffle Along [1921] (Original, Musical, Comedy, Broadway) opened in New York City May 23, 1921 and played through Jul 15, 1922. [6] None of the four had ever written a musical, or even appeared on Broadway. Two dishonest partners in a grocery store, Sam and Steve, both run for mayor in Jimtown, USA. During its long run, the original Shuffle Along employed at various times the future stars Josephine Baker, Florence Mills, Adelaide Hall and Paul Robeson. Each of the leading male characters was out to swindle the other. Gertrude Saunders was replaced by Florence Mills. Shelton Becton will be the musical director. Find top songs and albums by Original Broadway Cast of Shuffle Along including I'm Just Simply Full of Jazz (From "Shuffle Along"), Election Day in Jimtown (From "Shuffle Along") and more. The show was noted for its score and for a comic fight scene in Act II. The show served as a breakout role for St. Louis native Josephine Baker, who danced in the chorus as the zany caboose at the end of the line. And despite being celebrated vaudeville performers, Miller and Lyles and Sissle and Blake had never performed on Broadway, much less written a musical. The Tony Award winner celebrates her birthday February 22. Don't miss: "Broadway babies" join the cast of "Shuffle Along" Savion Glover and George C. Wolfe revive "Shuffle Along" George C. Wolfe on a "footnote" of 1921 The story focuses on the challenges of mounting the original production of Shuffle Along and its effect on Broadway and race relations. Because of Shuffle Along, Uptown and Downtown met and became one.”. Musicals Lyrics, Broadway Cast, Lyrics for Musicals, ... Shuffle Along the Musical Songs Lyrics. [2], President Harry Truman chose the show's song "I'm Just Wild About Harry" for his campaign anthem. Today's birthdays include Lea Salonga, Ellen Greene, and Marni Nixon. Once the show left New York, it toured for three years and was, according to Barbara Glass, the first black musical to play in white theaters across the United States. Richard Cooper Bio Photos Theatre Credits Stage History - learn all about their career on stage. by Original Broadway Cast of Shuffle Along. Or, are you beginning to wonder why anyone would ever leave Grey Gardens? It was only able to book a remote theater on West 63rd Street that had no orchestra pit. Songs from the score were heard in the 1978 Broadway revue, Eubie! [8][18], According to theatre historian John Kenrick, "Judged by contemporary standards, much of Shuffle Along would seem offensive ... most of the comedy relied on old minstrel show stereotypes. That score included "In Honeysuckle Time," "Love Will Find a Way," "Bandana Time," "If You Haven't Been Vamped by a Brownskin, You Haven't Been Vamped at All," and its biggest hit, "I'm Just Wild About Harry.". I own nothing. [citation needed] However, the success of the show set limits on the black-themed shows that followed. (Two short-lived Broadway revivals of Shuffle Along, in 1933 and 1952, reworked the book extensively.) George C. Wolfe will write the book as well as direct, and Savion Glover will choreograph. The production will feature scenic design by Santo Loquasto, costume design by Ann Roth, lighting design by Jules Fisher and Peggy Eisenhauer and sound design by Scott Lehrer. The show's dancing and 16-girl chorus line were more reasons why the show was so successful. An amazing cast with Billy Porter, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Joshua Henry and Brandon Victor Dixon in addition to Mc Donald. Shuffle Along was one of the longest running plays on Broadway, with 504 performances. After finding a small source of funding, Shuffle Along toured through New Jersey and Pennsylvania. By the time Shuffle Along stumbled into town after a back-breaking pre-Broadway tour, it was deeply in debt and set to open at a remote Broadway house on West 63rd Street. [17] It was the first Broadway musical to feature a sophisticated African-American love story, rather than a frivolous comic one. Wolfe won the Tony Award twice, as director of both a musical and a play: Bring in 'da Noise in 1996 and Angels in America: Millennium Approaches in 1993. [20] In 1929, Harlem, a drama by Wallace Thurman and William Rapp, introduced the Slow Drag, the first African-American social dance to reach Broadway. [2] The show also contributed to the desegregation of theaters in the 1920s, giving many black actors their first chance to appear on Broadway. He will play Aubrey Lyles, a writer and performer. Click here to buy Shuffle Along … In a season full of spectacles, such as Sally — a Ziegfeld musical — and another edition of George White’s Scandals, Shuffle Along’s failure was almost a foregone conclusion," press notes state. [8] In the end, however, the show earned $9 million from its original Broadway production and three touring companies, an unusual sum in its time. "Sissle and Blake Sing Shuffle Along" is a rich slice of Broadway history, and a sterling addition to Harbinger's growing catalogue of musical theatre and cabaret recordings. The Amazon series also adds Kit Harington, Anna Paquin, Minnie Driver, and. "New York City was still in the throes of the Depression of 1920. With music by Eubie Blake and Noble Sissle, Shuffle Along premiered in May 1921 and had a run variously recorded as 484 performances and 504 performances, either one a remarkably long run by the standards of the time. The show announced its supporting cast: Brooks Ashmanskas, Felicia Boswell, Amber Iman, Adrienne Warren, Phillip Attmore, Darius de Haas, C.K. “Shuffle Along,” one of the most ambitious and anticipated musicals of the theater season just ended, will close next month, abruptly and … Sign up for exclusive discounts and save up to 50% on tickets! The show premiered on Broadway at the Daly's 63rd Street Theatre on May 23, 1921, and closed on July 15, 1922, after 504 performances. 2:44 Listen Now $0.99 In MP3 cart View MP3 Cart 5. Miller. When the show came back to New York, about a year later, during the Depression of 1920–21, the production owed $18,000 and faced strong competition on Broadway in a season that included Florenz Ziegfeld's Sally and a new edition of George White's Scandals. Baker joined the traveling cast at age 15 and was allowed to join the Broadway version a year later, when she was 16. In fact, most of the claims that are made for “Shuffle Along” — that it was the first black Broadway show, or the first successful one — … Shuffle Along Cast List on Broadway.com, the most comprehensive source for Broadway Shows, Broadway Tickets and Broadway Information. A shame that this show is closing 7/24 when Audra Mcdonald was due to leave. The show will represent the first collaboration between Wolfe and tap master Glover since their Tony-winning Bring in 'da Noise, Bring in 'da Funk in 1996. Yet, if a show strayed from what had become the standard formula for the black musical, disastrous reviews became almost inevitable. "Shuffle Along" opens on April 28, 2016. He also directed 16 Broadway productions, including the Pulitzer Prize-winning Topdog/Underdog, plus Jelly's Last Jam, The Wild Party, Elaine Stritch: At Liberty and Caroline, Or Change. “In May 1921, the new musical Shuffle Along became the unlikeliest of hits, significantly altering the face of the Broadway musical as well as that of New York City. Here is the show's new logo, featuring newly-added cast member Afra Hines. "Shuffle Along was one of the first shows to provide the right mixture of primitivism and satire, enticement and respectability, blackface humor and romance, to satisfy its customers". [citation needed] In 1928, Lew Leslie's Blackbirds of 1928, starring Adelaide Hall and Bill "Bojangles" Robinson, became the longest running all-black show on Broadway (up to that point), running for 518 performances. It opened at the Broadway Theatre on May 8, 1952, and closed after four performances, but was recorded in an abridged form by RCA Victor, combined with selections from Blackbirds of 1928. The proposed guidelines are dependent on the easing of coronavirus lockdown restrictions by spring. Shuffle Along's Tony Award-nominated choreographer Savion Glover and cast dance the Pennsylvania Graveyard Shuffle … Josephine Baker, who was deemed too young at the age of 15 to be in the show, joined the touring company in Boston, and then joined the Broadway cast when she turned 16. Recently seen at City Center’s Encores! Are you working non-stop? [2], The show was "the first major production in more than a decade to be produced, written and performed entirely by African Americans. 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