Photo Flash: Pettiford, Klauser, et al. at SOPHISTICATED LADIES Reunion at Birdland

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On Monday, April 25, Jim Caruso and the Broadway at Birdland concert series were thrilled to present the 30 Year Reunion Celebration of the Broadway Opening of Duke Ellington's Sophisticated Ladies, with the Duke Ellington Big Band and original cast members. Onstage for the historic performance were Adrian Bailay, P.J. Benjamin, Mercedes Ellington, Ken Hanson, Bruce Heath, Terri Klausner, Frank Owens, Valarie Pettiford and Ty Stephens. 

Sophisticated Ladies is a musical revue based on the music of Duke Ellington. After fifteen previews, the Broadway production, conceived by Donald McKayle, directed by Michael Smuin, and choreographed by McKayle, Smuin, Henry LeTang, Bruce Heath, and Mercedes Ellington, opened on March 1, 1981 at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre, where it ran for 767 performances. The show was nominated for eight Tony Awards, including Best Musical, and won for Best Actor (Battle) and Costume Design (Willa Kim). The score includes "Mood Indigo," "Take the "A" Train," "I'm Beginning to See the Light," "Hit Me With a Hot Note and Watch Me Bounce," "Perdido," "It Don't Mean a Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing)," "I Let a Song Go Out of My Heart," "Old Man Blues," "In a Sentimental Mood," "Sophisticated Lady," "Don't Get Around Much Anymore," "Satin Doll," and "I Got It Bad and That Ain't Good."

All Photos by Stephen Sorokoff

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