Review Roundup: AFTER MIDNIGHT Opens on Broadway- All the Reviews!
Producers Scott Sanders and Wynton Marsalis present After Midnight, directed and choreographed by Warren Carlyle and featuring the big-band sounds of nine-time Grammy Award-winner Wynton Marsalis' Jazz at Lincoln Center All-Stars, After Midnight began previews on Friday, October 18, 2013 at Broadway's Brooks Atkinson Theatre (256 W 47th St) and officially opened tonight, November 3, 2013.
The evocative 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.
Let's see what the critics had to say...
Michael Dale, BroadwayWorld: With all due respect, this is truly an all-star production, and don't you dare think of leaving right after the curtain calls because the biggest stars of the evening are the sensational musicians taking us a bit closer to the midnight hour with a rousing turn at "Rockin' In Rhythm."
Charles Isherwood, New York Times: "After Midnight" does not make much of an attempt to impart any of the Cotton Club history. As the evening's nominal host, Mr. Hill sprinkles the evening with a few snippets of Langston Hughes's poetry, but it's incidental. Instead the focus remains squarely on music and its interpretation, by those amazing musicians, under the snappy baton of the conductor Daryl Waters, and the performers who sing, slide, scat, cartwheel and generally raise a ruckus in front of them.
Mark Kennedy, Associated Press: There are few things that bring smiles to even the most jaded faces - balloons, blaring trumpets and tap dancers. A new Broadway revue has two - no, make that all three - so no wonder it leaves you feeling lighter than air. "After Midnight," a candy sampler of some two dozen musical numbers that showcase dance, jazz or singing, opened Sunday at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre led by musical genius Wynton Marsalis, an endearing Dule Hill as its host and a thrilling guest singer in Fantasia Barrino.
David Rooney, Hollywood Reporter: The paramount requirement for any revue celebrating the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s and '30s is stated right there in the Duke Ellington standard, "It Don't Mean a Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing)." And After Midnight has it in abundance, courtesy of a superlative jazz orchestra handpicked by producer Wynton Marsalis from among the best in the business. Ninety minutes of exuberantly entertaining song and dance, this is a show that renders it impossible to keep your toes from tapping. Up first in a series of rotating special guest stars, Fantasia Barrino with her luscious vocals sets the bar high.