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Vanessa Williams to join AFTER MIDNIGHT starting April 1

ACL2006
Broadway Legend
joined:2/11/06
Great choice!! She'll be in the show for 6 weeks(April 1 - May 11). Not noted in the press release is that Fantasia is expected to rejoin the show May 13.


Vanessa Williams to join AFTER MIDNIGHT as new
Jingjo2
Understudy
joined:8/25/13
Eris0303
Broadway Legend
joined:7/30/07
This is great news! I'm still trying to find out how long Duke Hill is in the show.
tazber
Broadway Legend
joined:5/10/05
Wow, they are really getting some great guest stars!
CarlosAlberto
Broadway Legend
joined:6/29/10
Take all my friggin money NOW!!!!
quizking101
Broadway Legend
joined:12/25/09
YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAASSSSSSS!
blacktie
Chorus Member
joined:6/7/10
Great news.

On another note...are the special guests eligible for Tony consideration?
Matt Rogers
Broadway Star
joined:10/4/04
Does this mean Shirley Bassey said no?
everythingtaboo
Broadway Legend
joined:5/5/04
There's always room after May 11th for Shirley Bassey. Who knows, she might be the Special Guest Star just in time for the Tony voters. In the meantime, I'm super damn excited for my 'nessa!
ACL2006
Broadway Legend
joined:2/11/06
not after May 11, Fantasia is scheduled to return. Maybe come the fall??
HorseTears
Broadway Legend
joined:3/25/05
I think Vanessa Williams is a beautiful and glamorous woman and a gifted actress and I admire her dedication to the theatre, but I also think she's a rather boring vocalist. She has a very pleasant voice, but I wouldn't say it's particularly moving or exciting. And I say this as someone who bought The Comfort Zone on the day it came out. Or at least my parents bought it for me. Let's face it, this is not really an acting gig, but a singing gig.

A good, safe choice, just not particularly exciting. It will be interesting to see if she's a box office draw, too.

Updated On: 2/19/14 at 10:43 PM
Play Esq.
Broadway Star
joined:7/10/09
Horse:

You have posted a lot about this production, especially your love for Fantasia. From someone who had (embarrassingly…) not seen the production yet, who should I see? Love KD, and Toni was my "straight" crush as a teen (embarrassingly again…). But not sure if I should wait for Fantasia or bite the bullet with any of the upcoming parties.

Your thoughts?

HorseTears
Broadway Legend
joined:3/25/05
Play Esq:

Happy to answer that, but keep in mind that while I'm a fan of k.d. lang's, I haven't seen her in After Midnight and I'm not a particular fan of Toni Braxton or Babyface. From the clips I've seen, from the audience reports on her, and from the new reviews in the NY Post and NY Magazine, it appears that k.d. lang is a great addition to the cast and offers a unique take on the four classic songs she sings. But that's something worth noting as well--the guest star sings four songs. In an evening that features more than 25 songs. Even if the guest star was a total dud (and I don't think that will be the case with any of the upcoming talent), it would be pretty close to impossible for him/her to ruin the evening because there is too much talent up on that stage. Practically every other number is an and out and out showstopper. It's the first show I can recall seeing and wanting an encore of every single number. Like, that second. It's like an injection of pure liquid joy.

Fantasia, bless her, was something else. When you see Fantasia in this show, you are witnessing an artist rising to the challenge and being the most extraordinary vessel for this music. She is undeniably connected to this material on a cellular level. She somehow manages to be authentic to the period while feeling viscerally raw and contemporary. The YouTube clips, as well produced as they are, don't do her performance justice. If you had to choose one guest star, I'd say wait for Fantasia's (reported, but unconfirmed) return.

But, if you enjoy jazz, the music of Duke Ellington, Harold Arlen and Cab Calloway, great dancing, exquisite musicianship, I think you'd want to see this show more than once. And as you know, this business is unpredictable. There's no guarantee that this show will end up being a hit and running for months and years to come. If it ends up tanking at the box office, perhaps there won't even be a return of Fantasia. I would not risk missing it. If you can afford it, I'd say go see it now with k.d. and then come back when Fantasia returns.

Updated On: 2/19/14 at 11:31 PM
Play Esq.
Broadway Star
joined:7/10/09
Thank you, Horse! I think I shall do just that!