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Breaking News: American Ballet Theatre's Misty Copeland to Join Cast of ON THE TOWN in August

On the heels of being named the first female African-American principal dancer for the American Ballet Theatre, Misty Copeland will be joining the cast of Broadway's ON THE TOWN next month. After New York City Ballet principal dancer Megan Fairchild departs the show, Copeland will take over the role of Ivy for two weeks, beginning August 25th.

Copeland will be performing from August 25 - September 6 at the Tuesday, Thursday and Friday evening shows and the Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday matinees. The show will also have a Saturday and Sunday evening performance during those weeks.

"We are so thrilled to have Misty joining us at this momentous time in her career," said producer Howard Kagan. "On the Town has a long history of progressive, diverse casting which began with the creative team's casting of Japanese-American dancer Sono Osato as 'Ivy Smith' in the original 1944 production, in the midst of World War II, as well as featuring one of the first racially-integrated ensembles. So it seems fitting that this incredible talent, who has broken through barriers in the dance world, will make her Broadway debut in this show."

Speaking to The Times about the current representation of ballet on Broadway in both ON THE TOWN and AN AMERICAN IN PARIS, Copeland said, "It's such a beautiful time right now, I think, for dance, and especially for ballet and bringing it to a much broader audience." She continued, "I always say that it has changed my life, and it's such a beautiful thing to be a part of - and I think people are realizing that, a new generation is realizing that. It's so exciting."

In 2014, Copeland served as a guest judge for three weeks on FOX's popular competition show SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE alongside ON THE TOWN producer Nigel Lythgoe.

Copeland will continue the long connection that the American Ballet Theatre has with ON THE TOWN. The musical began as Jerome Robbins' 1944 ballet "Fancy Free," which debuted at the American Ballet Theatre.

In June, Copeland took on the lead roles in both ABT's SWAN LAKE (read BWW Dance's review here) and ROMEO AND JULIET (read our review here), before being promoted to a principal dancer with the company on June 30th.


Directed by John Rando (Tony Award winner for Urinetown) and choreographed by Joshua Bergasse (Emmy Award winner for "Smash"), On The Town is an "explosion of pure joy" (David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter) with "the best dancing on Broadway" (Ben Brantley of The New York Times on NPR). Featuring eye popping sets and gorgeous costumes, On The Town has "a rapturous and red blooded score" (Joe Dziemianowicz, Daily News) byLeonard Bernstein, one of America's greatest composers. This hit musical comedy is "everything a great show should be!" (Terry Teachout, The Wall Street Journal).

ON THE TOWN,which began previews on Saturday, September 20, 2014 and officially opened on Thursday, October 16, 2014, was created by a legendary dream team, featuring book and lyrics by Betty Comden and Adolph Green, music by Leonard Bernstein, and based on an idea by Jerome Robbins.

The musical opened at Broadway's Adelphi Theater later that year, directed by George Abbott, and played through February 2, 1946 for a total of 462 performances, transferring to the 44th Street Theatre and Martin Beck Theatre along the way.

ON THE TOWN features scenic and projection design by Tony Award winner Beowulf Boritt (Act One, Chaplin, Rock of Ages), lighting design by Drama Desk nominee Jason Lyons (Bring it On, Rock of Ages), costume design by Tony Award winner Jess Goldstein (Newsies, Jersey Boys, The Rivals), sound design by Tony Award nominee Kai Harada (Follies, Million Dollar Quartet), hair and makeup design by Leah Loukas (A Night with Janis Joplin, Vanya and Sonya and Masha and Spike), musical direction by James Moore, and additional material by Robert Cary and Jonathan Tolins.


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