GLEE's Amber Riley to Star Opposite Brandon Victor Dixon, Jared Grimes and Adriane Lenox in City Center's COTTON CLUB PARADE November 14-18
Amber Riley ("Glee") joins original cast members Brandon Victor Dixon, Jared Grimes and Adriane Lenox in New York City Center's acclaimed production of Duke Ellington's Cotton Club Parade, returning to City Center for seven performances from November 14–18, 2012. Conceived by Jack Viertel and presented under the auspices of City Center's Tony Award–winning Encores! series, Cotton Club Parade will once again be directed and choreographed by Warren Carlyle, with music direction by Jazz at Lincoln Center Artistic Director Wynton Marsalis. The show will feature the Jazz at Lincoln Center All Stars under the direction of Daryl Waters.
Cotton Club Parade opened at City Center on November 18, 2011 for a limited, six-performance run and received unanimous rave reviews. It was hailed as "90 minutes of singing, dancing, orchestral oomph and, in short, pure joy" by The Daily News and named Best Jazz Moment of 2011 by The Wall Street Journal. The New York Times said it "made period jazz come to life with a focused intensity and rhythmic savvy that left me open-mouthed with wonder."
In addition to Brandon Victor Dixon, Jared Grimes, Adriane Lenox and Amber Riley (who is making her N.Y. stage debut), the Cotton Club Parade cast includes Alexandria "Brinae Ali" Bradley, Andrew "Dr.Ew" Carter, Kyra Da Costa, Carmen Ruby Floyd, La Tanya Hall, Jeremiah "Supaman" Haynes, Christopher Jackson, Monroe Kent III, Karine Plantadit, T. Oliver Reid and Britton Smith, with Tanya Birl, Christopher Broughton, Wilkie Ferguson, Chanon Judson, Marielys Molina, Erin Moore, Jason Samuels Smith, Monique Smith, Daniel J. Watts and J.L. Williams.
Cotton Club Parade is a Broadway-style revue celebrating Ellington's years at the famed Harlem nightclub in the 1920s and '30s, when the joint was jumping with revues featuring big band swing and blues. As in the original shows, Cotton Club Parade will feature singers, dancers and variety acts, with songs by the greatest jazz composers of the time, including Jimmy McHugh and Dorothy Fields ("I Can't Give You Anything But Love" and "Digga Digga Doo"), a young Harold Arlen ("Stormy Weather," "I've Got the World on a String," "Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea,"), and of course, Duke Ellington ("Rockin' in Rhythm," "Cotton Club Stomp," "Black and Tan Fantasy," and "Creole Love Call").
Duke Ellington influenced millions of people around the world and at home. During the course of his 50-year career, he composed more than 3,000 songs and played more than 20,000 performances in Europe, Latin America, the Middle East and Asia. He gave American music its own sound for the first time with popular hits such as "It Don't Mean a Thing if It Ain't Got That Swing," "Sophisticated Lady," "Mood Indigo," "Solitude," "In a Mellotone," and "Satin Doll." Ellington was awarded the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1966 and later earned several other prizes, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1969 and the Legion of Honor by France in 1973.
The Jazz at Lincoln Center All Stars, under the direction of Daryl Waters, is composed of 15 of the finest jazz soloists and ensemble players, who have performed at Jazz at Lincoln Center and with the country's top jazz orchestras.
Amber Riley currently stars as Mercedes Jones on Fox's hit musical comedy "Glee," which returns for its fourth season this fall. She has performed in numerous Theater Productions, including Alice in Wonderland, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Into the Woods and Mystery on the Docks with the Los Angeles Opera. Amber received two NAACP Image Award nominations for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series for her work on "Glee", as well as two Teen Choice Award nominations for Choice TV: Female Scene Stealer. She previously served as an Ambassador for VH-1's Save the Music Foundation.
Brandon Victor Dixon received a Tony Award nomination for his portrayal of Harpo is The Color Purple. He originated the role of Adult Simba in the Cheetah National Tour of The Lion King, appeared on Broadway in Rent and at City Center in the Encores!'s production of House of Flowers. In the off-Broadway production of The Scottsboro Boys, Brandon received Lead Actor nominations from the Lucille Lortel Foundation, Drama League and Outer Critic's Circle.
Jared Grimes is revolutionizing tap and hip-hop/street jazz. He has danced alongside and for legends such as Gregory Hines, Jerry Lewis, Mariah Carey, and Wynton Marsalis. Jared's stage credits include Babes in Arms at the Goodspeed Opera House; Twist directed by Debbie Allen; The Scottsboro Boys (workshop), directed by Susan Stroman; and Gentlemen Prefer Blondes directed by John Rando. Jared performed at the Kennedy Center on the occasion of Barack Obama's inauguration, and shortly after again for Ted Kennedy's birthday. He will be featured in the opening program of City Center's 2012 Fall for Dance Festival.
Adriane Lenox's many Broadway credits include Doubt (Tony Award), Chicago, Caroline or Change, Kiss Me Kate, Ain't Misbehavin', Dreamgirls and How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying. Off-Broadway, she was seen in Still Life and Dinah Was... (Obie, Audelco Awards). Adriane appeared with Sandra Bullock in the film The Blind Side, and she will appear opposite Robert DeNiro in Red Lights and in Lee Daniels' The Butler.
Warren Carlyle directed and choreographed the world premiere of Cotton Club Parade as well as the Encores! productions of On the Town, Juno, Stairway to Paradise and Finian's Rainbow, along with its subsequent Broadway production. He is currently directing and choreographing Chaplin, soon to open at the Barrymore Theater. Additionally, Warren directed and choreographed the Broadway productions of A Tale of Two Cities and Hugh Jackman, Back on Broadway, and he choreographed the recent Broadway revival of Follies.
Cotton Club Parade is made possible, in part, with generous support from the Zegar Family Foundation.
New York City Center (Arlene Shuler, President & CEO) has played a defining role in the cultural life of the city for nearly 70 years. It was Manhattan's first performing arts center, dedicated by Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia in 1943 with a mission to make the best in music, theater and dance accessible to all audiences. Today, City Center is home to many distinguished companies, including City Center's Principal Dance Company, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater; American Ballet Theatre, New York City Opera, and Manhattan Theatre Club; a roster of renowned national and international visiting artists; and its own critically acclaimed and popular programs. The Tony-honored Encores! musical theater series has been hailed as "one of the very best reasons to be alive in New York." Dance has been integral to the theater's mission from the start, and dance programs, including the annual Fall for Dance Festival, remain central to City Center's identity. City Center is dedicated to providing educational opportunities to New York City students and teachers with programs such as Encores! In Schools and the Young People's Dance Series. Last year, City Center completed an extensive renovation to revitalize and modernize its historic theater.
Cotton Club Parade will run for seven performances, November 14–18, 2012, according to the following schedule: Wednesday and Thursday at 7:30 p.m., Friday at 8 p.m., Saturday at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m., and Sunday at 3 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Tickets start at $29 and will be available starting August 13 at the New York City Center Box Office (West 55th Street between 6th and 7th Avenues), through CityTix® at 212-581-1212, or online at NYCityCenter.org. Further information is available at NYCityCenter.org and jalc.org.