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SHUFFLE ALONG, Starring Audra McDonald, Opens Tonight on Broadway

A re-imagined version of the 1921 musical SHUFFLE ALONG, one of the earliest stage hits starring, written and directed by African-Americans, opens tonight, April 28, on Broadway at the Music Box Theatre.

SHUFFLE ALONG has a new book and is directed by George C. Wolfe, choreographed by Savion Glover. SHUFFLE ALONG will have music supervision, arrangements, and orchestrations by Daryl Waters. The production features scenic design by Santo Loquasto, costume design by Ann Roth, sound design by Scott Lehrer, and lighting design by Jules Fisher and Peggy Eisenhauer. Shelton Becton is Musical Director.

Joining six-time Tony Award winner Audra McDonald, Tony Award winners Brian Stokes Mitchell and Billy Porter, and Tony Award nominees Brandon Victor Dixon and Joshua Henry in the 30-member cast of are Brooks Ashmanskas, Felicia Boswell, Amber Iman, Adrienne Warren, Phillip Attmore, Darius de Haas, C.K. Edwards, Afra Hines, Curtis Holland, Adrienne Howard, Kendrick Jones, Lisa LaTouche, Alicia Lundgren, J.C. Montgomery, Erin N. Moore, Janelle Neal, Brittany Parks, Arbender Robinson, Karissa Royster, Britton Smith, Zurin Villanueva, Christian Dante White, J.L. Williams, Pamela Yasutake, and Richard Riaz Yoder.

In May 1921, the new musical SHUFFLE ALONG became the unlikeliest of hits, significantly altering the face of the Broadway musical as well as that of New York City. By the time SHUFFLE ALONG stumbled into town after a back-breaking pre-Broadway tour, it was deeply in debt and set to open at a remote Broadway house on West 63rd Street. In a season full of spectacles, such as Sally - a Ziegfeld musical - and another edition of George White's Scandals, SHUFFLE ALONG's failure was almost a foregone conclusion. New York City was still in the throes of the Depression of 1920. And despite being celebrated vaudeville performers, Miller and Lyles and Sissle and Blake had never performed on Broadway, much less written a musical. But with an infectious jazz score and exuberant dancing, SHUFFLE ALONG ignited not just Broadway but all of New York City. George Gershwin, Fanny Brice, Al Jolson, Langston Hughes, and famed critic George Jean Nathan were among the many fans who repeatedly flocked to West 63rd Street to see a cast which - during its run of 504 performances - featured such incipient luminaries as Josephine Baker, Paul Robeson, Florence Mills, Fredi Washington, and Adelaide Hall. Because of SHUFFLE ALONG, Uptown and Downtown met and became one.

SHUFFLE ALONG is produced by Scott Rudin.

Photo Credit: Julieta Cervantes


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