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SHUFFLE ALONG's Brian Stokes Mitchell Set for Tonight's 'Metrofocus' on THIRTEEN

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The award-winning series MetroFocus premieres new episodes in the New York and tri-state region weeknights at 5 p.m. on WLIW21, 5:30 p.m. on NJTV and 6 p.m. on THIRTEEN. All episodes are available at metrofocus.org following the broadcast. Please visit metrofocus.org for the latest information.

On tonight's episode airing Monday, June 6 at 5:00 p.m. on WLIW21, 5:30 p.m. on NJTV and 6:00 p.m. on THIRTEEN: When it comes to acting, Brian Stokes Mitchell has done it all from television, to film and Broadway. While most nominees are waiting to see if they've secured themselves a Tony later this month, Mitchell can rest easy knowing he will walk away with the 2016 Isabelle Stevenson Tony Award honoring him for his work with The Actors Fund. We'll discuss his involvement with that, plus his return to the stage in the ten-time Tony-nominated musical Shuffle Along Or The Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed, the diversity of Broadway today, and what is next for this famous leading man.

Shuffle Along, Or the Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed recently received a 2016 Tony Award nomination for Best Musical. The show is a new production that presents both the 1921 musical itself and details the events that catalyzed the songwriting team of Noble Sissle and Eubie Blake, and librettists F.E. Miller and Aubrey Lyles to create this ground-breaking work. The show opened on April 28, 2016 at the Music Box Theatre (239 West 45th Street).

SHUFFLE ALONG stars six-time Tony Award-winner Audra McDonald, Tony Award-winners Brian Stokes Mitchell and Billy Porter, and Tony Award-nomineesBrandon Victor Dixon and Joshua Henry. SHUFFLE ALONG will have a new book by George C. Wolfe, will be choreographed by Savion Glover, and directed by Mr. Wolfe. SHUFFLE ALONG marks the first time that the writer/director and choreographer will have worked together since their 1996 hit Bring in 'da Noise, Bring in 'da Funk.

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 Lylesand 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 criticGeorge 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 asJosephine Baker, Paul Robeson, Florence Mills, Fredi Washington, and Adelaide Hall. Because of Shuffle Along, Uptown and Downtown met and became one.

Photo Credit: Julieta Cervantes


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