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TWITTER WATCH: SHUFFLE ALONG's New Star Rhiannon Giddens Gets Her First Taste of Tap Dancing

Saying that Grammy-winner Rhiannon Giddens has some big shoes to fill may be a bit of an understatement when those shoes have to tap dance on Broadway eight times a week.

But the quickly-rising country/blues singing star pegged with the assignment of filling in for Audra McDonald in SHUFFLE ALONG, OR, THE MAKING OF THE MUSICAL SENSATION OF 1921 AND ALL THAT FOLLOWED during the six-time Tony-winner's maternity leave is proving herself to be a trooper with a sense of humor.

"This era of African-American musical history has obsessed me for many years," she writes on Facebook, "and I'm so honored to get to be a part of this incredible production. I'm learning how to tap for this role, so if you see me out and about and wonder why I'm limping..."

Giddens is best known as singer, violinist and banjo player for the country blues band, The Carolina Chocolate Drops. Their 2010 album, "Genuine Negro Jig" was awarded the Grammy Award for Best Traditional Folk Album. In February 2015, she released her highly acclaimed solo album, "Tomorrow Is My Turn" on Nonesuch Records, including songs written by Patsy Cline, Odetta, Dolly Parton and Nina Simone, among others.

And while she's surely putting her best foot forward for her new gig, a recent Twitter post shows she's prepared to suffer for her art,

SHUFFLE ALONG, OR, THE MAKING OF THE MUSICAL SENSATION OF 1921 AND ALL THAT FOLLOWED is a re-imagined version of the 1921 musical SHUFFLE ALONG, one of the earliest stage hits starring, written and directed by African-Americans.

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 Henryin 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, andAdelaide Hall. Because of SHUFFLE ALONG, Uptown and Downtown met and became one.


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