Review: DAVID JACKSON & DAVID WHITE: COTTON CLUB CONFIDENTIAL Salutes Famed Club at 54 Below

This reviewer was spellbound by these “old school” song and dance talents!

By: Feb. 19, 2024
Review: DAVID JACKSON & DAVID WHITE: COTTON CLUB CONFIDENTIAL Salutes Famed Club at 54 Below
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Patrons of 54 Below glimpsed a special piece of New York City history with its presentation of David Jackson & David White: COTTON CLUB CONFIDENTIAL on February 15, 2024.  Each a Broadway veteran in their own right, David Jackson and David White brought the famed ambiance of the Cotton Club of the 1920’s and 30’s to life in 21st century midtown Manhattan.

The famed Cotton Club, which flourished during Prohibition and Jim Crow era segregation, was owned by gangsters who dictated the rules.  At the Cotton Club the African-American talent performed before an only white audience. It was here that many of the rich, powerful and famous of the time flocked -- hence its renown as “where the elite come to meet.”  Many of these performers went on to great fame such as Cab Calloway, Duke Ellington, Lena Horne, Dorothy Dandridge, Ethel Waters, Billie Holliday, Bill Robinson,The Nicholas Brothers and Count Basie to name but only a very few. 

David Jackson and David White sang duets, shared songs and personal stories as they enthralled theatergoers with their powerful and sonorous voices and dancing skills.  Yes, this reviewer was spellbound by these “old school” song and dance talents!  What a joy! Their rendition of Cab Calloway’s famed “Minnie The Moocher” immersed the mesmerized audience who participated along with them as they crooned the well-known verses.  Images of the maestro Cab Calloway himself, in his heyday at The Cotton Club, were among those that were shown alongside each musical number. 

Special guest, Allyson Tucker, emerged onstage oozing old world glam while clad in a purple evening gown. In her powerful and sultry voice, she transported the patrons of 54 Below with her performance of “Mood Indigo” and “Hit Me With A Hot Note.”  

When David Jackson and David White reemerged attired in all black tuxedos with gold inflections, everyone knew they were in for a treat.  Together they belted out “Maybe My Baby Loves Me” from the 1989 Broadway musical Grand Hotel where Jackson and White originally met as cast members and became long lasting friends.  A final emotional rendition between the two of “You Can’t Make Old Friends” left not a dry eye in the place. 

When at last the night was done, David Jackson & David White: COTTON CLUB CONFIDENTIAL was met by thunderous applause.  The two old friends and Broadway colleagues had captivated our hearts.  It featured David Jackson, David White, special guest Allyson Tucker, Music Director Alex Rybeck and a band composed of Ritt Henn (Bass), Gene Ghee (Reeds), Ray Marchica (Drums), with direction and choreography by  Lynnette Barkley and writing by Scott Brooks.

Find great shows to see on the 54 Below website HERE



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