Review: AFTER MIDNIGHT at Paper Mill Playhouse-A Jazzy, Exhilarating Musical Revue Celebrating the Harlem Renaissance

AFTER MIDNIGHT at Paper Mill Playhouse

By: Feb. 06, 2024
Review: AFTER MIDNIGHT at Paper Mill Playhouse-A Jazzy, Exhilarating Musical Revue Celebrating the Harlem Renaissance

“Take the A Train to Harlem!” by the Emcee in After Midnight

Paper Mill Playhouse is now presenting After Midnight, a scintillating musical revue co-directed by Dominique Kelley and the Playhouse’s Associate Artistic Director, Jen Bender. The production features outstanding musical direction by Sean Mayes and vibrant choreography by Dominique Kelley. This show will keep your toes tapping and send you home in high spirits.  The production can be seen on the Millburn stage through February 25.

Review: AFTER MIDNIGHT at Paper Mill Playhouse-A Jazzy, Exhilarating Musical Revue Celebrating the Harlem Renaissance

After Midnight was conceived by Jack Viertel.  Set in the Jazz Age, the show transports the audience to the renowned Cotton Club in Harlem where swinging rhythms and beautiful songs takes center stage. Compositions from legendary performers such as Cab Calloway, Duke Ellington, and Billy Strayhorn are entwined with the poetry of Langston Hughes, the great leader of the Harlem Renaissance movement. Experience the exciting nightlife destination as you enjoy numbers with romantic and playful themes complemented by dazzling dance. The orchestra performs on the stage creating a lively scene with an emcee providing context for the music. The entire show is a colorful portrayal of the Jazz Age that illuminates the music of the era with style and verve.

Review: AFTER MIDNIGHT at Paper Mill Playhouse-A Jazzy, Exhilarating Musical Revue Celebrating the Harlem Renaissance

The cast for After Midnight is a talented troupe of vocalists and dancers that are well known to Broadway stages and beyond.  The show stars Angela Birchett, Sasha Hutchings, Joshua Lamar, James T. Lane, Stanley Martin, Harris Matthew, Aramie Payton, Destinee Rea, Awa Sal Secka, Liv Symone, Jasmine Pearl Villaroel, and Anthony Wayne. This company is truly a dream team!

Review: AFTER MIDNIGHT at Paper Mill Playhouse-A Jazzy, Exhilarating Musical Revue Celebrating the Harlem Renaissance  

Over 25 songs are performed in the show including iconic ones and lesser-known gems. Some of the many highlights include the opening number, “Daybreak Express” by Duke Ellington performed by the Company; “Braggin’ in Brass” by Duke Ellington, Henry Nemo, and Irving Mills performed by the Orchestra; “I Can’t Give You Anything but Love” by Dorothy Fields and Jimmy McHugh performed by Angela; "Scrontch" by Duke Ellington, Henry Nemo and Irving Mills performed by Liv, Sasha, Destinee, James, Stanley, Harris and Anthony; “Go Back to Where You Stayed Last Night” by Sidney Easton and Ethel Waters performed by Awa; “On the Sunny Side of the Street” by Dorothy Fields & Jimmy McHugh performed by Angela, Aramie and Anthony; and “Cotton Club Stomp” by Duke Ellington, Harry Carney and Johnny Hodges performed by the Company. And the Exit Music; “Take the ‘A’ Train” by “Billy Strahorn performed by the Orchestra is a thrilling finale to the show as each performer takes their special bow.

Review: AFTER MIDNIGHT at Paper Mill Playhouse-A Jazzy, Exhilarating Musical Revue Celebrating the Harlem Renaissance  

The Creative Team has done a great job setting the mood for After Midnight with lighting design by Adam Honoré; costume design by Azalea Fairleysound design by Sadah Espi Proctor; and hair and wig design by Alfreda Howard. Casting is by Tara Rubin Casting. RL Campbell is the Production Stage Manager.

After Midnight proves to be the ideal show for Black History Month to celebrate and showcase the talents of black artists.   We applaud Paper Mill Playhouse’s Producing Artistic Director, Mark S. Hoebee and Executive Director, Mike Stotts for bringing metro area audiences another top show in their 2023-2024 Season. 

After Midnight runs for 90 rousing minutes with no intermission. For ticketing and more information, visit https://papermill.org/ or call the Box Office at 973.376.4343.  Paper Mill Playhouse is located at 22 Brookside Drive, Millburn, NJ  07041. 

Photo Credit: Jeremy Daniel

 




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