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Review: AFTER MIDNIGHT at Signature Theatre

Starring Christopher Jackson and Nova Y. Payton

Review: AFTER MIDNIGHT at Signature Theatre

Review: AFTER MIDNIGHT at Signature Theatre

After Midnight at Signature Theatre is a revue featuring the music of Harold Arlen, Dorothy Fields, Jimmy McHugh, and DC's own Duke Ellington, and is set around the poems of Langston Hughes. The show features some of DC's finest talent including Nova Y. Payton (a Signature regular) and Hamilton star Christopher Jackson as well as a stacked and extremely enthralling ensemble. With direction by Jared Grimes and music direction by Mark G. Meadows, the show proved to be a roaring success with over-the-top performances, fabulous design, and swinging music.

I was particularly taken by the show's design which was every bit early jazz as Duke Ellington himself. The bare stage only accessorized by the band set the show perfectly while the lighting created the perfect ambience. Lighting designer Mike Baldassari's designs were impeccable and may have been the unsung hero of the production. In the same vein, costume designer Dede Ayite's talents shone through her designs, dressing every cast member in beautiful period clothing that seemed to beckon the audience to a different time and place entirely.

The performances were other-worldly and wildly impressive. Grime's direction insured that each song flowed effortlessly into the next, making it as if we were in a jazz club ourselves waiting for the next act. While I enjoyed each performance, I particularly enjoyed 'Happy as the Day is Long', 'Peckin', 'Go Back to Where you Stayed Last Night', and the classic 'Stormy Weather'.
The choreography also done by director Jared Grimes was classically jazz but with a modern twist. The ensemble carried the cast with their energetic dance numbers and I particularly enjoyed the Tap Mathematician/Don't Mean a Thing mashup coupled by the excellent tap stylings of cast member Phillip Attamore.

These stellar performances speak for themselves and I highly encourage anyone who is a fan of jazz, Langston Hughes, or just fine theater to check After Midnight out immediately. Single tickets for viewing are $35 and are available by clicking here or by calling the Signature Theatre Box Office at 703-820-9771. Last day to purchase is Wednesday August 4.




From This Author - Russell Smouse

Russell Smouse is currently a student at Catholic University. He has been a theatre enthusiast for many years and has performed in many roles on and off the stage. Russell is happy to be a participating... (read more about this author)


BWW Review: AFTER MIDNIGHT at Signature Theatre
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After Midnight at Signature Theatre is a revue featuring the music of Harold Arlen, Dorothy Fields, Jimmy McHugh, and DC’s own Duke Ellington, and is set around the poems of Langston Hughes. The show features some of DC’s finest talent including Nova Y. Payton (a Signature regular) and Hamilton star Christopher Jackson as well as a stacked and extremely enthralling ensemble. With direction by Jared Grimes and music direction by Mark G. Meadows, the show proved to be a roaring success with over-the-top performances, fabulous design, and swinging music.

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