Duke Ellington’s Sophisticated Ladies
Duke's high-style music is the heart and soul of this 1981 Tony Award-winning Broadway hit, directed with dazzle by André De Shields.
Presented in the year marking the 120th anniversary of Ellington's birth, this revival of Duke Ellington's Sophisticated Ladies brings the heyday of Harlem's swanky Cotton Club into the 21st century.
All those glorious Ellington numbers – “Satin Doll,” “It Don’t Mean a Thing (If It Ain’t Got That Swing),” “Cotton Tail,” “Take the ‘A’ Train” and “Mood Indigo” – are in full swing, featuring talent from Broadway's hottest hits and an onstage band versed in his greatest music. It's a high-stepping salute inspired by the ritzy nightlife and sensuous highlife of a man who lived to love.
The ensemble features Johmaalya Adelekan, Ken Ard, Jacqueline Arnold, Wesley Barnes, Lamont Brown, Kaleigh Cronin, Lianne Marie Dobbs, C.K. Edwards, Danielle Kelsey, Jenny Laroche, N'Kenge, and Tommy Scrivens. De Shields' creative team includes Kimberly Schafer (choreography), Nat Adderley, Jr. (musical director), Burke J. Wilmore (set and lighting design), and Gail Brassard (costume design).
André De Shields is a multiple Tony Award nominee best known for his show-stopping performances in four legendary Broadway musicals: The Full Monty, Play On!, Ain't Misbehavin' and The Wiz (title role). Next month, he can be seen on Broadway as Hermes in the London transfer Hadestown at the Walter Kerr Theatre.
A co-production of NJPAC and Crossroads Theatre Company
The American Song series at NJPAC is presented, in part, through the generous support of the Blanche and Irving Laurie Foundation, the David S. Steiner and Sylvia Steiner Charitable Trust, and the Joan and Allen Bildner Family Fund.
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