shuffle along or the making of the musical

A 1952 revival, starring Sissle and Blake, Avon Long and Thelma Carpenter and choreographed by Henry LeTang, was also unsuccessful. Lighting designers: Jules Fisher & Peggy Eisenhauer Shuffle Along, or The Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed NYT Critic's Pick Broadway, Musical Open Run Music Box Theater, 239 W. 45th St. 212-239-6200 Search CurtainUp in the box below Back to Curtainup Main Page PRODUCTION NOTES Shuffle Along, Or, The Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed. "Nothing but high notes and bad attitude" is how the very smooth Sissle describes her before launching an ill-considered charm offensive that gets a withering reception. Set designer: Santo Loquasto This production was unsuccessful and closed after 17 performances. And if the resulting historical reappraisal is more successful at charting the creative high than the deflating hangover that came after, the performances alone make it unmissable. That said, Shuffle Along is a most enjoyable, invigorating new look at a savory and worth thinking about slice of musical history. [8] In the end, however, the show earned $9 million from its original Broadway production and three touring companies, an unusual sum in its time. 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. "[21] Nevertheless, scholar James Haskins stated that Shuffle Along "started a whole new era for blacks on Broadway, as well as a whole new era for blacks in all creative fields. A new musical based on the making of Shuffle Along – entitled Shuffle Along, Or, The Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed – is scheduled to officially open on April 21, 2016 at Broadway's Music Box Theatre. Miller and Aubrey Lyles, was a groundbreaking Broadway show that changed the way that theatre audiences saw relationships in the black community.Historians agree that it was not only a big hit in 1921, but that it helped to lead the way towards a new Broadway. The musical opened on May 23, 1921, and became a groundbreaking long-running production, closing after some 500 performances. They resolve their differences in a long, comic fight. "Shuffle Along" is one of the most anticipated musicals of 2016. Shuffle Along or The Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed —that’s the full title—is a meta-musical about the creation … As they fight, their opponent for the mayoral position, virtuous Harry Walton, vows to end their corrupt regime ("I'm Just Wild about Harry"). "[16] Black audiences at Shuffle Along sat in orchestra seats rather than being relegated to the balcony. [17] It was the first Broadway musical to feature a sophisticated African-American love story, rather than a frivolous comic one. Theater:Music Box Theatre. Her wacky creations for a Chinese restaurant scene are inspired, as are her flashy threads for the guys when they become suddenly flush with success. [27] The cast starred Audra McDonald as Lottie Gee, Brian Stokes Mitchell as Miller, Billy Porter as Lyles, Brandon Victor Dixon as Blake and Joshua Henry as Sissle. Sam wins with the help of a crooked campaign manager. [29] The production closed on July 24, 2016. Gertrude Saunders was replaced by Florence Mills. Executive producers: Joey Parnes, Sue Wagner, John Johnson Check out scenes and songs from George C Wolfe & Savion Glover's "Shuffle Along Or The Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed" on Broadway. Shuffle Along Or the Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed Music & lyrics by Noble Sissle & Eubie Blake. Perhaps the first jazz musical, the 1921 production of Shuffle Along was a sensation, proving that a book musical by and about people of color … Miller (Brian Stokes Mitchell) and Aubrey Lyles (Billy Porter) wrote the play about a mayoral race on which it was based, and Noble Sissle (Joshua Henry) and Eubie Blake (Brandon Victor Dixon) contributed music and lyrics. Location: 230 W. 45th St., New York City. Shuffle Along is a musical with music and lyrics by Noble Sissle and Eubie Blake, and a thin revue-style connecting plot about a mayoral race, written by Flournoy Miller and Aubrey Lyles.[1][2]. For the past few months Wolfe has been racing to finish his own Broadway musical–titled, not so simply, Shuffle Along, or The Making of the Musical … "[5] Nevertheless, the African-American community embraced the show, and performers recognized the importance of the show's success to their careers. [2], The show was "the first major production in more than a decade to be produced, written and performed entirely by African Americans. Sam keeps his promise to appoint Steve as chief of police, but they begin to disagree on petty matters. [30], Sheet music for "Love Will Find a Way", a song from the show, Shuffle Along, or, the Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed, "Shuffle Along: The Musical at the Center of the Harlem Renaissance", "Shuffling Roles: Alterations and Audiences in Shuffle Along", "History of The Musical Stage, 1920s Part III: Black Musicals", "Black History Month – Innovative Musical Contributions: Eubie Blake", "Little Known Black History Fact: Shuffle Along", "The Verdict: Critics Review Broadway's 'Shuffle Along'", "Audra McDonald to Star in New Broadway Musical With Savion Glover", "Brian Stokes Mitchell and Audra McDonald Will Reunite on Broadway in, "See Full List of 2016 Tony Award Nominations", "Broadway’s ‘Shuffle Along’ To Close in July, When Audra McDonald Exits", https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Shuffle_Along&oldid=972864924, Articles with unsourced statements from January 2013, Articles with unsourced statements from February 2019, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, "I'm Simply Full of Jazz" - Ruth Little and Syncopation Steppers, "Love Will Find a Way" - Jessie Williams and Harry Walton, "Sing Me to Sleep, Dear Mammy" - Harry Walton and Board of Aldermen, "(In) Honeysuckle Time (When Emmaline Said She'd Be Mine)" - Tom Sharper, "Gypsy Blues" - Jessie Williams, Ruth Little and Harry Walton, "Shuffle Along" - Jimtown Pedestrians and Traffic Cop, "Good Night Angeline" - Board of Aldermen, "If You Haven't Been Vamped by a Brownskin, You Haven't Been Vamped at All" - Steve Jenkins, Sam Peck and Jimtown Vamps, "Uncle Tom and Old Black Joe" - Uncle Tom and Old Black Joe, "Everything Reminds Me of You" - Jessie Williams and Harry Walton, "Oriental Blues" - Tom Sharper and Oriental Girls, "I Am Craving for That Kind of Love"/ "Daddy (Won't You Please Come Home)" - Ruth Little, "Baltimore Buzz" - Tom Sharper and Jimtown's Jazz Steppers, "African Dip" - Steve Jenkins and Sam Peck, This page was last edited on 14 August 2020, at 05:28. All rights reserved. Harry gets the people behind him and wins the next election, as well as the lovely Jessie, and runs Sam and Steve out of town. There's no quick retreat to the side of the stage here while the chorus kids do their stuff, though the ensemble most definitely takes charge in a bravura sequence called "The Pennsylvania Graveyard Shuffle," a vigorous locomotive tap ballet that marks a grueling statewide series of one-nighters. Music Box Theater 239 W. 45th St. 212/239-6200 Directed by George C. Wolfe. “Shuffle Along, or, The Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed” has music and lyrics by Sissle and Blake, an original book … It’s also a social and showbusiness history lesson that’s … An excerpt of Shuffle Along, the musical fight between the two leading characters, was made into a short talkie film by Warner Bros in the early 1930s. "[2] But the musical drew repeat audiences due to its jazzy music styles, which were a modern, edgy contrast to the mainstream song-and-dance styles that audiences had seen on Broadway for two decades. One of the most delightful scenes has Lottie taking newcomer Florence Mills (Adrienne Warren, a kewpie-doll firecracker) under her wing and coaching her through the number "I'm Craving for That Kind of Love." Sitemap | In a Broadway season notable for making the Great White Way a full spectrum of onstage diversity, it's good to honor the pioneers. Venue: Music Box Theatre, New York 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. This is a show that spreads its focus among five principal characters, leaving it without a strong protagonist or a unifying point of view. [20] In 1929, Harlem, a drama by Wallace Thurman and William Rapp, introduced the Slow Drag, the first African-American social dance to reach Broadway. One character remarks that the lighter the skin, the more desirable an African-American woman is. [6][10] Its appeal to audiences of all races, and to celebrities such as George Gershwin, Fanny Brice, Al Jolson, Langston Hughes and critic George Jean Nathan, helped to unite the white Broadway and black jazz communities and improve race relations in America.[6][7][11]. Once the show left New York, it toured for three years and was, according to Barbara Glass, the first black musical to play in white theaters across the United States. [2][10] The production opened on Broadway in April 2016 at the Music Box Theatre,[26] directed by Wolfe, and choreographed by Savion Glover. EMAIL ME, Shuffle Along Production Still 2 - H 2016. Yet, if a show strayed from what had become the standard formula for the black musical, disastrous reviews became almost inevitable. There are issues with exposition overload and timeline confusion in the first act, and then an increasingly unwieldy sprawl of multiple narrators and digressive subplots in the second, hitched together at the end with contextual considerations and footnotes. Santo Loquasto's scenic design ranges from the eloquent simplicity of a bare stage with a ghost light through elaborate backdrops and flats modeled on those used at the time. And she can tap-dance, too! Choreographer: Savion Glover TWITTER 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. [19], After Shuffle Along, nine African-American musicals opened on Broadway between 1921 and 1924. However, the married Blake's more aw-shucks manner wins Lottie over, and they begin a long affair. [2][23], The show was revived at the Mansfield Theatre, New York City, from December 26, 1932, to January 7, 1933, starring Sissle, Blake, Miller, Lyles, Mantan Moreland and Bill Bailey. [24], During World War II, Sissle and Blake adapted and performed Shuffle Along for USO shows, with an ensemble that included pianist and vibraphonist Sylvester Lewis.[25]. The titles are "The Mayor of Jimtown" and "Jimtown Cabaret". Shuffle Along, or, the Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed is a musical adaptation based on the original book of the 1921 musical, focusing on the challenges of mounting the original production of Shuffle Along and its effect on Broadway and race relations. The four writers were African-American Vaudeville veterans who first met in 1920 at a NAACP benefit that was held at the newly opened Dunbar Theatre in Philadelphia. Original book by F.E. Her sweeping first entrance — wearing a radiant smile and a royal blue velvet shimmy fringe dress — shoots a high-voltage charge through the audience. The uncommon ambition behind writer-director George C. Wolfe's project is baked into the show's hefty subtitle: Or the Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed. It opened at the Broadway Theatre on May 8, 1952, and closed after four performances, but was recorded in an abridged form by RCA Victor, combined with selections from Blackbirds of 1928. Scene after scene dazzles in one of the most electrifying entertainments on Broadway. Book: George C. Wolfe; original book: F.E. And this spring’s star-studded Broadway production of Shuffle Along provides a great reason to celebrate. Miller & Aubrey Lyles. Full title: "Shuffle Along, Or, The Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed." "[5] According to the Harlem chronicler James Weldon Johnson, Shuffle Along marked a breakthrough for the African-American musical performer and "legitimized the African-American musical, proving to producers and managers that audiences would pay to see African-American talent on Broadway. Harlem Renaissance patron Carl Van Vechten (Brooks Ashmanskas, none too subtly multitasking as all of the story's white characters) takes snarky pleasure in his sadly accurate prediction that the musical would not be remembered. David Rooney [5] It had brief revivals in 1933 and 1952. [2] The show also contributed to the desegregation of theaters in the 1920s, giving many black actors their first chance to appear on Broadway. But even if it works better as the reanimation of a lost Broadway milestone than a portrait of the creative team behind it, the project's strengths far outweigh its flaws. It goes without saying at this point that there's nothing the superhuman McDonald can't do onstage, but rarely do we get to see her cut loose in exuberant comedic mode to the extent she does here. [15] The musical toured successfully throughout the country up to 1924. [7] Promoters were skeptical that a black-written and produced show would appeal to Broadway audiences. February is Black History Month, a time to celebrate the accomplishments of African-Americans in all areas of life, including on Broadway. [8] It introduced musical hits such as "I'm Just Wild about Harry", "Love Will Find a Way", and "In Honeysuckle Time". Her coquettish spin on "Daddy (Won't You Please Come Home)" is such a saucy treat it ought to be outlawed. The uncommon ambition behind writer-director George C. Wolfe's project is baked into the show's hefty subtitle: Or the Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed. © 2020 The Hollywood Reporter, LLC. Shuffle Along, a musical with music and lyrics by Noble Sissle and Eubie Blake and original book by F.E. And the rich vocal arrangements and orchestrations of Daryl Waters make the musical numbers sizzle. The show was the baby of two vaudeville duos who met at a 1920 NAACP benefit: F.E. It was only able to book a remote theater on West 63rd Street that had no orchestra pit. Each of the leading male characters was out to swindle the other. "Shuffle Along was one of the first shows to provide the right mixture of primitivism and satire, enticement and respectability, blackface humor and romance, to satisfy its customers". When the show came back to New York, about a year later, during the Depression of 1920–21, the production owed $18,000 and faced strong competition on Broadway in a season that included Florenz Ziegfeld's Sally and a new edition of George White's Scandals. Keeps his promise to appoint Steve as chief of police, but they begin disagree... 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