It was announced on Wednesday during a live appearance from the stage of the Brooks Atkinson Theatre, that multi-platinum recording artist and actress Vanessa Williams is set to join the roster of “Special Guest Star” vocalists in the critically acclaimed Broadway musical, After Midnight. Williams will play performances from Tuesday, April 1st through Sunday, May 11th at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre (256 W 47th Street). Directed and choreographed by Warren Carlyle, After Midnight began preview performances on Friday, October 18, 2013, and opened to rave reviews on Sunday, November 3, 2013.
Vanessa Williams is one of the most respected and multi-faceted performers in entertainment today. Having sold millions of albums worldwide, she has conquered the music charts and achieved critical acclaim for her film, stage and television work. She most recently appeared on Broadway in the Tony nominated play The Trip to Bountiful where she portrayed Jessie Mae Watts, the icy daughter-in-law to Cicely Tyson’s Mama Watts, roles both actresses will reprise for Lifetime’s upcoming television adaptation of the Horton Foote classic. Other Broadway credits include: Into the Woods (Tony Nomination), Kiss of the Spider Woman (Theatre World Award), Sondheim on Sondheim, and St. Louis Woman for City Center’s acclaimed Encores! Series.
As a recording artist, Williams has garnered 11 Grammy nominations with hits like: “The Right Stuff,” “Save the Best for Last,” and Disney’s Academy Award winning song “Colors of the Wind.” She is also known for her three-time Emmy nominated performance as Wilhelmina Slater in Ugly Betty, as well as her portrayal as Renee Perry in Desperate Housewives (NAACP Image Award), and Olivia Duran in 666 Park Avenue. Her many film credits include: Soul Food, Eraser, Dance with Me, Johnson Family Vacation, as well as numerous television movies and miniseries.
A proud mother of four children, Williams and her mother Helen landed on the New York Times Best Seller list with their memoir, You Have No Idea: A Famous Daughter, Her No-Nonsense Mother, and How They Survived Pageants, Hollywood, Love, Loss (and Each Other) in 2012.
After Midnight reintroduces the Cotton Club’s exciting tradition of welcoming the stars of today in limited engagements throughout the musical’s run. Four-time Grammy Award-winning icon, k.d. lang appears in a performance New York Magazine calls “superb,” now through March 9th. Grammy Award-winners Toni Braxton and Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds will follow in the role of “Special Guest Star” March 18th through March 30th. Additional guest stars will be announced soon.
The wildly eclectic cast of After Midnight currently includes four-time Grammy Award-winning icon, and “Special Guest Star” vocalist, k.d. lang; Dulé Hill, who leads the audience through the heat and glamour of the Harlem Renaissance as “The Host,” Tony Award-winner Adriane Lenox reprising her critically acclaimed role as the blues singer with a sense of humor; Julius “iGlide” Chisolm from the renowned dance crew RemoteKontrol, reimagining Harlem’s popular 1920’s “snakehips” dance; hip hop star Virgil J. Gadson; Tony Award-nominated modern dancer Karine Plantadit; Michael Jackson’s tap coach Dormeshia Sumbry-Edwards and tap-dancing choreographer Jared Grimes in stunning tap routines. The cast also includes a male quartet comprised of Bobby Daye, Cedric Neal, T. Oliver Reid and Monroe Kent III; a female trio of Broadway vets including Carmen Ruby Floyd, Rosena M. Hill Jackson and Bryonha Marie Parham; and accomplished dancers Marija Abney, Phillip Attmore, Christopher Broughton, Taeler Elyse Cyrus, C.K. Edwards, Danielle Herbert, Bahiyah Hibah, David Jennings, Erin N. Moore, Justin Prescott, Tony Award nominee Desmond Richardson, Allysa Shorte, Monique Smith and Daniel J. Watts.
After Midnight also features The Jazz at Lincoln Center All-Stars, a world-class big band of 17 musicians hand-picked by living jazz legend, Wynton Marsalis. Steeped in the tradition of The Duke Ellington Orchestra, The Jazz at Lincoln Center All-Stars celebrate jazz’s large-ensemble tradition in a way never-before-heard on Broadway. The Jazz at Lincoln Center All-Stars include Mark Gross, Godwin Louis, Dan Block, Andy Farber and Kurt Bacher on woodwinds; Gregory Gisbert, Bruce Harris, Alphonso Horne and James Zollar on trumpets; Wayne Goodman, Art Baron and James Burton III on trombones; Adam Birnbaum on piano; James Chirillo on guitar; Jennifer Vincent on bass and Alvester Garnett on drums.
Conceived by Jack Viertel, After Midnight features direction and choreography by Warren Carlyle, musical direction by Wynton Marsalis and musical supervision by Daryl Waters.
The design team for After Midnight includes prolific design couple Isabel Toledo (costumes) and Ruben Toledo, Tony Award-winners John Lee Beatty (set design) and Howell Binkley (lighting design) and Peter Hylenski (sound).
After Midnight is produced by Scott Sanders Productions, and Wynton Marsalis, in association with Marks-Moore-Turnbull Group; Stephen and Ruth Hendel; Tom Kirdahy.
The performance schedule for After Midnight is as follows: Tuesdays – Thursdays at 7:30 pm, Friday and Saturday nights at 8 pm, and matinee performances on Wednesdays and Saturdays at 2 pm and Sundays at 3 pm. Tickets range from $60.00 to $142.00 (premium tickets are $199) and are available via Ticketmaster and in person at the Brooks Atkinson box office. Tickets for groups of 12 or more can be purchased by calling 212-239-6262 or 800-432-7780 or by visiting ticketmaster.com.
Author: Buddy Iahn
Buddy Iahn founded The Music Universe when he decided to juxtapose his love of web design and music. As a lifelong drummer, he decided to take a hiatus from playing music to report it. The website began as a fun project in 2013 to one of the top independent news sites.