Eubie!

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Eubie!
Eubie Musical Logo.png
MusicEubie Blake
LyricsNoble Sissle
Andy Razaf
Johnny Brandon
F. E. Miller
Jim Europe
BookRevue
Productions1978 Broadway

Eubie! Is a revue featuring the music of jazz/swing composer Eubie Blake, with lyrics by Noble Sissle, Andy Razaf, Johnny Brandon, F. E. Miller, and Jim Europe. As with most revues, the show features no book, but instead showcases 23 of Eubie Blake’s best songs. The idea of the show was conceived by Julianne Boyd. It opened in 1978 receiving positive reviews from Time, Newsweek, Variety, Backstage, and The Today Show.[1][2][3]

Production[edit]

After seven previews, the Broadway production, opened on September 20, 1978 at the Ambassador Theatre, where it ran for 439 performances. The show was conceived and directed by Julianne Boyd, choreographed by Billy Wilson and Henry LeTang, and costumed by Bernard Johnston. Vicki Carter was the musical director, pianist, and conductor. Lou Gonzalez was the sound designer.[3][2] Eubie Blake was nearly 100 years of age when the show opened.[4] An original cast recording was produced by Warner Brothers and released on vinyl 1979, and was later released on CD.[1]

The theater setting was designed to be reminiscent of the 1920s, with "curlicued settings, dancers diving down a staircase in a pie-shaped wedge, a girl in a mantilla with a Spanish rose in her teeth".[5] Many of the songs were from the Blake-Sissle 1921 show Shuffle Along, which follows the story of two friends who are both running for mayor. Among the songs were "Charleston Rag", "Daddy", "My Handyman Ain't Handy No More", "Gee, I Wish I Had Someone to Rock Me in the Cradle of Love", and "There's a Million Little Cupids in the Sky" (from the 1924 Blake-Sissle show The Chocolate Dandies).[6][7]

A few months after the show’s opening on Broadway, the tour of Eubie! opened on February 7, 1979 in Baltimore.[1]

Songs[edit]

Cast[edit]

The original cast of Eubie! included and all black cast consisting of 12 performers and 9 musicians. The performers were Ethel Beatty, Terry Burrell, Leslie Dockery, Lynnie Godfrey, Gregory Hines, Maurice Hines, Mel Johnson Jr., Lonnie McNeil, Janet Powell, Marion Ramsey, Alaina Reed, Jeffery V. Thompson.[2] Of these performers Gregory Hines and Lynnie Godfrey were nominated for awards for their performances in Eubie!

Awards and nominations[edit]

Original Broadway production[edit]

Year Award Category Nominee Result
1979 Tony Award Best Original Score Eubie Blake, Noble Sissle, Andy Razafe, F.E. Miller, Johnny Brandon and Jim Europe Nominated
Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Musical Gregory Hines Nominated
Best Choreography Billy Wilson and Henry LeTang Nominated
Drama Desk Award Outstanding Musical Nominated
Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical Lynnie Godfrey Nominated
Outstanding Choreography Billy Wilson and Henry LeTang Nominated
Theatre World Award Gregory Hines Won

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Al Rose, Eubie Blake (New York: Schirmer Books, 1979), 166-167.
  2. ^ a b c Hobe, “Legitimate: Shows on Broadway – Eubie,” Variety 292/8 (1978), 96.
  3. ^ a b Sherry Eaker, “Eubie!” Back stage 39/20 (1979), 50.
  4. ^ Gerald Bordman. American Musical Review (New York: University Oxford Press, 1985), 159-160.
  5. ^ Kerr, Walter. "Arts, mini-review", The New York Times, November 6, 1978, p. 54
  6. ^ Kroll, Jack. "Wild About Eubie", Newsweek, October 2, 1978
  7. ^ League, The Broadway. "The Chocolate Dandies – Broadway Musical – Original | IBDB". www.ibdb.com. Retrieved 2017-12-01.
  8. ^ Al Rose, Eubie Blake (New York: Schirmer Books, 1979), 168-173.

External links[edit]