is a Play On! musical adaptation of Shakespeare's , featuring the music of Twelfth Night Duke Ellington, with a book by Cheryl L. West. The musical resets the story in 1940s Harlem.
Production history [ edit ]
The original production, conceived by director
Sheldon Epps, premiered in San Diego at the Old Globe Theatre in September 1996. After 19 previews, it opened on Broadway on March 20, 1997 at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre, where it ran for 61 performances. The cast included Tonya Pinkins, André De Shields, and Carl Anderson. An original cast recording was released on May 20, 1997 on Varèse Sarabande.
The book, by playwright
Cheryl L. West, departs from Twelfth Night's usual setting of Illyria, resetting the play's action and characters in 1940s Swing-era Harlem. [1 ]
Synopsis [ edit ]
Vy comes to swinging 1940s Harlem to write songs for the Duke, Harlem's greatest band leader. To overcome the sexist barriers of the time against women songwriters, she disguises herself as a man, Vy-man. She finds the Duke in tears over his loss of Lady Liv, Harlem's "queen of the blues". The Duke likes Vy-man's music, so he instructs the songwriter to go to the Cotton Club and present one of her songs as if it were a new song written by the Duke for Lady Liv. Lady Liv finds Vy-man charming, and a series of mistaken pairings results.
Meanwhile, several of the performers at the Cotton Club are rebelling against the overly serious and tyrannical club manager,
Rev. Since Rev has a crush on Lady Liv, the performers persuade him that he should woo her by learning to swing and scat, giving up his old fashioned ballads. More confusion results before the truth is revealed, and the couples are appropriately united.
Take the A Train" (Music and Lyrics by Billy Strayhorn) "
Drop Me Off in Harlem" (Music by Duke Ellington, Lyrics by Nick Kenny) "I've Got to Be a Rug Cutter" (Music and Lyrics by Duke Ellington)
I Let a Song Go Out of My Heart" (Music and Lyrics by Duke Ellington, Irving Mills, Henry Nemo, John Redmond) "
C Jam Blues" (Music by Duke Ellington) "
Mood Indigo" (Music and Lyrics by Duke Ellington, Irving Mills, Albany Bigard) "
Don't Get Around Much Anymore" (Music by Duke Ellington, Lyrics by Bob Russell) "Don't You Know I Care" (Music by Duke Ellington, Lyrics by
Mack David) "
It Don't Mean a Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing)" (Music by Duke Ellington. Lyrics by Irving Mills) "
I Got It Bad and That Ain't Good" (from Jump For Joy) (Music by Duke Ellington. Lyrics by Paul Francis Webster) "Hit Me With a Hot Note and Watch Me Bounce" (Music by Duke Ellington. Lyrics by
Don George) "
I'm Just a Lucky So-and-So" (Music by Duke Ellington. Lyrics by Mack David) "
Everything But You" (Music and Lyrics by Duke Ellington, Don George, Harry James) "
Solitude" (Music and Lyrics by Duke Ellington, Eddie DeLange, Irving Mills)
Awards and nominations [ edit ]
Original Broadway production [ edit ]
References [ edit ]
^ Staff J. "Play On!". Guide to Musical Theatre . Retrieved . 2013-01-24
External links [ edit ]
The Blanton–Webster Band
Never No Lament: The Blanton-Webster Band
Braggin' in Brass: The Immortal 1938 Year
Masterpieces by Ellington
The Duke Plays Ellington
Dance to the Duke!
Duke Ellington Presents...
The Complete Porgy and Bess
A Drum Is a Woman
Studio Sessions, Chicago 1956
Such Sweet Thunder
Black, Brown and Beige
Duke Ellington at the Bal Masque
The Cosmic Scene
Back to Back
Side by Side
Anatomy of a Murder
Blues in Orbit
The Nutcracker Suite
Piano in the Background
Swinging Suites by Edward E. and Edward G.
Piano in the Foreground
The Great Summit: The Master Takes
First Time! The Count Meets the Duke
Duke Ellington & John Coltrane
Featuring Paul Gonsalves
Studio Sessions 1957 & 1962
Midnight in Paris
Duke Ellington Meets Coleman Hawkins
Studio Sessions, New York 1962
The Symphonic Ellington
Duke Ellington's Jazz Violin Session
Studio Sessions New York 1963
Duke Ellington Plays Mary Poppins
Concert in the Virgin Islands
The Popular Duke Ellington
The Far East Suite
Studio Sessions, 1957, 1965, 1966, 1967, San Francisco, Chicago, New York
...And His Mother Called Him Bill
Second Sacred Concert
Studio Sessions New York, 1968
Latin American Suite
New Orleans Suite
The Suites, New York 1968 & 1970
The Intimacy of the Blues
The Afro-Eurasian Eclipse
Studio Sessions New York & Chicago, 1965, 1966 & 1971
The Intimate Ellington
The Ellington Suites
This One's for Blanton!
Up in Duke’s Workshop
Duke's Big 4