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Are Denzel Washington and Orlando Bloom too old on Broadway?

Denzel Washington is playing Walter Lee Younger in "Raisin in the Sun" at age 58; Sidney Poitier was 34. Orlando Bloom is playing Romeo at age 36. Leonard Whiting was 18.

Denzel Washington is playing Walter Lee Younger in “Raisin in the Sun” at age 58; Sidney Poitier was 34.
Orlando Bloom is playing Romeo at age 36. Leonard Whiting was 18.

Denzel Washington has confirmed that he will play the frustrated son Walter Lee Younger in “A Raisin in the Sun” next year on Broadway. “We start previews in March.” When Sidney Poitier played the character, that actor was in his early 30s (as was Sean Combs.)  Washington is 58.

Orlando Bloom, at 36, is making his Broadway debut next month in “Romeo and Juliet.” While Shakespeare never mentions Romeo’s age, Juliet is explicitly 13 years old in the play. In Franco Zeffirelli’s film of “Romeo and Juliet,” Leonard Whiting was 18.

Some greeted Denzel Washington’s announcement with jokes. (“They’ll have to change the character’s name to Walter Older.”)

Broadway is not alone.

MuchAdoaboutNothingJonesRedgraveVanessa Redgrave, 75, and James Earl Jones, 81, are slated to play the lovers Beatrice and Benedick in a production of  Much Ado about Nothing at the Old Vic directed Mark Rylance, (Derek Jacobi was considered old for the role when he won a Tony for playing Benedick on Broadway when he was 46.)

Does age matter?

As theater artist (and fellow Tweeter) Isaac Butler points out, “nearly every stage actor plays parts that they are either too old or too young for. This list is endless. Nearly every single play to feature a teenager has that part played by someone in their mid 20s, for example. Most every elderly characters are played by actors in their 60s.”

Specific examples:

Mary Martin as Peter Pan

Mary Martin as Peter Pan

Mary Martin played Peter Pan, an eternal boy, starting at age 42.

Celia Keenan-Bolger played a young girl in “Peter and the Starcatcher” at age 34.

Cathy Rigby is still playing Peter Pan at age 60.

Bernadette Peters (age 65) played the mother of a 12-year-old girl in A Little Night Music

Sarah Bernhardt played the role of Hamlet at age 56.

Ethel Merman reprised the young sharpshooter Annie Get Your Gun in her 50’s

Eileen Herlie was 11 years younger than Laurence Olivier when she played Gertrude to his Hamlet.

Nearly everybody in “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” is an adult playing a child; the same is true in “You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown.” (although one of the actors plays a dog.)

Many found Phillip Seymour Hoffman too young for Willy Loman – although he was older than Lee J. Cobb was when he played the role.

Lucky Guy 1 Broadhurst Theater

Tom Hanks in Lucky Guy

Kerry Butler, who is 42,  has played a teenager in  Hairspray and Rock of Ages, and somebody in her 20s in “Catch Me If You Can.”

Angela Bassett, age 54, played a character in her 20s in “The Mountaintop,” where Samuel Jackson played Martin Luther King Jr., even though he is 25 years old than King was when he died.

Tom Hanks, 57, is 16 years older than Mike McAlary was when he died, and Hanks played him in “Lucky Guy” mostly in his 20’s and 30’s. “Didn’t hurt box office,” Howard Sherman observes.

Angela Bassett and Samuel Jackson in The Mountaintop

Angela Bassett and Samuel Jackson in The Mountaintop

Both Orlando Bloom and Denzel Washington have their defenders.

As Michael Kimmel points out “in the original source, Romeo is supposed to be around 20 and Juliet 18- Willy is generally considered to have lowered both. “

Besides, says Rebecca Bromels “no one wants to see a 13 year-old attempt the role of Juliet, do they?  Not an easy role to pull off.”

As for Denzel Washington as Walter Lee Younger: The character “is about the desperation and establishing manhood,” says Evita Castine  “or what people think it is – not how old he looks.”

In writing about Vanessa Redgrave and James Earl Jones’ forthcoming romp in “Much Ado About Nothing” (which would be an apt title for this post), Lyn Gardner concluded: “What great actors do is make you suspend your disbelief so completely that age becomes irrelevant.”

Thanks to the contributors not already mentioned: Tyler J. Martins, Jeff L. Walker, Patrick J. Maley, Phil Iannitti ,‏ Billy Flood, Beau Cybulski, Darius Smith, Piarsaigh MacCuagh,  Shawna Tucker Monson, Lauri Levenberg, Erica McLaughlin, Whitney Fetterhoff

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Smash Calendar 2014 (and why nobody will buy it)

Sure “Smash” was killed after two season because of steadily decreasing viewers. But that hasn’t stopped the merchandising for the TV series about the backstage story of a Broadway musical.
If sales of the Smash 2014 calendar are not as brisk as its manufacturers expect (at least on Amazon), it may be because, like the creators of the series, they chose the wrong character to highlight.
SmashCalendar2014

KarenCartwright

Looking At Billy Magnussen, Tony nominee, most ogled actor in New York?

BillyMagnusseninVanya
Billy Magnussen — Casey Hughes in the soap opera “As The World Turns,” Tony-nominated for Spike in “Vanya, Sonia, Masha and Spike,” guitarist for the rock group Reserved for Rondee, and reportedly slated to play Rapunzel’s Prince in the film adaptation of Stephen Sondheim’s “Into The Woods” — is among the most ogled actors in New York.

Here is a 35-second video, mostly silent, of Magnussen performing the duties of Master of Ceremonies for last week’s Broadway in Bryant Park free lunchtime concert series.

Here is he is a brief video from the Reserved for Rondee Album Release Concert

Here are some Vines that he has created

With Neka Zang from Rock of Ages and Mayor Michael Bloomberg “invading his crib”

with co-star David Hyde Pierce

with the rest of the cast of Vanya, Sonia, Masha and Spike

He’s lately become an accomplished Vine filmmaker. Here is one he directed that doesn’t include him in the cast

Here is another one, in which he has only a cameo, entitled “I wasn’t wasting time on Vine”

Hear Us Howl! Week in New York Theater

Fake John LennonDenzel Washington wants to return to Broadway – in a role that had some ….howling.

Tracy Letts is planning a return to Broadway – in a play in which characters…howl.

The Prince of Cambridge was born, undoubtedly howling.

There was much howling when the editor apologized to a theater for a review by one of the regular critics at…Howlround

And I wrote a piece about the anti-New York attitude among out-of-town theater people in….Howlround.

Also: Dule Hill, Patrick Page back on Broadway; the tenth anniversary of Avenue Q; and my reviews of Cirque de Soleil’s Quidam, Storyville, and Let It Be, with a howling fake John Lennon.

Week in New York Theater

Monday, July 22, 2013

Patrick Stewart @SirPatStew:  Sir Ian beat me to work this morning and here’s where I found him:

SirPatandSirIan

Behind the scenes with Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen in their forthcoming performances on Broadway of Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot and Harold Pinter’s No Man’s Land, played in rotation.

Denzelthenandnow

Denzel Washington at 28 and 58

Denzel Washington is reportedly interested in playing Walter Lee Younger in a  Broadway revival of Raisin In The Sun, directed by Kenny Leon

Rob Weinert-Kendt ‏@RobKendt They’d have to rename the character Walter Older.

Jonathan Mandell: Denzel is 58. Sidney Poitier was 34 when he played the role. It would change Raisin in The Sun, but maybe in interesting ways

Raymond McNeel: @RaymondMcNeel In a related story, Angela Lansbury reportedly interested in playing Matilda.

Jonathan Mandell: (At least we could hear her)

royal-baby-memes_4The Prince of Cambridge has been born.

prince-george-alexander-louis-history-behind-the-name

Will they be presenting the princely heir like in The Lion King from the top of Buckingham Palace?

Liza is returning to Broadway, Michael Musto writes in his new column in Out: Minnelli and Alan Cumming plan 12-performance concert at Marquis Theater in December, Musto says.

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A critic named Lily Janiak wrote a review for Howlround, a theater think tank and website, of a show at California Shakespeare Theater, to which some officials at “CalShakes” objected, including (as he belatedly admitted) CalShakes artistic director Jon Moscone. Janiak’s editor Polly Carl wrote and posted an apology for “the tone” of the review. Much howling from critics and even theater artists ensued:

Monologuist Mike Daisy: @mdaisey The idea criticism needs to be “respectful” is an insidious, dangerous, toxic, destructive impulse.

Critic and blogger George Hunka: If these editorial and institutional perspectives are what lie behind NewCrit — and I say this with all due respect to Dr. Carl and Mr. Moscone, whom I am sure are personable and intelligent people — then I say it’s spinach and I say the hell with it. Give me the OldCrit anytime.

Washington Post drama critic Peter Marks: HowlRound is now WhimperRound. PlacateRound. BacktrackRound. A ghastly precedent.

Detailed report about the controversy from The Clyde Fitch Report.

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DuleHillprofilepicWelcome back DuleHill (Stick Fly, Da Noise on Broadway; West Wing, Psych on TV) will join Fantasia in @ After Midnight

In interviews for “Wolverine,” Hugh Jackman says he expects to be back on Broadway in Stephen Schwartz’s “Houdini” in the Spring.

Broadway lights dimming to tonight at 8 to honor black producer Ashton Springer.

Mark FisherBroadway fitness guru Mark Fisher‘s clients include Andrew Rannells , Billy Porter, Patina Miller

Royal Baby is now Prince George Alexander Louis (GAL?). If he ascends the throne, he’ll be George VI

Let It Be 3

My review of Let It Be

Why was I cringing and rolling my eyes? What could possibly be objectionable about a show that is really just a concert of Beatles songs — some of the most pleasing melodies composed in the twentieth century — performed as faithfully as possible by a group of professional musicians?

Full review of Let It Be

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Poster for 2011 movie adapted from Letts play

Poster for 2011 movie adapted from Letts play

Tracy Letts brutal 1993 play Killer Joe is going to Broadway in 2014, say its producers (same who produced “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf.” It will be directed on Broadway by Woolf director Pam Mackinnon

Here are the nominations for 2013 New York Independent Theater Awards selected from some 2,000 Off-Off Broadway productions

Nathan Lane, who twisted an ankle yesterday & missed performance, is returning tonight to The Nance.

Step,kick,kick, leap, kick, touch…Everything was beautiful at the ballet…I felt nothing!….A Chorus Line opened today in 1975

Broadway in Bryant Park: Rock of Ages

A theater company survives because of its artistic vision, but good art thrives on good management ~ from Guardian Culture Pros Q and A about starting your own theater.

Anthony Weiner went by the name Carlos Danger, but his sext partner’s real name was Sydney Leathers? Who wrote this play?

Cara ‏@cgtheatregeek Someone with a very twisted sense of humor. 🙂
John Piano ‏@johnpiano: Charles Busch.

Here are the nominations for 2013 @NYITAwards selected from some 2,000 Off-Off Broadway productions http://bit.ly/14KeFE2 

Quidamstatue4

My review of Cirque de Soleil’s Quidam at the Barclay’s Center in Brooklyn.

“Quidam” is one of 19 shows that Cirque de Soleil performs in five continents, generating about a billion dollars a year in merchandise and ticket sales.  While Cirque has been visited by tragedy and troubles of late, its shows remain a tremendous draw. I’ve seen various of their shows at Radio City Music Hall, in Disney World, and in Las Vegas, and have always been impressed by the acrobatic feats. I am also always baffled by those shows (Quidam, Zarkana)  that try to impose some kind of vague storyline….

Was “Quidam” the first theater piece at the Barclays arena?

That depends on whether “Quidam” is a work of theater.

Full review of Quidam

26

Patrick Page (Green Gobln in Spiderman) and Tonya Pinkins are among those joining Sebastian Arcelus and former Sen. Fred Dalton Thompson in the cast of the Broadway adaptation of John Grisham’s “A Time To Kill.”

Souldoctor5Watch three songs from Soul Doctor, a musical about the ‘Rock Star Rabbi Shlomo Carlbach.

27

AvenueQ3

My look at Avenue Q on its 10th anniversary. Does it still suck to be me?  Behind-the-scenes videos, photo gallery of current cast, interviews with the creators, controversy.

Off-Broadway Should Get A Tony Every Year

In an essay I’ve written for Howlround, I ask  ” Is New York City part of America?“ Next year for the first time, theaters within the five boroughs of New York City will be eligible for the Regional Theater Tony Award, which has been awarded every year since 1976.  As I wrote previously in this blog, this means  the Tonys, which has never honored Off-Broadway, may finally begin to do so, 

The rules change annoyed the members of the organization that chooses the winner each year, the American Theatre Critics Association. I was startled by their indignation,  and detected a resentment and prejudice towards New York,.. more

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The challenges and glories of adapting a beloved story for the stage – and adding music to it.  The Bridges of Madison County musical

At Vassar, Powerhouse Theater festival wraps up another star-filled season (its 26th) as “theater camp for grown-ups”

The Assembled Parties Samuel J. Friedman Theatre

Ending today — The Assembled Parties I loved this;

Here Lies Love 5

Also ending Here Lies Love at the Public Theater. Exciting, game-changing.

Broadway Panorama: Vanya and Sonia and Masha and SpikeLast day to see Sigourney Weaver in Vanya, Sonia Masha and Spike

My #NoApologies essay in @HowlRound: 1. NYC IS part of the USA. 2. Give Off-Broadway a Tony – every year! http://wp.me/p2sIV0-1IY

Storyville 5

My review of Storyville at York Theater: Bursting Birth of Jazz in NYC at Last. Includes three  rousing videos h

NYMF Awards for Excellence 2013

Crossing Swords from New York Musical Theater Festival

Crossing Swords from New York Musical Theater Festival

“Crossing Swords” and “Volleygirls” were the biggest award-winners in the 10th annual  New York Musical Theater Festival.

“Crossing Swords,” a musical with book, music and lyrics by Joe Slabe that tells an updated high school version of Cyrano de Bergerac, won five awards, including Theater for the American Musical Prize:

“Volleygirls,” a musical starring Susan Blackwell about a volleyball team, won three awards, including Outstanding Ensemble Performance, Best of Fest Audience Prize, and Most Promising Musical.

Other multiple winners: “Julian Po,” “The Awakening of Angel DeLuna,” and “Master Escapist.”

Below is the full list of 2013 Awards for Excellence.

For videos of songs from the winning musicals, see my preview of the festival. and also look below.

Excellence in Writing – Music: Ira Antellis (Julian Po)

Excellence in Writing – Lyrics: Omri Schein (Gary Goldfarb: Master Escapist)

Excellence in Writing – Book:  Joe Slabe (Crossing Swords)

Excellence in Direction: Igor Goldin (Crossing Swords)

Excellence in Choreography: Richard Stafford (Castle Walk)

Excellence in Production Design: Kacie Hultgren, set design; Lee J. Austin, costume design; Zach Blane, lighting design (The Awakening of Angel DeLuna)

Outstanding Orchestrations or Arrangements: Larry Pressgrove (The Awakening of Angel DeLuna)

 

Outstanding Musical Direction: Micah Young (Crossing Swords)

 

Volleygirls

Volleygirls

Outstanding Ensemble Performance: The cast of Volleygirls (PJ Adzima, Susan Blackwell, Juliane Godfrey, Benjamin Howes, Jennifer C. Johnson, Charles Karel, Julia Knitel, Gerianne Pérez, Allison Jill Posner, Dana Steingold, and Allison Strong)

Outstanding Individual Performances:

  • Onalea Gilbertson, Mata Hari
  • Steven Hauck, Crossing Swords
  • Michael Thomas Holmes, The Awakening of Angel DeLuna
  • Natalie Joy Johnson, Natalie Joy Johnson: Full Bush
  • Jared Loftin, Gary Goldfarb: Master Escapist
  • Jillian Louis, Marry Harry
  • Luba Mason, Julian Po
  • Patty Nieman, The Awakening of Angel DeLuna
  • Darren Ritchie, Standby
  • Lynn Wintersteller, Castle Walk

 

Theater for the American Musical Prize: Crossing Swords (Book, music & lyrics by Joe Slabe)

“Best of Fest” Audience Prize: Volleygirls (Book by Rob Ackerman, music by Eli Bolin, lyrics by Sam Forman)

 Most Promising Musical Award: Volleygirls (book by Rob Ackerman, music by Eli Bolin, lyrics by Sam Forman)

 

Interview with Lyle Colby Mackston and Marrack Smith, and then “Let Me Be Your Cyrano” from Crossing Swords

“Jabali” from Volleygirls

****

This year’s NYMF Jury included: Dev Bondarin (Associate Artistic Director, Prospect Theatre Company), Chris Caggiano, (EverythingMusicals.com), Seth Christenfeld (Reading Series Coordinator, The York Theatre Company), Michael Dale (BroadwayWorld.com), Roger Danforth (Deputy and Artistic Director, The Drama League), Larry Davis (NYMF Patron), Frank Evans (Producing Director, Musical Mondays Theatre Lab and Steering Committee BMI Musical Theatre Workshop), Lily Fan (Producer), Peter Filichia (Theatre Critic), Jeff Griffin (Managing Director, Classic Stage Company), Jen Hoguet (Ambassador Theatre Group), Lily Hung (New York University),  Dana Ivey (Actor), Tim Jerome (Actor), Elizabeth Lucas (Director), Matthew Murray(TalinBroadway.com), Michael Parva (Artistic Director, The Directors Company), Hillary & Jonathan Reinis(Producers), Lynn Spector (Dramaturg), Richard Termine (Photographer, The New York Times), Michael Wolk(Producer, Gorgeous Entertainment).

Cirque de Soleil’s Quidam at Barclays Center: Is Cirque theater? Is Barclays a theater?

Cirque de Soleil zoomed into town this past week for a handful of performances of  “Quidam,” a production the Montreal-based company is taking on a five-nation tour.  The show, which was created 17 years ago, was presented at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, which is less than a year old and has already broken records as the nation’s number 1 venue for ticket sales. Barclays Center has held 183 events, including 51 concerts with such draws as Barbra Streisand and Jay Z since opening on September 28, 2012.

Was “Quidam” the first theater piece at the Barclays arena?

That depends on whether “Quidam” is a work of theater.

Consult Cirque, and this is what they say about “Quidam”:

“Unlike any other Cirque du Soleil show, Quidam does not take spectators to an imaginary realm of fanciful, larger-than-life characters. Rather, it is an examination of our own world – inhabited by real people with real-life concerns.
Young Zoé is bored; her parents, distant and apathetic, ignore her. Her life has lost all meaning. Seeking to fill the void of her existence, she slides into an imaginary world – the world of Quidam – where she meets characters who encourage her to free her soul.”

That’s not what I saw. I saw about a dozen circus acts, nearly all of them mesmerizing. In one called “Statue,” a nearly naked man and woman lift each other up off the ground in ways that seem to contradict human anatomy and defy gravity. In another, a woman dangles mid-air from a piece of red silk hung from the (very tall) ceiling, twisting herself around the silk, climbing up it, falling down with it — the act is called Aerial Contortion in Silk. There are acrobats forming a series of human pyramids (Banquine), riding around as a human spoke in a giant wheel (German Wheel), skipping rope, juggling, balancing, using the Chinese yo-yo,  jumping through airborne hoops, all in a spectacular way.

In-between the acts, a short adult dressed as a young girl silently walks the stage, accompanied by some eerie music. This is Zoe. She meets quidam. Quidam is actually a word in the English dictionary; its definition is “Somebody; one unknown.” I’m not sure what these interludes are supposed to be, but they are certainly not theatrical scenes in any traditional way.

 

The closest to a scene in “Quidam” is a comic set-piece. A clown plays a silent film director who calls for volunteers from the audience – he really just recruits people – to play out a melodramatic scene of a man discovering his wife embracing another man, and then shoots him. (I’ve seen this exact same scenario played out several times before — David Shiner in both “Old Hats” and “Fool Moon” — right down to the playful abuse of the recruits.)

“Quidam” is one of 19 shows that Cirque de Soleil performs in five continents, generating about a billion dollars a year in merchandise and ticket sales.  While Cirque has been visited by tragedy and troubles of late, its shows remain a tremendous draw. I’ve seen various of their shows at Radio City Music Hall, in Disney World, and in Las Vegas, and have always been impressed by the acrobatic feats. I am also always baffled by those shows (Quidam, Zarkana)  that try to impose some kind of vague storyline.

A more useful question than whether what Cirque de Soleil does can be called theater is whether the Barclays Center, home arena for the Brooklyn Nets and the NY Islanders, is a theater. Their calendar for August includes: Justin Bieber, Beyonce, the MTV Music Awards, and the Caribbean Fever Music Festival. The fall schedule features more concerts, a wrestling match, a few basketball games. The closest to theater is Sensation, “the world’s leading dance phenomena” in October, and Disney on Ice in November.
The theaters of Ancient Greece seated about 14,000 people, according to historians, who avidly attended the plays of Aeschylus, Euripides, Sophocles and Aristophanes.  Is it not possible 2,500 years later to find a tragedy or comedy or musical to fill the seats of the similarly-sized Barclays Center? It’s indoors, and theatergoers can popcorn and deli sandwiches during intermission.

BarclaysCenterinBrooklyn

Storyville Review: The Bursting Birth of Jazz in NYC at Last

StoryvilleatYorkStoryville, the musical revival bursting forth from the York Theater Company for a too-short five weeks, is a fascinating exercise in nostalgia, several times over.  On stage, we experience the storied red-light district of New Orleans in 1917, a neighborhood two blocks from the French Quarter full of crooks and conmen and hookers  — and trumpet players and pianists and singers who gave birth to the music we know as jazz.

“Umm yes, I remember, once upon a time in Storyville,” says the Countess Willy Danger, a woman in top hat and tails — the first line of dialogue in the musical, after we see the cast marching down the central aisle in a traditional New Orleans jazz funeral procession. We realize that the funeral was for Storyville itself, shut down in 1917, eventually razed to make room for a huge public housing project.

The Countess, the proprietor of a house of ill-repute during Storyville’s heyday, is portrayed by Ernestine Jackson, an actress who debuted on Broadway nearly half a century ago — and who performed in “Storyville” in a production in California….in 1974. The book of “Storyville” was written by Ed Bullins, award-winning in-your-face playwright who once served as Minister of Culture for the Black Panthers. He is now 78 years old. The music — which captures the feel of the alternating brassy, seductive and soulful jazz of the turn of the 20th century — was composed in the 1970s by Mildred Kayden, who also penned the oft-clever lyrics. A long-time songwriter, Kayden was also a radio host and a musicologist on the faculty of Vassar College. She is now 91 years old.

The nostalgia doesn’t end there. The York theater production is choreographed by Mercedes Ellington — Duke Ellington’s granddaughter.

Incredibly, “Storyville” has never been produced in New York City before. It’s about time.

Click on any photograph to see it enlarged

There is plenty of plot in “Storyville. Ex-boxer and trumpeter, Butch ‘Cobra’ Brown (Kyle Robert Carter), arrives in town looking for work, but finds and falls in love with Tigre Savoy, a talented and slinky singer (portrayed by the talented and slinky Zakiya Young) who wants out of Storyville.  While playing the game of love with one another, they each compete with rivals,  Cobra with bandleader Hot Licks Sam (the spectacular Michael Leonard James), Tigre with Fifi Foxy (Debra Walton as a wonderfully coarse and evil flirt.)

Then there is the arrival of the French Baron de Fontainebleau (Carl Wallnau) who asks Tigre to be his Queen in the Fat Tuesday Parade.

“A black queen with a white king? It can’t happen,” says corrupt Mayor Mickey Mulligan (D.C. Anderson)

But since the mayor is corrupt, and does business with the Baron, who is a drug dealer, it does happen.

There are fights, musical competitions, a killing, and the arrival of the authorities determined to shut it all down.

The story in “Storyville” is not the reason to see it. The reason is the musical performances, almost two dozen numbers rendered by a 14-member cast that could hardly be better.  Each gets at least a moment in the sun —  such as Leajato Robinson as Bigfeet Punchie in a rousing tap-dancing number,  and NaTasha Yvette Williams as the voodoo practitioner Mama Magique in a series of roof-ripping solos.

For a sample of the rousing entertainment, here are three of the songs, as performed at the Broadway in Bryant Park lunchtime concert. If you’re blown away by the performances in the videos below, keep in mind they are without the stage of the York, a deeper and better frame for Ellington’s choreography; without Nicole Wee’s colorful costumes, and without James Morgan set design, a rough-hewn saloon which cleverly incorporates old sepia photographs of the actual ladies of the  night of Storyville.

Welcome to New Orleans

The Best Is Yet To Come

Animal Stomp

Storyville

The York Theatre Company at Saint Peter’s (Entrance on East 54th Street)

Written by Ed Bullins

Music and Lyrics by Mildred Kayden

Directed by Bill Castellino

Orchestrations and Arrangements by Danny Holgate

Musical Direction by William Foster McDaniel

Choreography by Mercedes Ellington

Cast: Ernestine Jackson, D.C. Anderson, Cory Bretsch, Karen Burthwright, Kyle Robert Carter, Dameka Hayes, Michael Leonard James, Leajato Robinson, Clifton Samuels, Christopher Spaulding, Carl Wallnau, Debra Walton, NaTasha Yvette Williams and Zakiya Young

Running time: Two hours including an intermission.

Tickets: $67.50

Storyville is scheduled to run until August 17, but it will be a shock (and a shame) if it’s not extended.