New York City Center's acclaimed production of Duke Ellington's Cotton Club Parade will return to City Center for seven performances from November 14–18, 2012. Conceived by Jack Viertel and presented under the auspices of City Center's Tony Award-winning Encores! series, Cotton Club Parade will once again be directed and choreographed by Warren Carlyle, with music direction by Jazz at Lincoln Center Artistic Director Wynton Marsalis. The show will feature the Jazz at Lincoln Center All Stars under the direction of Daryl Waters.
Cotton Club Parade opened at City Center on November 18, 2011 for a limited, six-performance run and received rave reviews. It was hailed by The New York Times as "a thrilling 90-minute celebration" and named Best Jazz Moment of 2011 by The Wall Street Journal. Cotton Club Parade's 2012 run will feature most of the original cast.
Cotton Club Parade is a celebration of Ellington's years at the famed Harlem nightclub in the 1920s and '30s, when the joint was jumping with revues featuring big band swing and blues. As in the original shows, Cotton Club Parade will feature singers, dancers and variety acts, with songs by the greatest jazz composers of the time, including Jimmy McHugh and Dorothy Fields ("I Can't Give You Anything But Love" and "Digga Digga Doo"), a young Harold Arlen ("Stormy Weather," "I've Got the World on a String," "Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea,"), and of course, Duke Ellington ("Rockin' in Rhythm," "Cotton Club Stomp," "Black and Tan Fantasy," and "Creole Love Call").
Duke Ellington influenced millions of people around the world and at home. During the course of his 50-year career, he composed more than 3,000 songs and played more than 20,000 performances in Europe, Latin America, the Middle East and Asia. He gave American music its own sound for the first time with popular hits such as "It Don't Mean a Thing if It Ain't Got That Swing," "Sophisticated Lady," "Mood Indigo," "Solitude," "In a Mellotone," and "Satin Doll." Ellington was awarded the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1966 and later earned several other prizes, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1969 and the Legion of Honor by France in 1973.
The Jazz at Lincoln Center All Stars, under the direction of Daryl Waters, is composed of 15 of the finest jazz soloists and ensemble players, who have performed at Jazz at Lincoln Center and with the country's top jazz orchestras.
Warren Carlyle directed and choreographed the world premiere of Cotton Club Parade as well as the Encores! productions of On the Town, Juno, Stairway to Paradise and Finian's Rainbow, along with its subsequent Broadway production. This fall he will direct and choreograph Chaplin at the Barrymore Theatre. Additionally, Warren directed and choreographed the Broadway productions of A Tale of Two Cities and Hugh Jackman, Back on Broadway, and he choreographed the recent Broadway revival of Follies.
Cotton Club Parade is made possible, in part, with generous support from the Zegar Family Foundation.
New York City Center (Arlene Shuler, President & CEO) has played a defining role in the cultural life of the city for nearly 70 years. It was Manhattan's first performing arts center, dedicated by Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia in 1943 with a mission to make the best in music, theater and dance accessible to all audiences. Today, City Center is home to many distinguished companies, including City Center's Principal Dance Company, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater; American Ballet Theatre, Manhattan Theatre Club and New York City Opera; a roster of renowned national and international visiting artists; and its own critically acclaimed and popular programs. The Tony-honored Encores! musical theater series has been hailed as "one of the very best reasons to be alive in New York." Dance has been integral to the theater's mission from the start, and dance programs, including the annual Fall for Dance Festival, remain central to City Center's identity. City Center is dedicated to providing educational opportunities to New York City students and teachers with programs such as Encores! In Schools and the Young People's Dance Series. Last year, City Center completed an extensive renovation to revitalize and modernize its historic theater.