After helping to fuel rave reviews when the show opened last November, Fantasia Barrino will be back on Broadway for a second stint as guest star of “After Midnight,” the sultry song-and-dance tribute to the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s and ’30s.
Evoking the wild nights of Jazz Age venues like the Cotton Club in their heyday, the show assembles a first-rate cast of performers along with musical director Wynton Marsalis’ handpicked All-Stars Orchestra. Warren Carlyle directs and choreographs the revue, which includes many original Duke Ellington arrangements, performed by the onstage big band.
Fantasia was first in a rotating series of guest headliners, appearing from Oct. 18, when the show began previews, through Feb. 9. She was followed by k.d. lang, who wrapped up her engagement on March 9. Toni Braxton and Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds are currently appearing through March 30, with Vanessa Williams scheduled to play April 1 through May 11.
The return engagement of Fantasia is scheduled for May 13-June 8, with a portion of ticket sales for her first performance to be donated to the Harlem School of the Arts.
“Life on tour is really great, but I miss my Broadway family at ‘After Midnight,'” said Fantasia. “I am very excited to have the opportunity to rejoin this incredible company while also supporting the Harlem School of the Arts, whose mission is close to my heart.”
While “After Midnight” is a revue and not a traditional musical, the uneven quality of this season’s original musicals puts the show firmly in the running for that category at this year’s Tony Awards, for which nominations will be announced on April 29. Fantasia’s return to the show will coincide with the prime voting period.
The Tonys will be presented on June 8 at Radio City Music Hall, with Hugh Jackman returning to host the ceremony for the fourth time.
- This article was first published by The Hollywood Reporter.