After Midnight, the kickass Broadway show that takes the audience on a ride through the music of Harlem’s well known Cotton Club, has announced it is closing – far quicker than originally planned. Originally it was in August, and now, it is June 29th.
Shows close, that is the nature of the business, but one of the great things about After Midnight was that it brought some of the living legends of the African American singing community to Broadway – some for the first time…
some Broadway veterans who had been there before – and all were incredible.
However because of this early closing, there are some that were announced who will, sadly, not make their Broadway debuts….like Gladys Knight and Natalie Cole.
While it was fantastic that some of these Divas appeared on the TONYS…
not everyone did.
This, also, is very sad – both for those Artists and for their fans – but mostly for their fans because….wait for it –
There is no Cast Recording of AFTER MIDNIGHT!
Nor, apparently, are there solid plans to record one!
Which is a huge loss. Many of these artists did not, ’tis true, make their names singing the type of music that is in AFTER MIDNIGHT, but they grew up on it.
Which is to say they are making it their own in ways that is almost too delicious to contemplate, and which, given how often Broadway embraces the music of that era (Black & Blue, anyone?), may be the last time we get to see some of them sing it.
I mean, BLACK AND BLUE was celebrating the Renaissance in Paris!
AFTER MIDNIGHT is celebrating the Harlem Renaissance right here in New York City!
The women who are guest starring in the show, save for Fantasia, have a connection to this music that is visceral, because they are within one generation of being the first people to hear that music – and that kind of thing makes a difference.
The Fairy Princess feels lucky to have seen this show as soon as it arrived on Broadway, but now that it is closing – in part due to ticket sales, she wonders if enough of ‘the kids‘ have seen some of these Divas for it to be an inspiration?
She remembers how lucky she felt as a child, to live in New York, and to see some performances that stay with her to this day. However, being Eurasian
she did not have the opportunity to look at a show and say, “Not only do I love it, and I am inspired by it, but those people up there look like me, maybe I can do that too!”
Because there just…ummm….were no Eurasians actively starring in a Broadway musical back then. (Just as it is now, as a matter of fact. Hmmmm…..)
She wishes she could have had a moment to be THAT kind of inspired – she thinks everyone should have it at least once in their lives – to see one’s own people, all different ages, all different experiences, telling their stories through dance and song – come on, that has to be a magical thing.
When The Fairy Princess saw AFTER MIDNIGHT she was juggling concerns of her day and thinking about other things, as one does, until the lights came down and the first notes of a bygone era started playing – The Jazz at Lincoln Center All Stars – on Broadway! Then she just sat back and enjoyed it all – forgot about everything, it is that good a show.
The singers, and the dancers, and the costumes – it was 90 minutes of amazement, laughs, and pathos
– and it has not been given a Cast Recording.
In an era where any ding dong can whip out a phone and launch embarrassing moments on to the Internet for all to see – how is this show, which has been the recipient of so much love from the Broadway Community and the vehicle for so much talent across the generations – how is it not going to have a Cast Album?
It’s criminal. It’s a crime against theater. If this Cast is not recorded, then you know who loses?
We all do. Young kids – who should be being bused in for the last dozen performances as a public service by the big record labels so that they get to see and hear their history – are going to lose.
We of the Broadway are going to lose – think about it – to NEVER be able to hear the sultry voiced Carmen Ruby Floyd sing “Creole Love Call” again in your life?
Not to hear the Master Class that is Adriane Lenox sing her numbers?
Not to mention that Divas who were booked until the show was scheduled to close in August now will not be able to make their Broadway debuts. Which is a shame, because no matter how big a singer you are, no matter how many stages you have performed on in your life – there is nothing like stepping on a Broadway stage and singing for those crowds.
If you can make it there, you can make it anywhere. Even if you have ‘made it’ somewhere before, it is still like nothing else.
The Fairy Princess does not know who to ‘talk to’ about getting AFTER MIDNIGHT recorded,
but someone needs to start talking – because once a show closes, and the Cast scatters to new jobs….that will be that.
Truthfully, it should be a double album, because of the Guest Stars, singing, perhaps, not just what they sang in the show, but songs that perhaps were cut from the show or are ‘of that era’? That would, The Fairy Princess believes, be a huge seller – and, wouldn’t it make sense to record this cast if rumors are true, and there is a tour being talked about?
Just a thought.
Thank you, all the Cast of AFTER MIDNIGHT – you were breathtaking – and The Fairy Princess hopes you have sell out crowds and standing Ovations for the rest of your run – y’all danced and sang your butts off.