After Midnight’s premiere at the Brooks Atkinson Theater on Broadway last night lacked nothing short of amazement. Producers Scott Sanders and Wynton Marsalis hand-picked phenomenal musicians, dancers and vocalists in the successful adaptation of a prior production entitled “Cotton Club Parade”.  Cast mates were gelled together from many different facets of the entertainment industry. “So You Think You Can Dance” and “America’s Got Talent” Animation alumni Julius “iGlide” Chilsom and Virgil “Lil’ O” Gadson, are mixed with a host of seasoned Broadway vets. The show’s director and choreographer Warren Carlye delicately balanced the relevance of today’s new dance genres with the magic and technique of the classic jazz-age leading to the resurgence of a new renaissance.

Dulé Hill makes his presence known throughout the performance as announcer to classic renditions from the likes of Duke Ellington & Ted Koehler. Undeniable talent Fantasia Barrino, delivers smooth, sassy and heart-palpitating performances rich with depth and laced with the heavy influence from jazz greats like Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, Dinah Washington and Nina Simone. And then…there’s the little known powerhouses, like actress Adriane Lenox,  Michael Jackson’s tap coach Dormeshia Sumbry-Edwards and operatic dynamo vocals from Carmen Ruby Floyd all backed by the sensational Jazz at Lincoln Center All-Stars.

At the end of the day, who needs elaborate costumes and set design when you have the decadence of artistic excellence? After Midnight is a must-see whether you are jazz enthusiast or not because there’s something for everyone.

Gallery Photography © Matthew Murphy