In a move that seems fitting, Glee star Amber Riley is taking her pipes to the Great White Way: The actress will join the cast of Duke Ellington’s Cotton Club Parade, which will return to New York City Center for a just a few dates, from November 14-18, as a part of the city’s annual Encores! series. The role marks the New York stage debut for Riley.
Cotton Club Parade is a revue-style show that celebrates Ellington’s reign at the famed Harlem nightclub through the ’20s and ’30s. The stage show is just like the shows that were in the club during its heydey, including singers, dancers, and variety acts, with songs by famed jazz composers like Jimmy McHugh and Dorothy Fields (“I Can’t Give You Anything But Love”), Harold Arlen (“Stormy Weather”), and, naturally, Ellington (“Rockin’ in Rhythm”).
The show opened at City Center last November for a short, six-performance run. Cotton Club Parade will again be directed and choreographed by Warren Carlyle, with music direction by Wynton Marsalis. The rest of the cast includes past stars like Tony-nominee Brandon Victor Dixon (The Color Purple), Jared Grimes (Twist), and Tony-winner Adriane Lenox (Doubt).
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