Ben Brantley of The New York Times calls it an "intoxicating and sobering concoction", writing: "Often you sense that Mr. Wolfe has a checklist of historic points he must, but must, cover. [1][12], Opening night reviews were mostly positive, especially with respect to the songs and dancing, with nearly all reviewers giving Audra McDonald rave notices. [2] The show also contributed to the desegregation of theaters in the 1920s, giving many black actors their first chance to appear on Broadway. Bring in 'Da Noise, Bring in 'Da Funk (Apr 25, 1996 - Jan 10, 1999) Starring: Savion Glover ['da Beat] Shuffle Along, or, the Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed is a musical adaptation based on the original book of the 1921 musical, focusing on the challenges of mounting the original production of Shuffle Along and its effect on Broadway and race relations. [28] The adaptation received ten 2016 Tony Award nominations but won none. Garth Fagan. It was only able to book a remote theater on West 63rd Street. George C. Wolfe – “Shuffle Along, Or the Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed” Here are a few more fun facts: -John Doyle’s “Sweeney Todd” toured through Chicago April 23 – May 4, 2008 at the Cadillac Palace Theatre. [3] It was directed by Walter Brooks, with Eubie Blake playing the piano. Arriving in New York during the Depression of 1920–21, Shuffle Along is deep in debt and struggles to raise money. [20] In 1929, Harlem, a drama by Wallace Thurman and William Rapp, introduced the Slow Drag, the first African-American social dance to reach Broadway. [2][10] The production opened on Broadway in April 2016 at the Music Box Theatre,[26] directed by Wolfe, and choreographed by Savion Glover. The first black musical, in 1921, to dominate a full Broadway season was Eubie Blake and Noble Sissle's Shuffle Along. Shuffle Along, or the Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed opened at the Music Box Theatre April 28, 2016. Shuffle Along Or the Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed Music & lyrics by Noble Sissle & Eubie Blake. [2][23], The show was revived at the Mansfield Theatre, New York City, from December 26, 1932, to January 7, 1933, starring Sissle, Blake, Miller, Lyles, Mantan Moreland and Bill Bailey. When the show came back to New York, about a year later, during the Depression of 1920–21, the production owed $18,000 and faced strong competition on Broadway in a season that included Florenz Ziegfeld's Sally and a new edition of George White's Scandals. [2] After finding a small source of funding, Shuffle Along toured through New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Miller and Aubry Lyles Book by George C. Wolfe Directed by George C. Wolfe The Music Box Theater 239 West 45 th Street [6] The show's energetic dancing and catchy jazz score drew enthusiastic repeat audiences of all races, and celebrities such as George Gershwin, Fanny Brice, Al Jolson, Langston Hughes and critic George Jean Nathan, helping to unite the white Broadway and black jazz communities and improve race relations in America. The musical played on Broadway in 2016 and starred Audra McDonald, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Brandon Victor Dixon and Billy Porter. The titles are "The Mayor of Jimtown" and "Jimtown Cabaret". The ensemble performs “Broadway Blues” in Shuffle Along, Or the Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed, featuring music and lyrics by … Shuffle Along, or the Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed (2016) Opened Apr 28, 2016: Choreographer ; Bring in 'da Noise, Bring in 'da Funk (1996) Shuffle Along, a musical comedy by composer Eubie Blake and lyricist Noble Sissle which featured an all-black cast, was the most significant achievement in black theatre of its time. They tour the show, playing one-night stands in Maryland, Washington, D.C., and Pennsylvania, packing the cast into cheap motels and selling their personal possessions to pay for train fare. Glover didn’t have a choice: The 1921 choreography is as forgotten as its choreographer, Lawrence Deas. Gertrude Saunders was replaced by Florence Mills. [8] In the end, however, the show earned $9 million from its original Broadway production and three touring companies, an unusual sum in its time. [6][10] Its appeal to audiences of all races, and to celebrities such as George Gershwin, Fanny Brice, Al Jolson, Langston Hughes and critic George Jean Nathan, helped to unite the white Broadway and black jazz communities and improve race relations in America.[6][7][11]. Daryl Waters, Shuffle Along, Or the Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed Soraya Nadia McDonald is the culture critic for The Undefeated. [2], The show was "the first major production in more than a decade to be produced, written and performed entirely by African Americans. An excerpt of Shuffle Along, the musical fight between the two leading characters, was made into a short talkie film by Warner Bros in the early 1930s. Two dishonest partners in a grocery store, Sam and Steve, both run for mayor in Jimtown, USA. They must sing, dance, and act. However, with little funding, it was difficult to meet travel and production expenses, and the cast rarely got paid. The clunky, shoehorned-in exposition doesn't overwhelm the sweeping grace of "Shuffle Along" whenever it sings or dances. [8][18], According to theatre historian John Kenrick, "Judged by contemporary standards, much of Shuffle Along would seem offensive ... most of the comedy relied on old minstrel show stereotypes. The cast, led by Audra McDonald, Brian Stokes Mitchell and Billy Porter, is as charismatic as you’d expect, and Savion Glover's near-nonstop choreography explodes off the stage with the unrelenting impact of a flamethrower. Flournoy "F. E." Miller and his vaudeville partner Aubrey Lyles conceive the show that was to become Shuffle Along. [15] The musical toured successfully throughout the country up to 1924. A romance develops between the married Eubie Blake and the show's leading lady, Lottie … "[5] According to the Harlem chronicler James Weldon Johnson, Shuffle Along marked a breakthrough for the African-American musical performer and "legitimized the African-American musical, proving to producers and managers that audiences would pay to see African-American talent on Broadway. The show was given two workshops in the fall 2015; there was no out-of-town tryout. The creatives discuss whether or not to include a love song and embrace between the two black leads, a controversial experiment that had been received with tar and feathers in the few instances where it had been tried before; fortunately, the audiences accept it. Musical Original. "[22] Loften Mitchell, author of Black Drama: The Story of the American Negro in the Theatre, credited Shuffle Along with launching the Harlem Renaissance,[citation needed] as did Langston Hughes. [5] It had brief revivals in 1933 and 1952. The four writers were African-American Vaudeville veterans who first met in 1920 at a NAACP benefit that was held at the newly opened Dunbar Theatre in Philadelphia. The cast included Lottie Gee as Jessie Williams, Adelaide Hall as Jazz Jasmine, Gertrude Saunders as Ruth Little, Roger Matthews as Harry Walton, and Noble Sissle as Tom Sharper. The initial critical response was mostly positive, with special praise from many critics for McDonald's performance. About the original Shuffle Along in 1921. [8] It introduced musical hits such as "I'm Just Wild about Harry", "Love Will Find a Way", and "In Honeysuckle Time". However, with little funding, it was difficult to meet travel and production expenses, and the cast rarely got paid. Shuffle Along Or The Making of The Musical Sensation of 1921 And All That Followed Music and Lyrics by Noble Sissle and Eubie Blake Original Book by F.E. [6] None of the four had ever written a musical, or even appeared on Broadway. I own nothing. "[16] Black audiences at Shuffle Along sat in orchestra seats rather than being relegated to the balcony. Miller & Aubrey Lyles. [2], President Harry Truman chose the show's song "I'm Just Wild About Harry" for his campaign anthem. [citation needed] In 1928, Lew Leslie's Blackbirds of 1928, starring Adelaide Hall and Bill "Bojangles" Robinson, became the longest running all-black show on Broadway (up to that point), running for 518 performances. [2][3], Nevertheless, Shuffle Along was a surprise hit, running for 504 performances, turning a substantial profit and spawning tours and spin-offs. Hall. Book by George C. Wolfe. Shuffle Along becomes a long-running success, with popular songs like "I'm Just Wild About Harry". [6][10] According to Time magazine, Shuffle Along was the first Broadway musical that prominently featured syncopated jazz music and the first to feature a chorus of professional female dancers. [4] Shuffle Along closed on Broadway on July 24, 2016, after 38 previews and 100 regular performances. [6][8] The partners do not have the same success during the following years and argue about royalties. "[17], Playbill cover of the original Broadway production, Shuffle Along, or, the Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed, Opening night theatre program, Music Box Theatre, March 15, 2016, Outstanding Lighting Design for a Musical, "Shuffle Along Sets July Broadway Closing", "Black History Month – Innovative Musical Contributions: Eubie Blake", "Audra McDonald to Star in Broadway Musical Produced by Scott Rudin", "Audra McDonald to Star in New Broadway Musical With Savion Glover", "‘Shuffle Along’ Decides It Can’t Go on Without Audra McDonald", "Brian Stokes Mitchell and Audra McDonald Will Reunite on Broadway in, "See Full List of 2016 Tony Award Nominations", "'She Loves Me' Leads Drama Desk Nominations", https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Shuffle_Along,_or,_the_Making_of_the_Musical_Sensation_of_1921_and_All_That_Followed&oldid=933793708, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, Outstanding Female Dancer in a Broadway Show, Outstanding Male Dancer in a Broadway Show, Outstanding Choreographer in a Broadway Show, "If You’ve Never Been Vamped by a Brownskin", "You Got to Git the Gittin' While the Gittin's Good", "Musical Selections with Sissle and Blake", This page was last edited on 3 January 2020, at 02:02. 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