Encores! revue targets a fall opening
Uptown moves midtown this fall as “Cotton Club Parade,” the Encores! special event that proved popular enough to warrant a return engagement, targets a Broadway berth.
Song-and-dance musical, a revue centered on the output of Duke Ellington’s 1927-31 stint at the famed Harlem nightclub, strings together swing and blues tunes by Ellington as well as other jazz songsmiths including Harold Arlen and duo Jimmy McHugh and Dorothy Fields.
The Broadway incarnation will retain the involvement of music director Wynton Marsalis, the a.d. of Jazz at Lincoln Center, and that org’s orchestra, the Jazz at Lincoln Center All Stars. Warren Carlyle (“Hugh Jackman, Back on Broadway”) returns to helm and choreograph the show, which was conceived by Encores a.d. Jack Viertel.
Title bowed at City Center in November 2011 and returned a year later due to strong response.
Encores, the series of staged concert readings of overlooked tuners, has yielded a crop of Broadway transfers since it launched in 1994. The most notable alum, the long-running revival of “Chicago,” leads a list that also includes “Wonderful Town,” “The Apple Tree” and “Finian’s Rainbow.”
Commercial producers Alan D. Marks (“Finian’s Rainbow”), Barbara Marks, Wade Turnbull, Steve Hendel, Ruth Hendel (“Fela!”) and Tom Kirdahy are on board for the Rialto move. No casting for the latest staging has been set, although prior incarnations have starred Adriane Lenox (“Doubt”), Brandon Victor Dixon (soon to appear in the upcoming tuner “Motown”) and Amber Riley (“Glee”).
No dates or Broadway theater for “Cotton Club Parade” have yet been locked.