There’s been some shuffling of the schedule at Tony-nominated Broadway musical “Shuffle Along,” which has set new dates for the hiatus of star Audra McDonald — and added a stage stint for Savion Glover, the esteemed tap dancer who is also the show’s choreographer.
Producers also announced that Rhiannon Giddens, the musician who released solo album “Tomorrow Is My Turn” last year, will fill in for McDonald during her leave of absence, which will now begin July 24 and extend into the fall. Glover, who’ll join the cast as a featured dancer, will appear in the show during the same timeframe.
McDonald had already been expected to take a hiatus from “Shuffle Along,” beginning in June and returning in September, in order to appear in the West End run of “Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill.” But that gameplan’s been nixed, thanks to McDonald’s unexpected pregnancy. Instead, the performer will be leaving later in the summer, to return in the fall at a date to be determined. (The London run of “Lady Day” has also been postponed.)
Giddens, a founding member of the Grammy-winning folk band Carolina Chocolate Drops, makes her Broadway debut in “Shuffle Along.” She previously worked with “Shuffle Along” producer Scott Rudin on “Another Day, Another Time,” the 2013 concert event that celebrated the music of Coen brothers film “Inside Llewyn Davis,” which Rudin produced.
Nominated for ten Tony Awards, “Shuffle Along” chronicles the creation of an influential 1921 jazz musical of the same name. McDonald, in a surprising twist, wasn’t one of the performers nominated for a Tony, but the show’s robust haul includes nods for new musical, for George C. Wolfe’s book and direction and for Glover’s choreography. “Shuffle Along” also scored the New York Drama Critics Circle Award for musical.