New York, NY (February 11, 2014) – Multi-Platinum superstars Toni Braxton and Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds are the latest Grammy Award-winning artists set to join the roster of “Special Guest Star” vocalists in the new Broadway musical After Midnight. With an impressive 16 Grammy Awards between them, Braxton and Edmonds will join the company following k.d. lang, Tuesday, March 18, 2014 through Sunday, March 30, 2014. After Midnight is currently playing at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre (256 West 47th Street).Tickets for Braxton and Edmonds’ engagement are ON SALE NOW.
Directed and choreographed by Warren Carlyle, After Midnight opened to rave reviews on Sunday, November 3, 2013. This evocative new musical takes the sexy, smoky glamour of the original Jazz Age and catapults it into a whole new era of heart-pounding, mind-blowing entertainment for modern Broadway audiences. Refracted through a contemporary lens, After Midnight celebrates Duke Ellington’s years at the Cotton Club using his original arrangements and performed by a world-class big band of 17 musicians hand-picked by living jazz legend, Wynton Marsalis. The timeless tunes set against a narrative of Langston Hughes poetry provide an authentic backdrop for an array of cutting-edge performances by 25 sensational vocalists and dancers, including special guest stars, whose interpretations shatter everything you think you know about music, nightlife and Broadway.
Toni Braxton and Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds teamed up for their first album of duets, Love, Marriage & Divorce, which hit stores everywhere last Tuesday, February 4th on Motown Records. “Hurt You” is earning critical raves and topping the Billboard charts. The duo first collaborated on a duet for Braxton’s smash 1992 debut, Give U My Heart, which was co-written and co-produced by “Babyface.”
Photo courtesy by Bruce Glikas
From Left to Right - Bahiyah Hibah,Christopher Broughton, Phillip Attmore,
C.K. Edwards, Daniel J. Watts, Justin Prescott and Taeler Elyse Cyrus,
along with Kenny "Babyface" Edmonds and Toni Braxton
The distinctive, sultry vocals of six-time Grammy Award-winning recording artist Toni Braxton have been celebrated internationally since the release of her self-titled debut album in 1993. The album sold over 10 million copies and garnered Toni's first Grammy Awards for Best New Artist and Best Female R&B Vocal (“Another Sad Love Song”). Toni’s second Best Female R&B Vocal Grammy came the following year for “Breathe Again.” Her second album, Secrets, arrived in 1996 selling over 15 million copies worldwide. At the 1997 Grammy Awards, Toni became the second woman in history to win Best Female Pop Vocal and Best Female R&B Vocal in the same year for “Un-break My Heart” and “You're Makin' Me High,” respectively. She returned to the Grammy podium in 2001 to claim another Best Female R&B Vocal award for “He Wasn't Man Enough” from the double-platinum album The Heat. In recent years, Toni’s acting career blossomed with roles on Broadway in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast and Aida, as well a dramatic turn in the Lifetime movie “Twist of Faith.”
10-time Grammy Award®-winning recording artist Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds has been revolutionizing the contemporary pop/Urban music landscape ever since scoring consecutive multi-platinum landmark albums with Tender Lover (1989, with R&B smashes “It's No Crime,” “Tender Love,” “Whip Appeal,” “My Kinda Girl”); For the Cool In You (1993, with hit singles “For the Cool In You,” “Never Keeping Secrets,” “And Our Feelings,” “When Can I See You”); and The Day (1996, with “This Is For the Lover In You” and “Every Time I Close My Eyes”). Edmonds co-founded Atlanta's LaFace Records with L.A. Reid in 1989 and nurtured the careers of megastars TLC, OutKast, Goodie Mob, Usher, and (starting in 1993) Toni Braxton. Edmonds also lent his talents to an abundance of hits with artists ranging from Whitney Houston, Michael Jackson and Boyz II Men, to Mariah Carey, Madonna, Eric Clapton, Mary J. Blige, John Mellencamp, Aretha Franklin, Fall Out Boy, P!nk, Beyoncé, Anthony Hamilton, and many others. Under Edmonds' belt are more than 125 Top 10 R&B and pop hits, 42 R&B #1 hits, and 51 Top 10 Pop hits (including 16 #1's), which have generated cumulative single and album sales of more than 500 million units worldwide. Most recent production work with other artists includes Barbra Streisand, Celine Dion, Keri Hilson, Ledisi and Ariana Grande. At the same time, “Babyface” is an active touring artist, performing concerts across the U.S. and around the world on a regular basis.
The wildly eclectic cast of After Midnight includes Dulé Hill, who leads the audience through the heat and glamour of the Harlem Renaissance as “The Host,” Tony Award-winner Adriane Lenox reprising her critically acclaimed role as the blues singer with a sense of humor; Julius “iGlide” Chisolm from the renowned dance crew RemoteKontrol, reimagining Harlem’s popular 1920’s “snakehips” dance; hip hop star Virgil J. Gadson; Tony Award-nominated modern dancer Karine Plantadit; Michael Jackson’s tap coach Dormeshia Sumbry-Edwards and tap-dancing choreographer Jared Grimes in stunning tap routines. The cast will also include a male quartet comprised of Grammy Award-nominee and member of Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band Everett Bradley, Cedric Neal, T. Oliver Reid and Monroe Kent III; a female trio of Broadway vets including Carmen Ruby Floyd, Rosena M. Hill Jackson and Bryonha Marie Parham; and accomplished dancers Marija Abney, Phillip Attmore, Christopher Broughton, Taeler Elyse Cyrus, C.K. Edwards, Danielle Herbert, Bahiyah Hibah, David Jennings, Erin N. Moore, Justin Prescott, Jay Staten, Allysa Shorte, Monique Smith and Daniel J. Watts.
In its heyday, the Cotton Club featured a cavalcade of guest stars each week, known then as “Celebrity Nights.” After Midnight reintroduces this exciting tradition by presenting stars of today in limited engagement appearances throughout the musical’s run. Grammy Award-winning recording artist Fantasia just finished up her run on February 9th, Grammy Award-winner k.d. lang is performing now as 'Special Guest Star" thru March 9th and Toni Braxton & Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds premieres March 18th. Future “Special Guest Stars” will be announced in the coming weeks.
After Midnight also features The Jazz at Lincoln Center All-Stars, a world-class big band of 17 musicians hand-picked by living jazz legend, Wynton Marsalis. Steeped in the tradition of The Duke Ellington Orchestra, The Jazz at Lincoln Center All-Stars celebrates jazz’s large-ensemble tradition in a way never-before-heard on Broadway. The Jazz at Lincoln Center All-Stars include Mark Gross, Godwin Louis, Dan Block, Andy Farber and Kurt Bacher on woodwinds; Gregory Gisbert, Bruce Harris, Alphonso Horne and James Zollar on trumpets; Wayne Goodman, Art Baron and James Burton III on trombones; Adam Birnbaum on piano; James Chirillo on guitar; Jen-nifer Vincent on bass and Alvester Garnett on drums.
After Midnight is a new production of Cotton Club Parade which played two smash-hit, sold-out engagements at City Center. Conceived by Jack Viertel, After Midnight features direction and choreography by Warren Carlyle, musical direction by Wynton Marsalis and musical supervision by Daryl Waters.
The design team for After Midnight includes prolific design couple Isabel Toledo (costumes) and Ruben Toledo, Tony Award-winners John Lee Beatty (set design) and Howell Binkley (lighting design) and Peter Hylenski (sound).
After Midnight is produced by Scott Sanders Productions, and Wynton Marsalis, in association with Marks-Moore-Turnbull Group; Stephen and Ruth Hendel; Tom Kirdahy.
The performance schedule for After Midnight is as follows: Tuesdays through Thursdays at 7:30 pm, Fridays and Saturdays at 8 pm, and matinee performances on Wednesdays and Saturdays at 2 pm and Sundays at 3 pm. Tickets range from $60.00 to $162.00 (premium tickets are available for $199). Tickets for groups of 12 or more can be purchased by calling 205-229-5234. Tickets for Toni Braxton and Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds’ engagement is on sale now.