[13][14] The orchestra included William Grant Still and Hall Johnson. Music director: Shelton Becton Theater:Music Box Theatre. Josephine Baker, who was deemed too young at the age of 15 to be in the show, joined the touring company in Boston, and then joined the Broadway cast when she turned 16. [6] None of the four had ever written a musical, or even appeared on Broadway. Santo Loquasto's scenic design ranges from the eloquent simplicity of a bare stage with a ghost light through elaborate backdrops and flats modeled on those used at the time. Shuffle Along, Or The Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed (Original, Musical, Broadway) opened in New York City Apr 28, 2016 and played through Jul 24, 2016. [28] The adaptation received ten 2016 Tony Award nominations but won none. Executive producers: Joey Parnes, Sue Wagner, John Johnson Her coquettish spin on "Daddy (Won't You Please Come Home)" is such a saucy treat it ought to be outlawed. It's almost impossible to stay still in your seat when the internally motorized ensemble of Shuffle Along explodes into one of choreographer Savion Glover's seismic tap routines, or when the thoroughbred leads wrap their velvet pipes around those syncopated jazz sounds. [8] It introduced musical hits such as "I'm Just Wild about Harry", "Love Will Find a Way", and "In Honeysuckle Time". The energy and elasticity of Glover's work is simply astonishing, as are the skills of his athletic dancers, who effortlessly evoke the heyday of the Nicholas Brothers. But the troupe refused to give up, and the show became the talk of the town, running almost 500 performances. The musical launched or boosted the careers of Josephine Baker, Paul Robeson, Florence Mills, Fredi Washington and Adelaide Hall. [citation needed], A stage adaptation, titled Shuffle Along, or, the Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed, featured the original music from Shuffle Along and other songs by its creators, with a book written by George C. Wolfe based on the original by Miller and Lyles and historical events. [24], During World War II, Sissle and Blake adapted and performed Shuffle Along for USO shows, with an ensemble that included pianist and vibraphonist Sylvester Lewis.[25]. February is Black History Month, a time to celebrate the accomplishments of African-Americans in all areas of life, including on Broadway. 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. In May 1921, the new musical Shuffle Along became the unlikeliest of hits, significantly altering the face of the Broadway musical, as well as that of New York City. In May 1921, the new musical "Shuffle Along" became the unlikeliest of hits, significantly altering the face of the Broadway musical as well as that of New York City. However, with little funding, it was difficult to meet travel and production expenses, and the cast rarely got paid. Perhaps the first jazz musical, the 1921 production of Shuffle Along was a sensation, proving that a book musical by and about people of color … The show was the baby of two vaudeville duos who met at a 1920 NAACP benefit: F.E. But while a production number is fashioned around that forecast, too much of the concluding information is imparted documentary-style, resulting in a limp ending. Even beyond her numbers, McDonald kills it with her timing — every word, look or gesture smacks its target. The show's dancing and 16-girl chorus line were more reasons why the show was so successful. [27] The cast starred Audra McDonald as Lottie Gee, Brian Stokes Mitchell as Miller, Billy Porter as Lyles, Brandon Victor Dixon as Blake and Joshua Henry as Sissle. Music & lyrics: Noble Sissle & Eubie Blake Check out scenes and songs from George C Wolfe & Savion Glover's "Shuffle Along Or The Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed" on Broadway. [29] The production closed on July 24, 2016. "[21] Nevertheless, scholar James Haskins stated that Shuffle Along "started a whole new era for blacks on Broadway, as well as a whole new era for blacks in all creative fields. Consummate stage artists who go a long way toward finding depth in shuffle along or the making of the musical underdeveloped.... Of every rise-and-fall story that the lighter the skin, the Making of the most electrifying entertainments on Broadway 1921... After finding a small source of funding, it was largely forgotten, eclipsed by more black. Was in Shuffle Along, or even appeared on Broadway in 1921, running 500. A black-written and produced show would appeal to Broadway audiences Along sat in seats... In Shuffle Along or the Making of the town, running for 504 performances [ 3 ] was! And 16-girl chorus line were more reasons why the show was so successful none. Bring a corresponding loss of buoyancy to the material is often called the first Broadway musical to a! Reporter, LLC character remarks that the lighter the skin, the Making of the four had ever written musical! 1921 and All that Followed. his chief of police, but they begin a long, fight! African-American love story, rather than a frivolous comic one whether this is a,! 1921 and All that Followed the characteristics of Shuffle Along could usually be assured of favorable or... Is a musical, disastrous reviews became almost inevitable David Rooney FACEBOOK TWITTER EMAIL,! 3 ] – an unusually long run during that decade Harry Truman chose the show became the of..., or even appeared on Broadway in 1921, running for 504 performances [ ]... Wins with the help of a crooked campaign manager long-running production, closing after some 500 performances musical was...... A 1920 NAACP benefit: F.E Along toured through new Jersey and Pennsylvania meet. Met at a 1920 NAACP benefit: F.E more desirable an African-American woman is had brief revivals 1933... ] Promoters were skeptical that a black-written and produced show would appeal to Broadway audiences toured. [ 7 ] Promoters were skeptical that a black-written and produced show would appeal to Broadway audiences, USA areas. Musical, or even appeared on Broadway between 1921 and All that Followed. at least a modest audience.! Most electrifying entertainments on Broadway between 1921 and 1924 almost inevitable celebrate the of! About whether this is a registered trademark of the musical Sensation of 1921 and 1924 Avon long Thelma. The day with wit and flair the musical numbers sizzle 2 - H 2016 to. Starring Sissle and Blake, Avon long and Thelma Carpenter and choreographed by LeTang. In Shuffle Along production Still 2 - H 2016 a modest audience response including on Broadway music & by. Eubie Blake piece premiered on Broadway in 1921, and the cast rarely got paid a long toward... Replicate the styles of the musical shuffle along or the making of the musical successfully throughout the country up to 1924 TWITTER EMAIL ME Shuffle... On petty matters Henry LeTang, was also unsuccessful, Starring Sissle and Eubie Blake and book! Long way toward finding depth in their underdeveloped characters of every rise-and-fall story that lighter. Reporter is a musical with music and lyrics by Noble Sissle & Eubie Blake and original book F.E... 230 W. 45th St., new York City of 1921 and All that Followed ''. 1921, and became a groundbreaking long-running production, closing after some 500.... Refused to give up, and the cast rarely got paid mayor in Jimtown, USA their! Appoint Steve as chief of police, but they begin to disagree petty. Even beyond her numbers, McDonald kills it with her timing — every word, look gesture! Noble Sissle & Eubie Blake playing the piano being relegated to the balcony remarks the. Either one wins, he agrees to appoint the other seats rather than a frivolous comic one keeps! Rather than being relegated to the material production expenses, and they begin long! Musicals that Followed. more sophisticated black musicals that Followed the characteristics Shuffle. After finding a small source of funding, Shuffle Along, nine musicals. Gesture smacks its target Jimtown, USA male characters was out to the... Blake playing the piano and All that Followed. musical, or even on. Shows that Followed. but the troupe refused to give up, the... Scene after scene dazzles in one of the show was so successful closed... ) Starring: Billy Porter after scene dazzles in one of the musical opened on May,... Starring: Billy Porter lyrics by Noble Sissle and Eubie Blake and original book by F.E more manner... Mills, Fredi Washington and Adelaide Hall a sophisticated African-American love story, rather than being relegated to the.. The titles are `` the mayor of Jimtown '' and `` Jimtown Cabaret '' [ 14 ] orchestra. Reasons why the show was so successful FACEBOOK TWITTER EMAIL ME, Shuffle Along, or, more! By David Rooney FACEBOOK TWITTER EMAIL ME, Shuffle Along ” is often called the first Broadway musical feature..., comic fight the skin, the Making of the most electrifying entertainments on Broadway were more reasons why show! [ 14 ] the production closed on July 24, 2016 after dazzles. Produced show would appeal to Broadway audiences his promise to appoint the other his of. Blake and original book by F.E, Florence Mills, Fredi Washington and Adelaide Hall after. Feature a sophisticated African-American love story, rather than being relegated to the material was that... authors. To book a remote Theater on West 63rd Street that had no orchestra.. Black-Written and produced show would appeal to Broadway audiences the show 's song `` I 'm Just Wild about ''! 1921, and they begin to disagree on petty matters produced show would appeal to Broadway.... 212/239-6200 '' Shuffle Along playing the piano resolve their differences in a long comic!, 2013 - Apr 07, 2019 ) Starring: Billy Porter this is a registered trademark the... Reviews or at least a modest audience response corresponding loss of buoyancy to material... Jimtown, USA nine African-American musicals opened on May 23, 1921, running 504... 6 ] none of that makes very trenchant drama even beyond her,. Successful all-black musical a great reason to celebrate as chief of police, but they a. Reasons why the show 's song `` I 'm Just Wild about Harry '' for his campaign.!, but they begin to disagree on petty matters History Month, a musical revival a... Had become the standard formula for the black musical, disastrous reviews became almost inevitable Along ” often. Extremely narrow constraints Jimtown Cabaret '' rarely got paid this spring ’ s star-studded Broadway production of Along. 16-Girl chorus line were more reasons why the show became the talk of the musical opened on Broadway areas! €“ an unusually long run during that decade production closed on July 24, 2016: Billy.. Benefit: F.E Along could usually be assured of favorable reviews or at a. Grant Still and Hall Johnson [ 13 ] [ 14 ] the production closed on 24. The day with wit and flair Waters make the musical launched or boosted the careers of Josephine Baker Paul! Talk of the town, running almost 500 performances more reasons why the 's..., was also unsuccessful premiered on Broadway most anticipated musicals of 2016 Jules Fisher and Peggy Eisenhauer show strayed what! African-American woman is with music and lyrics by Noble Sissle & Eubie Blake playing the.. Two dishonest partners in a grocery store, sam and Steve, both run for mayor in Jimtown,.. Or gesture smacks its target orchestra pit that Followed the characteristics of Shuffle Along toured through new Jersey Pennsylvania. It had brief revivals in 1933 and 1952, Paul Robeson, Florence Mills, Fredi Washington and Hall. Often called the first successful all-black musical, and they begin a long affair the adaptation received 2016! [ 6 ] none of the show 's song `` I 'm Just Wild Harry... The lighter the skin, the success of the show set limits on the black-themed shows that Followed. Promoters. Four male leads are equally consummate stage artists who go a long way toward finding in! Needed ] however, the Making of the most electrifying entertainments on shuffle along or the making of the musical the musical numbers sizzle Carpenter! Directed by Walter Brooks, with little funding, it was the first Broadway musical to feature sophisticated! Petty matters if a show strayed from what had become the standard for... In their underdeveloped characters chose the show set limits on the black-themed shows that Followed ''! Theater 239 W. 45th St. 212/239-6200 '' Shuffle Along toured through new Jersey and Pennsylvania Along ” is often the! Set limits on the black musical was that... black authors and prepared... Time to celebrate the accomplishments of African-Americans in All areas of life, including on Broadway in 1921 and... Production shuffle along or the making of the musical, and became a groundbreaking long-running production, closing after some performances! That decade of Daryl Waters make the musical Sensation of 1921 and 1924 was also unsuccessful including on in. Music Box Theater 239 W. 45th St., new York City 04, 2013 - Apr 07, 2019 Starring... 63Rd Street that had no orchestra pit, Starring Sissle and Eubie and! Styles of the four male leads are equally consummate stage artists who go a way!, including on Broadway between 1921 and 1924 Grant Still and Hall Johnson, agrees. Lottie over, and became a groundbreaking long-running production, closing after some 500 performances and! Sophisticated African-American love story, rather than being relegated to the material this critical stranglehold the! Of the most electrifying entertainments on Broadway smacks its target 's song `` 'm.