Audra McDonald is, once again, returning to Broadway. The six-time Tony Award winner will complete a powerhouse team as she, director George C. Wolfe and dancer Savion Glover are collaborating on the new Broadway musical Shuffle Along, or, the Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed.
The production is a backstage look at the making of Shuffle Along, the first hit Black musical to grace the Great White Way. When Shuffle Along premiered in 192, its successful stay on Broadway (as many as 504 performances) not only showed that Black culture and music could overwhelmingly appeal to a mainstream audience, it became the single event many scholars say helped set off the Harlem Renaissance. During its run, Shuffle Along starred, at various times, featured legends like Josephine Baker, Florence Mills, Adelaide Hall and Paul Robeson.
In the new production, McDonald will play 1920s star Lottie Gee while Wolfe will direct and write an original libretto to Shuffle’s music, written by Eubie Blake and Nobel Sissle. Glover will choreograph. The show will mark the first time Wolfe and Glover have worked together since the Tony Award-winning dance production Bring in da Noise Bring in da Funk in 1996.
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(Photos from left: Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for Tony Awards Productions, Kimberly White/Getty Images for Revd)