Vanessa Williams Steps Into ‘After Midnight’ On Deck Circle

Actress, singer, and former Miss America winner Vanessa Williams has been added to the list of special guest star vocalists in the Broadway musical After Midnight. The announcement came February 19 in a live appearance on stage at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre that the multi-platinum selling artists would begin performances April 1 for a run through May 11.

Williams was most recently seen on the stage in the Tony-nominated play The Trip to Bountiful. Her other Broadway credits include Kiss of the Spider Woman, Sondheim on Sondheim, and the St. Louis Woman for City Center’s Encores! She was nominated three times for an Emmy Award for her performance as Wilhelmina Slater in Ugly Betty. She has also garnered 11 Grammy nominations over the course of her career.

Williams’ guest stint in the production is in keeping with After Midnight reintroduction of the Cotton Club’s tradition of welcoming the stars of today in limited engagements throughout its run. Grammy Award-winning artist K.D. Lang is currently playing through March 9 and will be followed by Grammy Award-winning artists Toni Braxton and Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds, March 18-30.

After Midnight is a celebration of Duke Ellington’s years at the Cotton Club using his original arrangements. Producers describe the show as “[Taking] the sexy, smoky glamour of the original Jazz Age and catapult[ing] it into a whole new era of heart-pounding, mind-blowing entertainment for modern Broadway audiences. Musical arrangements will be performed by a band of 17 musicians each hand picked by jazz legend Wynton Marsalis.

The production is directed and choreographed by Warren Carlyle and is produced by Scott Sanders Productions, and Wynton Marsalis in association with Marks-Turnbull Group; Stephen and Ruth Hendel; Tom Kirdahy. The show marks the Broadway debut of fashion designer Isabel Toledo as well who is popularly known for designing First Lady Michelle Obama’s first inauguration dress. Other members of the creative team include Tony Award winner John Lee Beatty with set design, Tony Award winner Howell Binkley with lighting design, and Peter Hylenski with sound.

Author: Diamond Grant