Page 22

BBN Show Biz Buzz By Linda Ware

Shuffle Along on Broadway, Again


n May 1921, the new musical Shuffle Along became the unlikeliest of hits, running for 504 performances – an unusually long run during that decade. It significantly altered the face of the Broadway musical, as well as that of New York City. With its infectious jazz score and exuberant dancing, Shuffle Along ignited not just Broadway, but all of New York City. Because of Shuffle Along, Uptown and Downtown met — and became one. Shuffle Along launched the careers of Josephine Baker, Adelaide Hall, Florence Mills, Fredi Washington and Paul Robeson. The 2016 version Noble Sissle & features Audre McDonald Eubie Blake and Savion Glover. A 2016 Broadway adaptation, Shuffle Along, or, the Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That

Followed, has a book by George C. Wolfe about the challenges of mounting the original production and its effect on Broadway and race relations. The 1921 show contributed to the desegregation of theaters in the 1920s, giving many black actors their first chance to appear on Broadway. Once the show left New York, it toured for three years and was, according to Barbara Glass, the first black musical to play in white theaters across the United States. The original show was crafted by four writers who were African-American Vaudeville veterans - music and lyrics by Noble Sissle and Eubie Blake, and a revue-style connecting plot written by Flournoy Miller and Aubrey Lyles. The 2016 Shuffle Along, created anew by a remarkable constellation of artists, brings the original show back to glorious life, while simultaneously telling the heretofore unknown backstage saga of its creation — and how it changed the world it left behind. 

Joe Morton


T Turm Me L M Loose, Off Broadway

candal’s Joe Morton, will headline Turn Me Loose, a new comedic drama by Gretchen Law about the life of comedian and civil rights activist, Dick Gregory, off-Broadway. The show co-stars John Carlin and features an original song by John Legend (who also co-produced the project). Opening night is set for May 19 at the Westside Theatre. Turn Me Loose is a new play about 60’s comic genius Dick Gregory (Morton), the

22  May 2016  Black Business News   1-323-291-7819

BBN May 16  

BBA 13th Annual Procurement Exchange Summit; National Small Business Week; World Trade Week

BBN May 16  

BBA 13th Annual Procurement Exchange Summit; National Small Business Week; World Trade Week