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NJPAC Presents Duke Ellington's
Sophisticated Ladies

originally published: 11/13/2018

NJPAC Presents Duke Ellington's Sophisticated Ladies(NEWARK, NJ) -- New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC) presents Duke Ellington's Sophisticated Ladies from Thursday, March 21, 2019 - Saturday, March 23, 2019. The high-style music of “The Duke” is the heart and soul of this 1981 Tony-winning Broadway hit, directed with dazzle by André De Shields (The Wiz). Mercedes Ellington, granddaughter of Duke Ellington, re-creates the original show’s elegant dancing and tapping as choreographer.

According to legend, the great bandleader and composer Duke Ellington once told his musicians that they had to play their best because they were about to open in Newark. All those glorious numbers – “Satin Doll,” “It Don’t Mean a Thing (If It Ain’t Got That Swing),” “Cotton Tail,” “Take the A Train” and “Mood Indigo” –  return to the city in full swing with the arrival of Duke Ellingtons Sophisticated Ladies, a co-production of NJPAC and Crossroads Theatre Company.

Presented in the year marking the 120th anniversary of Ellington’s birth, Sophisticated Ladies is a first-class excursion back to the heyday of Harlem’s swanky Cotton Club. For this revival, a glamorous cast of singers and dancers performs with an onstage band versed in the tradition of the orchestras of Duke Ellington and his son, Mercer.

The New York Times described the original Sophisticated Ladies as “the only Broadway revue of recent vintage that operates on a truly grand scale.”

Actor and director André De Shields, an Emmy winner and two-time Tony Award nominee, returns to NJPAC, where he directed the successful Aint Misbehavin in February 2018. In the past, he directed Play On!, another musical celebration of Ellingtonia, at Crossroads Theatre Company.



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Mercedes Ellington was the assistant choreographer and a performer in the original Sophisticated Ladies on Broadway, under the musical direction of her father, Mercer Ellington. Her long career as a dancer, director and producer on stage and in television included breaking the color barrier on national TV in the Sixties as a June Taylor Dancer on The Jackie Gleason Show

NJPAC is located at One Center Street in Newark, New Jersey.



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Event calendar
Saturday, Jul 20, 2019


MUSIC

Iron Chic @ House of Independents, Asbury Park - 8:30pm

The Boy Band Project @ Avenel Performing Arts Center, Avenel - 2:00pm and 8:00pm

Scott Stapp of Creed @ The Levoy Theatre, Millville - 8:00pm

The Machine @ The Newton Theatre, Newton - 8:00pm

Scores: The Cone Institute Concert @ Richardson Auditorium in Alexander Hall, Princeton - 8:00pm

POP 2000 TOUR @ Mainstage @ Union County Performing Arts Center (UCPAC), Rahway - 8:00pm

The Williamsboy @ Working Dog Winery, Robbinsville Twp - 1:00pm

FREE CONCERT - THE GREEN PLANET at DIVISION ST - SOMERVILLE, NJ @ SUMMER MUSIC SERIES - DIVISION STREET, SOMERVILLE, NJ, Somerville - 6:00pm







THEATRE

Big Fish the Musical @ Barn Theatre, Montville - 2:00pm and 7:30pm

Legally Blonde, the musical @ Hamilton Stage @ Union County Performing Arts Center (UCPAC), Rahway - 7:30pm

Ragtime, The Musical @ South Orange Performing Arts Center (SOPAC), South Orange - 8:00pm

Romeo & Juliet and Othello in Rep @ Black Box PAC, Teaneck - 8:00pm

OCC Repertory Theatre Company Presents: Into the Woods @ Jay & Linda Grunin Center For The Arts At Ocean County College, Toms River - 8:00pm

The Wake @ Premiere Stages at Kean University - Bauer Boucher Theatre Center, Union - 3:00pm and 8:00pm

Luna The Play @ Luna Stage, West Orange - 11:00am


KIDS

KIDZ BOP World Tour 2019 @ PNC Bank Arts Center, Holmdel - 6:00pm

Saturday Afternoon Cartoons: Superman Part 1 @ Hopewell Theater, Hopewell - 1:00pm

Disney's The Aristocats KIDS @ The Levoy Theatre, Millville - 11:00am


MISC

Autograph Signing with NY Running Back Le'Veon Bell @ iPlay America, Freehold - 11:30am

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