Play On! (Broadway)
Play On! was a musical adaptation of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, featuring the music of Duke Ellington, with a book by Cheryl L. West and conceived by Sheldon Epps on Broadway at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre for 19 previews and 61 performances from March 20, 1997 to May 11, 1997
Produced by Mitchell Maxwell, Eric Nederlander, Thomas Hall, Hal Luftig, Bruce Lucker, Mike Skipper and Victoria Maxwell; Produced in association with Kery Davis and Alan J. Schuster; Associate Producer: Leon Memoli, David Levy, Nancy Eichorn, Louis F. Raizin, James L. Simon and Fred H. Krones.
Originally produced by Old Globe Theatre (Jack O’Brien, Artistic Director; Thomas Hall, Managing Director)
Directed by Sheldon Epps; Choreographed by Mercedes Ellington; Assistant Choreographer: Delphine T. Mantz; Scenic Design by James Leonard Joy; Costume Design by Marianna Elliott; Lighting Design by Jeff Davis; Sound Design by Jeff Ladman; Hair Design by Alexis Kelley; Music arranged by Luther Henderson; Music orchestrated by Luther Henderson and Musical Director: J. Leonard Oxley;
Starring Tonya Pinkins (Lady Liv), Carl Anderson (Duke), André De Shields (Jester), Cheryl Freeman (Vy), Crystal Allen (CC), Yvette Cason (Miss Mary), Lawrence Hamilton (Rev), Larry Marshall (Sweets) with Ronald ‘Cadet’ Bastine, Jacquelyn Bird, Wendee Lee Curtis, Byron Easley, Alan H. Green, Frantz G. Hall, Gil P., Lacy Darryl Phillips, Lisa Scialabba, Erika Vaughn and Karen Callaway Williams (as Denizens of Harlem)
Swings: Germaine Goodson, Bryan S. Haynes, Stacie Precia and William Wesley.
Understudies: Wendee Lee Curtis (CC), Alan H. Green (Duke, Rev, Sweets), Frantz G. Hall (Rev), Bryan S. Haynes (Jester), Gil P. (Sweets), Lacy Darryl Phillips (Jester), Stacie Precia (Vy, Miss Mary), Angela Robinson (Lady Liv, Vy, Miss Mary) and William Wesley (Duke).
Featuring songs by Billy Strayhorn, Don George, Harry James, Johnny Hodges, Ben Carruthers, Irving Mills, Albany “Barney” Bigard, Irving Gordon, Eddie de Lange, Henry Nemo and John Redmond; Featuring songs with lyrics by Billy Strayhorn, Don George, Harry James, Mack David, Johnny Hodges, Ben Carruthers, Irving Mills, Milton Gabler, Nick Kenny, Albany “Barney” Bigard, Irving Gordon, Eddie de Lange, Henry Nemo, John Redmond, Bob Russell and Paul Francis Webster
Musical Supervisor: Luther Henderson; Musical Coordinator: William Meade; Conducted by J. Leonard Oxley; Assistant Conductor: George Caldwell
Assistant Scenic Design: Todd Ivins, Nikita Polyansky and Peter Yesair; Production Supervisor: Technical Theater Services, Ltd.; Production Stage Manager: Robert Mark Kalfin; Stage Manager: Lurie Horns Pfeffer, Jimmie Lee Smith and Matthew Aaron Stern; Production Manager: John H. Paull, III and Rhys Williams.
General Manager: Charlotte W. Wilcox; Company Manager: Susan Sampliner; Creative Consultant: Louis Johnson; Creative Historic Consultant: Frankie Manning; Casting: Pat McCorkle and Tim Sutton; Director of Marketing: Lesley Mazzotta; Press Representative: Richard Kornberg & Associates, Rick Miramontez, Jim Byk and Don Summa; Online Marketing by Toby Simkin / BuyBroadway.com; Advertising: Russek Advertising; Photographer: Carol Rosegg
As Founder and CEO of Theatre.com and BuyBroadway.com. The pioneer in moving the Broadway industry onto the internet. The theatre press branded me as “Toby is the man pushing theatre, kicking and screaming, into cyberspace.” What started in 1989 as a Broadway industry service called ShowCall via dialup BBS for members of the League of American Theatre Producers evolved onto the world wide web in the early 90’s, and shortly after this, the vast majority of Broadway shows (starting with my production of Victor/Victoria) and theatrical organizations followed. The “Super site of Broadway” became a publicly traded company, prior to my re-branding it as Theatre.com at the Minskoff Theatre.
Described by Variety Magazine as a “marketing powerhouse“, it was the single largest theatre community in the world with over 180,000 active members (in the 1990’s this was massive). From buying official Broadway tickets and souvenirs, providing detailed global show listings, interactive show study & educational guides, live streaming shows and events (including many Opening Nights live broadcasts), industry news from major theatre journalists, pictures and videos, games, messaging directly to Broadway cast’s backstage or even licensing a musical, theatre.com offered it all in a single, easy-to-use interface to theatregoers globally.
“Take the ‘A’ Train” (lyric and music by Billy Strayhorn) (Cheryl Freeman, Ensemble); “Drop Me Off in Harlem” (lyric by Nick Kenny, music by Duke Ellington) (Cheryl Freeman, Denizens of Harlem); “I’ve Got to Be a Rug Cutter” (lyric and music by Duke Ellington) (Andre De Shields, Cheryl Freeman, Cotton Club Dancers); “I Let a Song Go Out of My Heart” (lyric and music by Duke Ellington, Irving Mills, Henry Nemo, and John Redmond) (Carl Anderson); “C Jam Blues” (music by Duke Ellington) (Cotton Club Dancers); “Mood Indigo” (lyric and music by Duke Ellington) (Tonya Pinkins); “Don’t Get Around Much Anymore” (lyric by Bob Russell, music by Duke Ellington) (Cheryl Freeman, Tonya Pinkins); “Don’t You Know I Care” (lyric by Mack David, music by Duke Ellington) (Lawrence Hamilton); “It Don’t Mean a Thing (If It Ain’t Got That Swing)” (lyric by Irving Mills, music by Duke Ellington) (Andre De Shields, Yvette Cason, Larry Marshall, Lawrence Hamilton); “I Got It Bad and That Ain’t Good” (lyric by Paul Francis Webster, music by Duke Ellington) (Carl Anderson, Cheryl Freeman); “Hit Me with a Hot Note (and Watch Me Bounce)” (lyric by Don George, music by Duke Ellington) (Cheryl Freeman, Carl Anderson, Duke’s Band); “I’m Just a Lucky So-and-So” (lyric by Mack David, music by Duke Ellington) (Andre De Shields, Cotton Club Dancers); “Everything but You” (lyric and music by Duke Ellington) (Tonya Pinkins, Cheryl Freeman); “(In My) Solitude” (lyric and music by Duke Ellington, Eddie DeLange, and Irving Mills) (Cheryl Freeman, Carl Anderson, Tonya Pinkins, Lawrence Hamilton)
“Black Butterfly” (lyric and music by Duke Ellington) (Lady Liv’s Escorts); “I Ain’t Got Nothin’ but the Blues” (lyric by Don George, music by Duke Ellington) (Tonya Pinkins); “I’m Beginning to See the Light” (lyric and music by Don George, Johnny Hodges, and Duke Ellington) (Lawrence Hamilton, Cotton Club Dancers); “I Got it Bad and That Ain’t Good” (reprise) (Lawrence Hamilton); “I Didn’t Know About You” (lyric by Bob Russell, music by Duke Ellington) (Cheryl Freeman); “Rocks in My Bed” (lyric and music by Duke Ellington) (Larry Marshall, Andre De Shields); “Something to Live For” (lyric by Billy Strayhorn, music by Duke Ellington) (Lawrence Hamilton, Tonya Pinkins); “(I) Love You Madly” (lyric and music by Duke Ellington) (Yvette Cason, Larry Marshall); “Prelude to a Kiss” (lyric and music by Duke Ellington) (Cheryl Freeman, Carl Anderson); “In a Mellow Tone” (lyric by Milt Gable, music by Duke Ellington) (Cheryl Freeman, Carl Anderson, Tonya Pinkins, Lawrence Hamilton, Denizens of Harlem)