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‘After Midnight’ Is Pattified!

Linda Armstrong | 6/19/2014, 9:26 a.m.
Tuesday, June 10 was the official press opening for Patti LaBelle in “After Midnight,” a musical that spotlights Harlem nightlife ...
‘After Midnight’ Photo by Lapacazo Sandoval

Tuesday, June 10 was the official press opening for Patti LaBelle in “After Midnight,” a musical that spotlights Harlem nightlife in 1932. “After Midnight” is now officially “Pattified.” LaBelle put her delightful spin on each song and made the jazz music and ballads of that period come alive as only she can do.

LaBelle sang “I Can’t Give You Anything But Love” in her beautiful style, not only giving the song an engaging vibe, but doing it in a classy manner. “Stormy Weather” is done in a way that you have never heard before, and LaBelle demonstrates that she is completely in control and pleased with herself. She Pattified this song, and the audience approved, as the applause and shouts rang out.

“Zaz Zuh Zaz” is a fun jazz number, and LaBelle took it to another level. She truly had a great time with it. This diva was all smiles when she came out to perform “On the Sunny Side of the Street.” Watching LaBelle on that stage, all I could think was, “Patti’s got it, and she knows it.”

Celebrities came out to support LaBelle, including Phylicia Rashad, who shared what she thought of LaBelle, saying, “One word: fabulous. This is my fourth time seeing the show. She’s just magnificent; she’s incredible. She’s confident, she’s classy, she’s savvy—this is her element. It’s like being in her living room.”

Commenting on the production in general, Rashad remarked, “This is the most joyous show. It really is, and it’s so great to have these people in this contemporary time look like they are from another time because of the feeling they embrace and embody from that time. It’s astounding. It takes my breath away every time I see the show.”

LaBelle was invited to see Fantasia in the show, and upon seeing it, she shared that she wanted to do it too. Speaking with AmNews, she shared, “I feel awesome. I feel like a Grand Dame. I love kicking it with these young kids. They have a wonderful energy.”

Regarding what she brings to the role of the songstress, she said, “I just Pattify it. I can’t be anybody else but me. If I come to play, I better play like Patti.”

“After Midnight” was already an amazing production to experience. It just picked up the Tony Award for Best Choreography, and anyone can see why. The tap dancing, along with the other dance moves, will leave you speechless. Then, in addition to LaBelle, you have so many talented singers who bring their own flair to their parts and make their performances unforgettable. This production will simply have the audience feeling great, and now with LaBelle in it—what an added treat.

Dule Hill is also back with the show, and he is as marvelous as he was before. He has a charming stage presence and is a fierce tap dancer. He would have to be to keep up with the talented dancers on that stage. These men and women take your breath away as they relentlessly perform outstanding moves.

Adriane Lenox is a staple in the cast, and thank God for that, because she is hilarious as she does advice songs, including “Women Be Wise” and “Go Back Where You Stayed Last Night.”

“After Midnight” is conceived by Jack Viertel and is directed and choreographed by Warren Carlyle. With the music of the 1930s being the main fair, it’s also wonderful that the live music is marvelously played by the Jazz at Lincoln Center All-Stars. “After Midnight” is a show you want to experience, and it is beautiful to see a cast made completely of African-Americans on Broadway—29 to be exact. For tickets, visit AfterMidnightBroadway.com or call 877-250-2929.