Misty Copeland to make Broadway debut in On The Town


American Ballet Theatre principal dancer Misty Copeland is to make her Broadway debut when she joins the cast of the Broadway revival of On The Town in the role of Ivy Smith for 12 performances from 25 August to 6 September 2015.

Her Broadway engagement comes on the heels of Copeland being promoted to principal dancer and making history as the company's first African-American prima ballerina. She is also featured in TIME Magazine's "100 Most Influential People" of 2015.

On The Town officially opened at the Lyric Theatre on 16 October 2014, following previews from 20 September, and is currently booking through to 6 December 2015.

On The Town, directed by John Rando, is a classic musical comedy by Betty Comden and Adolph Green, with music by Leonard Bernstein.

Synopsis: "The Bronx is up, the Battery's down, and three sailors are hoping to get just a little bit lucky on their one day of leave in the Big Apple. From the Brooklyn Navy Yard and Coney Island to Times Square and Carnegie Hall, On The Town zigzags through New York City as the sailors and the three high-spirited young women they meet chase love, dreams, and each other during an unforgettable day in the city that never sleeps."

The principal cast of On The Town includes Tony Yazbeck (Gabey), Jay Armstrong Johnson (Chip), Clyde Alves (Ozzie), Megan Fairchild (Ivy), Alysha Umphress (Hildy), Elizabeth Stanley (Claire), Jackie Hoffman (Madame Dilly), Michael Rupert (Judge Pitkin), and Allison Guinn (Lucy Schmeeler).

The production was originally seen at City Center Encores in 2008. It features choreography by Joshua Bergasse, scenic design by Beowulf Boritt, lighting design by Jason Lyons, costume design by Jess Goldstein and sound design by Kai Harada. It is produced on Broadway by Howard & Janet Kagan.

On The Town grew out of Jerome Robbins ballet 'Fancy Free', which followed three sailors on leave in New York. The musical opened at Broadway at the Adelphi Theater in 1944, directed by George Abbott, and played through February 2, 1946 for a total of 462 performances, transferring to the 44th Street Theatre and Martin Beck Theatre.

The classic score features the standards "New York, New York," "I Can Cook Too," "Lonely Town," and "Some Other Time", which are also featured in this production with their original orchestrations, performed by the largest orchestra on Broadway, with 28 musicians led by musical director James Moore.

- by Tom Millward

Photo by Joan Marcus