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Additional casting for Shuffle Along musical on Broadway

Tom Millward
Tom Millward

Additional casting has now been announced to join six-time Tony Award winner Audra McDonald (Lottie Gee) in the upcoming Broadway production of SHUFFLE ALONG, Or, The Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed, which begins previews at the Music Box Theatre on 14 March 2016, with an official opening set for 21 April 2016.

The cast includes Tony winner Brian Stokes Mitchell (F.E. Miller), Tony winner Billy Porter (Aubrey Lyles), Tony nominee Brandon Victor Dixon (Noble Sissle) and Tony nominee Joshua Henry (Eubie Blake).

SHUFFLE ALONG, Or, The Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed is conceived by Flournoy Miller & Aubrey Lyles, and features music & lyrics by Eubie Blake & Noble Sissle, and a book by George C. Wolfe, who also serves as Director.

Synopsis: "In May 1921, Shuffle Along, a new musical conceived by Flournoy Miller and Aubrey Lyles with music and lyrics by Eubie Blake and Noble Sissle, became the unlikeliest of hits, significantly altering the face of the Broadway musical as well as that of New York City. In April 2016 — 95 years later — SHUFFLE ALONG, Or, The Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed, will be a backstage musical telling the story of the creation of this transformative but now forgotten show.
By the time Shuffle Along stumbled into town after a back-breaking pre-Broadway tour, it was deeply in debt and set to open at a remote Broadway house on West 63rd Street. In a season full of spectacles, such as Sally — a Ziegfeld musical comedy — and another edition of George White's Scandals, Shuffle Along's failure was almost a foregone conclusion. New York City was still in the throes of the Depression of 1920. And despite being celebrated vaudeville performers, Miller and Lyles and Sissle and Blake had never performed on Broadway, much less written a musical. But with an infectious jazz score and exuberant dancing, Shuffle Along ignited not just Broadway but all of New York City. George Gershwin, Fanny Brice, Al Jolson, Langston Hughes, and famed critic George Jean Nathan were among the many fans who repeatedly flocked to West 63rd Street to see a cast which — during its run of 504 performances — featured such soon-to-be theatrical luminaries as Josephine Baker, Paul Robeson, Florence Mills, Fredi Washington, and Adelaide Hall. Because of Shuffle Along, Uptown and Downtown met and became one."

SHUFFLE ALONG, Or, The Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed features choreography by Savion Glover, music supervision, arrangements, and orchestrations by Daryl Waters, musical direction by Shelton Becton, scenic design by Santo Loquasto, costume design by Ann Roth, and lighting design by Jules Fisher and Peggy Eisenhauer. It is produced on Broadway by Scott Rudin.

Brian Stokes Mitchell's Broadway credits include 'Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown,' 'Man of La Mancha,' 'King Hedley II,' 'Kiss Me, Kate,' 'Ragtime,' 'Kiss of the Spider Woman,' 'Jelly's Last Jam,' 'Oh, Kay!' and 'Mail.'

Billy Porter can currently be seen in the Broadway production of 'Kinky Boots.' Other Broadway credits include 'Smokey Joe's Cafe,' 'Grease,' 'Five Guys Named Moe,' and 'Miss Saigon.'

Brandon Victor Dixon's previous Broadway credits include 'Motown The Musical' and 'The Color Purple.' He also starred in the West End production of 'The Scottsboro Boys.'

Joshua Henry was last seen on Broadway in 'Violet.' His previous Broadway credits include 'Bring It On The Musical,' 'The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess,' 'The Scottsboro Boys,' Green Day's 'American Idiot,' and 'In The Heights.'

- by Tom Millward

Brian Stokes MitchellBilly Porter

Originally published on