After Midnight: Toni Braxton & Babyface join Cast

Tom Millward
Tom Millward

Multi-Platinum stars Toni Braxton and Kenny "Babyface" Edmonds begin performances as the 'special guest star vocalists' in the new Broadway musical After Midnight on 18 Mar 2014 for a limited engagement until 30 Mar 2014.

Toni Braxton is a six-time Grammy award winning artist, famous for such hits as 'Un-Break My Heart', 'You're Makin' Me High', 'Breathe Again' and 'He Wasn't Man Enough'. Her Broadway credits include 'Disney's Beauty and the Beast', in which she played the role of Belle from 1998 to 1999, and 'Aida' for the title role in 2003.

Kenny "Babyface" Edmonds is a ten-time Grammy award winning musician, songwriter and producer, receiving three consecutive Grammys for Producer of the Year in 1996, 1997 and 1998. Besides his collaborations with Toni Braxton, he has also written and produced for a long list of recording artists, including Michael Jackson, Janet Jackson, Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey, Mary J. Blige and Diana Ross.

Braxton and Edmonds teamed up for their first album of duets, 'Love, Marriage & Divorce', which arrived in stores on 03 Dec 2013 on Motown Records. "Hurt You" earned critical raves and reached the Top 10 on the Billboard charts. The duo first collaborated on a duet for Braxton's 1992 debut, 'Give U My Heart,' which was co-written and co-produced by "Babyface."

After Midnight - a new production of Cotton Club Parade - opened at Broadway's Brooks Atkinson Theatre on 03 Nov 2013, following previews from 18 Oct 2013.

Braxton and Edmonds follow K.D.Lang, who made her Broadway debut as the show's second guest star from 11 Feb - 09 Mar 2014. Fantasia was After Midnight's first special guest vocalist, performing in the production from 18 Oct 2013 - 09 Feb 2014.

The regular cast of After Midnight features Dulé Hill, who will lead the audience through the Harlem Renaissance as 'The Host'; Tony Award-winner Adriane Lenox ('Doubt') reprising her role as the blues singer with a sense of humor; Julius "Iglide" Chisholm from the dance crew RemoteKontrol, reimagining Harlem's popular 1920's "snakehips" dance; hip hop performer Virgil J. Gadson; Tony Award-nominated modern dancer Karine Plantadit ('Come Fly Away'); Michael Jackson's tap coach Dormeshia Sumbry-Edwards and tap-dancing choreographer Jared Grimes.

The cast will also include a male quartet comprised of Grammy Award-nominee and member of Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band Everett Bradley, Cedric Neal, T. Oliver Reid and Monroe Kent; a female trio of Broadway vets including Carmen Ruby Floyd, Rosena M. Hill Jackson and Bryonha Marie Parham;and dancers Marija Abney, Phillip Attmore, Christopher Broughton, Taeler Elyse Cyrus, C.K. Edwards, Danielle Herbert, Bahiyah Hibah, David Jennings, Erin Moore, Justin Prescott, Tony Award nominee Desmond Richardson ('Fosse'), Monique Smith and Daniel Watts.

After Midnight, is conceived by Jack Viertel, with direction and choreography by Warren Carlyle and music direction by Jazz at Lincoln Center Managing and Artistic Director Wynton Marsalis.

After Midnight celebrates Duke Ellington's years at the famed Harlem nightclub in the 1920s and '30s, when the joint was jumping with shows featuring big band swing and blues music.

The production features singers, dancers, and the Jazz at Lincoln Center All Stars, under the direction of Wynton Marsalis. The score includes songs by jazz composers of the time, including Jimmy McHugh and Dorothy Fields ("I Can't Give You Anything But Love" and "Digga Digga Doo"), a young Harold Arlen ("Stormy Weather," "I've Got the World on a String," "Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea,"), and the legendary Duke Ellington ("Rockin' in Rhythm," "Cotton Club Stomp," "Black and Tan Fantasy," and "Creole Love Call").

The timeless tunes set against a narrative of Langston Hughes poetry will provide a backdrop for an array of performances by 25 vocalists and dancers, including special guest stars.

The creative team will include costumes by Isabel and Ruben Toledo, sets by John Lee Beatty, lighting by Howell Binkley and sound by Peter Hylenski.

Encores! Special event production of the jazz musical 'Cotton Club Parade,' now named After Midnight, played two runs at New York City Center in 2011 and 2012.

After Midnight is produced by Scott Sanders Productions, and Wynton Marsalis, in association with Marks-Moore-Turnbull Group; Stephen and Ruth Hendel; and Tom Kirdahy.

- by Tom Millward

Kenny "Babyface" Edmonds and Toni Braxton

Originally published on

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