Theatre Review: “Shuffle Along” Is As Great As ‘Hamilton’
What happens when George C. Wolfe, Audra McDonald, Brian Stokes Mitchell and Savion Glover get together to put on a show? –PURE THEATRE MAGIC!
McDonald radiates on stage in the new musical. While Wolfe and Glover prove they have talent and genius to spare in this new musical which tells the story of how an amazing group of people put on the first ever real black musical in 1921. It is fascinating and heartbreaking to get to see how hard it was to bring “Shuffle Along” to New York in 1921, how they could only get a theater way uptown on West 63rd St and how Blake and his songwriter partner, and the producers, were in debt and doubt – but never gave up!
The final number of Act 1– “Wild About Harry” proved Audra McDonald is a theatre god when she brings down the house. We even get to see how George Gershwin came to see the original show three time and stole a few notes for his songs.
If you love tap dancing and syncopation (and who doesn’t) then “Shuffle Along” is the show for you. Savion Glover’s numbers make this the black “42nd Street.”
But it is also the importance of “Shuffle Along” that you will remember when you leave the theatre. Like “Hamilton” it fills in a big blank about unknown history in America. This is a story that must be told.
Run and get a ticket, it will change your life!