American Ballet Theatre principal dancer Misty Copeland will make her Broadway debut as ‘Ivy Smith’ in On The Town this summer for 12 performances only from August 25 – September 6.
Copeland was recently promoted to principal dancer at American Ballet Theatre, making her the first African-American woman to be named a principal in the company’s history. She has graced the cover of Time Magazine, as one of 2015’s “100 Most Influential People” and starred in ABT’s production of Swan Lake in their just-concluded season at the Metropolitan Opera House.
“We are so thrilled to have Misty joining us at this momentous time in her career,” said producer Howard Kagan. “On The Town has a long history of progressive, diverse casting which began with the creative team’s casting of Japanese-American dancer Sono Osato as ‘Ivy Smith’ in the original 1944 production, in the midst of World War II, as well as featuring one of the first racially-integrated ensembles. So it seems fitting that this incredible talent, who has broken through barriers in the dance world, will make her Broadway debut in this show.”
Copeland will be performing from August 25 – September 6 at the Tuesday, Thursday and Friday evening shows and the Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday matinees. The show will also have a Saturday and Sunday evening performance during those weeks.
Directed by John Rando (Tony Award® winner for Urinetown) and choreographed by Joshua Bergasse (Emmy Award winner for “Smash”), On The Town is an “explosion of pure joy” (David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter) with “the best dancing on Broadway” (Ben Brantley of The New York Times on NPR). Featuring eye popping sets and gorgeous costumes, On The Town has “a rapturous and red blooded score” (Joe Dziemianowicz, Daily News) by Leonard Bernstein, one of America’s greatest composers. This hit musical comedy is “everything a great show should be!” (Terry Teachout, The Wall Street Journal). On The Town was nominated for four 2015 Tony Awards, including Best Revival of a Musical, Best Performance By a Leading Actor in a Musical (Tony Yazbeck), Best Choreography (Joshua Bergasse), and Best Direction of a Musical (John Rando). A national tour will launch in the 2016-17 season.
On The Town, which began previews on Saturday, September 20, 2014 and officially opened on Thursday, October 16, 2014, was created by a legendary dream team, featuring book and lyrics by Betty Comden and Adolph Green, music by Leonard Bernstein, and based on an idea by Jerome Robbins.
On The Town was first conceived as the Jerome Robbins/Leonard Bernstein ballet Fancy Free at ABT in 1944, before being adapted into a full musical later that year. The musical opened at Broadway’s Adelphi Theater, 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 along the way.