Theater: Duke's Place


Concept by Donald McKayle

Based on the music of Duke Ellington

Nuclear energy is being released at Broadway's Lunt-Fontanne Theater, but no one need fear anything more drastic than delight. Sophisticated Ladies has no book and seems not to need one. It relies on incendiary dancing, notably tap, an onstage Big Band blast under the baton of Duke Ellington's son Mercer, and some 36 of the Duke's tunes of seductive genius.

The link between Ellington and his genius is Gregory Hines, a supernova of a performer with formidable gifts. Whether he is dancing,...

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