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Arena Stage extends Duke Ellington’s Sophisticated Ladies

DUE TO RECORD-BREAKING HIGH DEMAND

ARENA STAGE

EXTENDS

Duke Ellington’s SOPHISTICATED Ladies

THROUGH June 6, 2010

(Washington, D.C.) Arena Stage today announced that its smash-hit production of Duke Ellington’s Sophisticated Ladies will extend its run at the historic Lincoln Theatre with six additional performances through June 6, 2010. The production, choreographed by and starring the legendary Maurice Hines and directed by Charles Randolph-Wright, has broken several long-standing sales records, and is on track to become the highest grossing show in Arena’s history by next week, replacing the 2002 production of South Pacific directed by Molly Smith.

D.C.-area audiences now have an additional week of performances to see what critics have been raving about:

Long live tap! The party hits the highest gear at every opportunity”  – The Washington Post

“Phenomenal … will leave you breathless…If every young person in the audience didn’t leave the Lincoln begging for tap lessons it would be astonishing.” – Metro Weekly

“Top pick! The hottest show in town[Maurice] Hines is still the best tap dancer in the business.” – DCTheatrescene.com

“Glorious … high-energy, elegant and often glossy…You will indeed love them madly…[Hines’] choreography is fluid and highly charged.” – TheaterMania

Tickets for the extension are on sale now through the Arena Stage Sales Office by calling (202) 488-3300 or visiting www.arenastage.org.

Hines makes his return to Arena Stage in Duke Ellington’s Sophisticated Ladies for the first time since his starring role in Guys and Dolls in 1999, which was also directed by Randolph-Wright and went on to tour nationally after breaking box office records. Hines, who replaced his brother Gregory in the original Broadway production, came out of retirement specifically to reprise his Broadway role at Arena Stage.

Hines is joined on stage by local teenage brothers, John and Leo Manzari, in their professional regional theater debuts. John, 17, and Leo, 15, were discovered at a master class held by Hines in D.C. in October 2009. The teens, who attend The Field School in Northwest D.C., have become instant favorites in the production, regularly receiving standing ovations in the middle of the second act for a segment that they share with Hines. “They are everything that I have waited for all my life to find,” states Hines. Director Randolph-Wright adds “people who see this show, years ahead will say, ‘I saw them when they first started. They have something extra. They have what you can’t teach, this magnetism. They have it.”

The cast also includes Sophisticated Ladies Broadway veteran Wynonna Smyth (Broadway’s Hot Feet) and Arena Stage favorite Marva Hicks (Broadway’s Caroline, or Change and Arena’s Crowns), as well as Janine DiVita (Broadway’s Grease), Karla Mosley (Off-Broadway’s Expatriate), Sam Cahn (Broadway’s Wicked), Sabra Lewis (Broadway’s Chitty Chitty Bang Bang), Tony Mansker (Broadway’s Mary Poppins), Keith Lamelle Thomas (Broadway’s Ragtime), DeMoya Watson (New York’s Radio City Christmas Spectacular), Hollie E. Wright (Broadway’s Hot Feet), Richard Riaz Yoder (Broadway’s Irving Berlin’s White Christmas) and Swings Cassie Abate, Mary Millben and Anthony Wayne. Kenneth Lee Roberson provided additional choreography for the production and Musical Director David Alan Bunn (Broadway’s Rollin’ on the T.O.B.A.)leads the onstage orchestra of 13 musicians through this musical journey of Ellington’s life.

Duke Ellington’s Sophisticated Ladies is a musical revue based on the music of Duke Ellington and was conceived by Donald McKayle (Broadway’s and Arena’s Raisin), with music, dance and vocal arrangements by Lloyd Mayers, additional vocal arrangements by Malcolm Dodd and original music direction by Mercer Ellington. It explores the legacy of local jazz hero Duke Ellington and follows his journey from the beginnings in D.C. through his time in New York City to his national and international stardom. The show travels through a history of song and dance with an “authentic, jazzy, brassy sound and dancing of high voltage and precision” (The New York Times). Big band music, from the roaring ‘20s through the swing era, serves as the show’s soundtrack with hits like “It Don’t Mean a Thing If It Ain’t Got That Swing” and “Take the ‘A’ Train” while dance styles range from Charleston to swing to virtuosic tap.

PHOTO EDITORS: High-resolution images are downloadable HERE.
using the following access information (for media only—please do not publish)
username: arenapress
password: arena0910
 
­­The Arena Stage musical theater season is sponsored by Jaylee Mead.

Duke Ellington’s Sophisticated Ladies is sponsored by Hank and Charlotte Schlosberg and the Family of H. Max and Josephine F. Ammerman and Andrew Ammerman.

TICKETS: Tickets for Duke Ellington’s Sophisticated Ladies start at $25. Discount tickets are available for patrons purchasing tickets for multiple shows, students and groups. A limited number of $10 tickets for patrons ages 30 and under go on sale beginning each Monday for performances that week (All patrons must present valid ID). HOTTIX, a limited number of half-price, day-of-performance tickets, are available 90 to 30 minutes before curtain prior to every performance. Tickets may be purchased online at www.arenastage.org, by phone at (202) 488-3300 or at the Arena Stage Sales Office at 1800 S. Bell Street, Arlington, VA 22202.

Sales Office/Subscriptions                  (202) 488-3300
TTY for deaf patrons                           (202) 484-0247
Group Sales Hotline                           (202) 488-4380
Info for patrons with disabilities         (202) 488-3300

Show times:
Tuesday, Wednesday & Sunday at 7:30 p.m.
Thursday, Friday & Saturday at 8:00 p.m.
Saturday & Sunday matinees at 2:00 p.m.
 
Newly Added Shows include:
Thursday, June 3 at 8:00 p.m.
Friday, June 4 at 8:00 p.m.
Saturday, June 5 at 2:00pm and 8:00 p.m.
Sunday, June 6 at 2:00pm and 7:30 p.m.

ABOUT ARENA STAGE
Under the leadership of Artistic Director Molly Smith and Managing Director Edgar Dobie, Washington, D.C.-based Arena Stage is the largest theater in the country dedicated to American plays and playwrights. Founded in 1950 by Zelda Fichandler, Thomas Fichandler and Edward Mangum, Arena Stage was one of the nation’s original resident theaters and has a distinguished record of leadership and innovation in the field. With the opening of the new Mead Center for American Theater in 2010, Arena Stage will be a leading center for the production, presentation, development and study of American theater. Now in its sixth decade, Arena Stage serves a diverse annual audience of more than 200,000. For more information please visit www.arenastage.org.

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