Video: See Billy Porter and Joaquina Kalukango Perform the Songs of Jelly's Last Jam | Playbill

Video Video: See Billy Porter and Joaquina Kalukango Perform the Songs of Jelly's Last Jam

The show will begin performances February 21 at New York City Center.

Get a sneak peek at two numbers from the upcoming New York City Center production of Jelly's Last Jam with the video above. See Tony winner Billy Porter lead the show's ensemble in "Prologue/The Jam," and Tony winner Joaquina Kalukango perform "Play the Music For Me." The Encores! production will begin February 21 and continue through March 3.

The seldom-produced biomusical celebrates the life and music of Ferdinand Joseph LaMothe (a.k.a. Jelly Roll Morton), featuring a book by George C. Wolfe, music by Morton, and lyrics by Susan Birkenhead, plus musical adaptation and additional music by Luther Henderson. The Encores! staging is one of two major new productions for the work, with another revival set for California's Pasadena Playhouse beginning in May.

The cast will feature Nicholas Christopher as Jelly Roll Morton, Okieriete Onaodowan as Buddy Bolden, Alaman Diadhiou as Young Jelly, John Clay III as Jack the Bear, Tiffany Mann as Miss Mamie, Leslie Uggams as Gran Mimi, Joaquina Kalukango as Anita, and Billy Porter as Chimney Man. Original cast members Mamie Duncan-Gibbs, Stephanie Pope Lofgren, and Allison M. Williams will reprise their roles as the Hunnies.

The ensemble will include Raymond Baynard, Shawn Bowers, Reese Britts, Amanda Castro, Joshua Dawson, John Edwards, Ari Groover, Holly James, Morgan McGhee, Jodeci Milhouse, Ramone Nelson, Paul Niebanck, James Patterson, Antonia Raye, Salome Smith, Funmi Sofola, Jordan Simone Stephens, Renell Anthony Taylor, Nasia Thomas, Sir Brock Warren, Chanse Williams, Topher J. Babb, and Charlotte McKinley. Casting is by The Telsey Office.

Robert O'Hara is directing, leading a creative team that includes choreographer Edgar Godineaux, tap choreographer Dormeshia, music director Jason Michael Webb, scenic designer Clint Ramos, costume designer Dede Ayite, lighting designer Adam Honoré, sound designer Megumi Katayama, and hair and wig designer J. Jaren Janas. The musical features musical adaptation and additional music by Luther Henderson, and Daryl Water is serving as score consultant. Karen Moore will be production stage manager.

The revival will be the second in Encores' 2024 season, with each of this year's titles playing an extended two-week run in celebration of the series' 30th anniversary. Once Upon a Mattress starring Sutton Foster and Harriet Harris kicked off the season in January, and Titanic will follow Jelly's Last Jam in June.


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