EXCLUSIVE: Broadway performances added to off nights to raise money for The Actors Fund are a Broadway tradition. This week, however, the previewing musical Shuffle Along or The Making Of The Musical Sensation Of 1921 And All That Followed will add its own twist to that tradition: In the wake of canceled performances due to the illness of topliner and six-time Tony winner Audra McDonald, available seats for the newly added Friday this Friday, April 1 have been priced at $40, and all revenue has been earmarked for the fund.
This performance also ends a planned four-day hiatus the production had scheduled for revisions and changes. The producing team led by Scott Rudin told Deadline they’re cutting the price for the performance “as a thank you to the musical’s enthusiastic fans who lined up outside the Music Box Theatre’s box office from Monday, March 21 to Thursday, March 24 for the chance to purchase same-day $40 rush tickets, but who were unable to do so since those performances were canceled as a result of the illness of Audra McDonald, one of the musical’s stars.”
In addition to McDonald, Shuffle Along stars Brian Stokes Mitchell, Billy Porter, Brandon Victor Dixon and Joshua Henry. Stokes Mitchell also serves as chairman of the Actors’ Fund board of directors.
“Scott Rudin came up with the idea of dedicating a preview of Shuffle Along to the Actors Fund,” Stokes Mitchell told Deadline. “Our fans will now have the opportunity to buy a low-priced ticket to Friday night’s performance and contribute to this great organization as well.” Mitchell added, “It’s a real win-win for everyone.”
Shuffle Along, the 1921 musical hit with a score by Noble Sissle and Eubie Blake and an original book by F.E. Miller and Aubrey Lyles, has a new book by director George C. Wolfe and choreography by Savion Glover. It’s slated to open April 28 at the Music Box.