Tony nominee Vanessa Williams is the latest special guest star set to board the Duke Ellington musical After Midnight. Williams will begin performances at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre on April 1 and play through May 11. The musical revue, directed and choreographed by Warren Carlyle, started previews on October 18 with Grammy winner Fantasia Barrino the first in a rotating list of stars. Grammy winner K.D. Lang is currently headlining the show through March 9. Grammy winners Toni Braxton and Kenny "Babyface" Edmonds will follow as special guest star March 18 through March 30.
Williams received her Tony nomination for playing the Witch in Into the Woods. Her other Broadway credits include The Trip to Bountiful, Kiss of the Spider-Woman and Sondheim on Sondheim. She is well-known for her three-time Emmy nominated performance as Wilhemina Slater on TV's Ugly Betty, as well as her roles as Renee Perry on Desperate Housewives and Olivia Duran on 666 Park Avenue. Her film credits include Soul Food, Eraser, Dance With Me, Shaft and Hannah Montana: The Movie. As a recording artist, her many hits include “Save the Best For Last,” “You Can’t Run,” “The Right Stuff,” “Dreamin’,” “Runnin’ Back to You" and “Colors of the Wind.”
Set against a narrative of Langston Hughes’ poetry, After Midnight celebrates Duke Ellington’s years at Harlem’s famed Cotton Club using his original arrangements and performed by a world-class big band of 17 musicians. Along with Lang, the cast currently includes Dule Hill as host, Tony winner Adriane Lenox, Julius "iGlide" Chislom, Virgil J. Gadson, Karine Plantadit and Dormeshia Sumbry-Edwards.