Misty Copeland is having a helluva week! After being named the first African-American prima ballerina at the American Ballet Theatre a few days ago, it's now been announced that she will make her Broadway debut in On the Town. Copeland will take over on August 25 for New York City Ballet principal dancer Megan Fairchild, who originated the role of Ivy Smith in the revival. Copeland is set for a two-week limited engagement at the Lyric Theatre through September 6.
Copeland's arrival should bring a needed boost to the tuner, which has been struggling with low grosses for some time and received four 2015 Tony nominations but no awards on the big night.
Perhaps we should have seen this coming—Copeland was one of the presenters at the 2015 Tonys! Named as one of this year's 100 most influential people in the world by Time, her recent ballet credits include Coppélia, La Bayadère, Swan Lake and Romeo and Juliet.
The new production, directed by John Rando, also currently stars Tony Yazbeck as Gabey, Jay Armstrong Johnson as Chip, Clyde Alves as Ozzie, Alysha Umphress as Hildy, Elizabeth Stanley as Claire, Jackie Hoffman as Madame Dilly, Michael Rupert as Judge Pitkin and Allison Guinn as Lucy Schmeeler.
First seen on Broadway in 1944, On the Town features music by Leonard Bernstein and a book and lyrics by Betty Comden and Adolph Green. It follows the adventures of three sailors on leave in New York City. Based on the ballet Fancy Free by Jerome Robbins, the musical's toe-tapping numbers include “New York, New York,” “I Can Cook Too,” “Lonely Town” and “Some Other Time.”