NEW YORK — Making a stylish Broadway debut, four-time Grammy winner k.d. lang has taken over for Fantasia Barrino as the special guest vocalist in the colorful music and dance revue, "After Midnight." Emceed by the affable Dule Hill, the show light-heartedly celebrates Duke Ellington's years at the Cotton Club nightclub in Harlem.
Strolling in amid the talented African-American cast of the slick, vaudevillian-style production, lang may have seemed incongruous at first when she made her debut this week, but she was delightfully comical and winning. Clad in a crisp black suit, and later, a creamy white tuxedo, she wore a smoothly bashful persona well-suited to her unique, androgynous style.
She sang her four jazz standards superbly, occasionally dancing a little, and playfully interacting with the audience, the ensemble and the classy orchestra, The Jazz at Lincoln Center All-Stars.
She provided a delicate resonance on "I Can't Give You Anything But Love" and a soulful "Stormy Weather," had mischievous, physical fun with "Zaz Zuh Zaz," and finished with a tangy, swinging version of "On the Sunny Side of the Street".
Lang, who seemed shy about accepting the audience's enthusiastic applause, will end her run in the show March 9, followed by Kenny "Babyface" Edmonds and Toni Braxton.