Sophisticated Ladies
Sophisticated Ladies
Concept by Donald McKayle | Based on the music of Duke Ellington | Music and Dance Arrangements by Lloyd Mayers | Vocal Arrangements by Malcolm Dodds and Lloyd Mayers | Music by Duke Ellington
The musical legacy of The Duke is celebrated in this stylish and brassy retrospective that has taken audiences and critics alike by storm throughout the world. Act I takes us from his early days at The Cotton Club through his widening acceptance abroad, while Act II explores the private man as captured in his music. It's a high-stepping salute inspired by the glamorous nightlife and sensuous highlife of a man who lived to love.
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About The Show

News for Sophisticated Ladies

Production Info


Create/Order Merch for Sophisticated Ladies

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News for Sophisticated Ladies

Did you catch So You Think You Can Dance this week? Check out this great performance to "It Don't Mean A Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing)" from Duke Ellington's SOPHISTICATED LADIES. read more

Although it has been nearly 35 years since Rodgers & Hammerstein's final collaboration, THE SOUND OF MUSIC, took the Great White Way by storm, it was in fact a new Rodgers & Hammerstein musical that ushered in the fall season on Broadway read more

Trivia for Sophisticated Ladies

In 1983, SOPHISTICATED LADIES, a revue with the music of Duke Ellington, closed on Broadway after 767 performances and eight Tony nominations.
In 1981, SOPHISTICATED LADIES, a revue with the music of Duke Ellington, opened at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre where it ran for 767 performances. The show was nominated for eight Tony Awards, and won Best Costume Design and Best Featured Actor in 1981.
In 1899 pianist and jazz legend Duke Ellington was born. In 1981, his life and songs were celebrated in the Broadway revue SOPHISTICATED LADIES.

 Press for Sophisticated Ladies

  • Quotes
"I loved it madly!...the numbers send chills up your spine...glitter and glamour and stomp your feet songs." — ABC-TV
"SOPHISTICATED LADIES sure has that swing! A sophisticated revue... with a nonstop succession of Duke Ellington classics. You'd have to have one foot in the grave not to enjoy this show. An homage of the first order."

Musical Numbers for Sophisticated Ladies

Song #
Song Name
Character Name
Play
Other Versions

Awards for Sophisticated Ladies

Tony Awards

January 01, 1981 — 8 Nominations including Best Musical

Vocal Range of Characters:

Photos for Sophisticated Ladies

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Writers Notes for Sophisticated Ladies


Written By: Duke Ellington

I am a minstrel, a pedestrian minstrel, a primitive pedestrian minstrel. Sometimes I imagine I paint, with water colors or oils, a crystal-clear lake in the sky reflecting the shadows of invisible trees upside-down beneath sun-kissed, cotton-candy snow. On the fringe, clouds so foamy white -- tranquil on top, a raging storm inside...'I'll write it,' I think, before returning to that half sleep as the plane roars on to Atlanta...or is it Atlantis? Plans, plans, the most impossible of enormous plans, pastel or opaque. Sometimes I'll write a play or plot, drama or comedy, revue or re-do. And sometimes I mold a figure, graceful or grotesque, out of whatever material happens to pop into my mind. If it's a chunk of rock or steel, or a trunk of a tree, or maybe just the single petal of a rose, it must be fashioned to the raw, or the ore, according to its dimensions and shape, large or small.

Raw or ore, gold or gook, or indigo, filigree, or feathers, carve a breach as deep as desire demands, but don't destroy the maidenhead. Blow Cootie up to the ceiling, make Cat go tooting through the roof, jam Sam into a Charleston beat, let Paul go-go, running through the lattice work of brass cacophony, while Jimmy weaves delicate lacework around the edges. Give Harry that 'molto profondo,' so that Lawrence will cry and wail in the wake of the apres-coup. Stomp down, those symmetrical after-beats, baby, so that Rab can smelt the melody to smoldering, and over the hush let's hear the broads in the back row whisper, 'Tell the story, Daddy.' Russell's got the kind of wood that Barney had, when Whestol was playing the unduplicatably dulcet. You can't use Charley Plug or Tricky -- one just doesn't any more. Bubber said it, and he was right! It don't mean a thing if it ain't got that swing.


Performance Tools for Sophisticated Ladies

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MAKE YOUR OWN PLAYBILL! Playbill VIP allows you to create your very own Playbill Program. We have provided Playbill with all of the credits, song listings, musical numbers and more so that most of the work is already done for you. Just add your productions details, photos of the cast and share it with all of your friends. Learn more: www.playbillvip.com


Rental Materials for Sophisticated Ladies

STANDARD

  • SOPHISTICATED LADIES - Orchestra Package (14 Books/12 Players)
    • 2 – PIANO-CONDUCTOR ACT I (CONDUCTOR and PIANO)
    • 2 – PIANO-CONDUCTOR ACT II (CONDUCTOR and PIANO)
    • 1 – REED I (Clarinet, Alto Sax)
    • 1 – REED II (Clarinet, Tenor Sax)
    • 1 – REED III (Clarinet, Baritone Sax)
    • 1 – TRUMPET I (Doubles Flugelhorn)
    • 1 – TRUMPET II (Doubles Flugelhorn)
    • 1 – TRUMPET III (Doubles Flugelhorn)
    • 1 – TROMBONE I
    • 1 – DRUMS (Trap Set)
    • 1 – PERCUSSION (see "Materials Notes", under "Production Information")
    • 1 – BASS
  • Rehearsal Set (24 Books)
    • 20 – Libretto-Vocal Books
    • 1 – Logo CD
    • 2 – PIANO-CONDUCTOR ACT I (CONDUCTOR and PIANO)
    • 2 – PIANO-CONDUCTOR ACT II (CONDUCTOR and PIANO)
    • Digital Logo

ADDITIONAL

  • Libretto/Vocal Books 10 pack
    • 10 – Libretto-Vocal Books
  • SOPHISTICATED LADIES - PRE-PRODUCTION PACKAGE
    • 1 – Libretto-Vocal Books
    • 1 – PIANO-CONDUCTOR ACT I (CONDUCTOR and PIANO)
    • 1 – PIANO-CONDUCTOR ACT II (CONDUCTOR and PIANO)

Cast Requirements for Sophisticated Ladies

PRINCIPALS
3 Women
4 Men

ENSEMBLE
Singing-dancing ensemble

COMMENTS
The cast should be racially mixed, representing any and all who rock to the rhythm of The Duke.

CHARACTERS
Gregory - the raconteur
Judith - the danseuse
Gregg - the jazzbo
Phyllis - the chanteuse
Hinton - the danseur
Terri - the soubrette
P.J. - the hipster
Ensemble

Set Requirements for Sophisticated Ladies

SOPHISTICATED LADIES requires a flexible unit set that can suggest various locales in the life of Duke Ellington.

Materials Notes

Timpani, Conga Drum, Bongos, Shaker, Maracas, Claves, Slide Whistle, Sand Blocks, Vibraphone, Ratchet, Mark Tree, Triangle, Wood Blocks, Tambourine, Suspended Cymbal, Bells, Chimes.

Featured News

SOPHISTICATED LADIES on So You Think You Can Dance...

Did you catch So You Think You Can Dance this week? Check out this great performance to "It Don't Mean A Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing)" from Duke Ellington's SOPHISTICATED LADIES.

Read More
Rave Revues!

Although it has been nearly 35 years since Rodgers & Hammerstein's final collaboration, THE SOUND OF MUSIC, took the Great White Way by storm, it was in fact a new Rodgers & Hammerstein musical that ushered in the fall season on Broadway

Read More

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