Review: Sophisticated Ladies at Fulton Theatre

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Once was definitely a switch up in the Fulton’s 2018/2019 season, following the classic musicals 42nd Street and Chicago, but the Fulton’s latest production of Duke Ellington’s Sophisticated Ladies is another great switch up too.

The show, based on the music of Duke Ellington, is a revue rather than a traditional musical, meaning the show features a variety of different acts rather than presenting one comprehensive story.

It really focuses on Ellington’s work and musical journey, so there is no narrative and there is very little dialogue, but the music and dancing speak (or sings) for itself and brings a fantastic show to life.

But with a set, costumes and choreography straight out of big band’s heyday, you feel like you’ll feel like you’re in the heart of the jazz scene as the cast croons the classics like “Take the ‘A’ Train,” “I Got It Bad and That Ain’t Good,” and “It Don’t Mean a Thing (If It Ain’t Got That Swing). It’s swinging, it’s soulful, it’s sassy – it’s all things you would expect from a big band jazz spectacular.

Even if you’re not into the big band style, I promise the cast’s talent will still impress you. They are phenomenal singers and dancers who have an infectious energy.

Sophisticated Ladies runs until May 25. 

And while there’s only one more show left in the season (a little musical called Mamma Mia!), there’s no need to fret. The Fulton just announced its 2019/2020 season, which includes Evita, Peter Pan, Murder on the Orient Express, Kinky Boots, Titanic, and Jersey Boys. If it’s true that history repeats itself, the Fulton’s next season is bound to be just as incredible as the 2018/2019 run.

The Fulton also is closing its Studio Series soon with a production of the rock musical Next to Normal, which runs from May 14 to June 2. The line up for next year’s Studio Series has yet to be announced, but you can expect performances that dive deep and push the envelope.

If you’re planning on visiting the Fulton, definitely factor in some time to take in spring in the city with pre-show dinner or drinks. Lancaster has great outdoor dining options; my favorites are the Park Bar at the Press Room or the rooftop at Tellus360. They’re great to visit when the weather is nice!

Sara Bozich
Author: Sara Bozich

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