Next week will see Patti LaBelle‘s final performance as a special guest in the Broadway musical After Midnight, which is closing early ahead of announced guest runs by Gladys Knight and Natalie Cole. However, LaBelle is fighting to make sure the show continues to run, especially since it pays homage to jazz legend Duke Ellington and the famous Cotton Club nightclub in Harlem in the 1920s.
“I have angels working, people that I hope will come to the play and put some money up to keep it alive,” she tells ABC News Radio. “My whole worry is to all of those wonderful talents, what will they do after this play? When you see this play you think it will be here like a Cats or a Wicked, you know ten years or something. This play is so wonderful, so my heart is broken for the cast. Totally. And that Gladys Knight won’t get a chance or Natalie Cole won’t get a chance to experience this wonderful play.”
Patti expressed high hopes that the show will be saved in the final hour. “I’m praying that somebody, a big angel, will come and say, ‘Here’s enough money to keep it going,'” she says. “We have to beg, I’m ready to take buckets after the show when the people are leaving the building and offer a kiss for five thousand dollars or one of my old shoes or something, just…something to keep it alive and you know the kids, some of them are devastated and that makes me very sad. And I’m praying that something will happen to keep it open.”
Although the musical revue earned seven Tony nominations and won for Best Choreography, Patti explained that the show’s closing simply comes down to ticket sales.
“It’s been selling out, you know, since I’ve been there, but from what I understand some of the weeks weren’t so busy and they lost money from the beginning until now and they need more money,” she explains.
The musical opened in October 2013, featuring guest runs from Fantasia, Tony Braxton and Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds. The final performance is scheduled to take place on Sunday, June 29.
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