Final Bow: After Midnight Host Dulé Hill on Fantasia, the Sundance Kid, and The West Wing
Hill looks back on his time in the Duke Ellington-Cotton Club musical on Broadway.
Every show ends sometime (unless you're Phantom), so before the cast of After Midnight takes its final bow, there are a few things we want to know.
To television audiences, Dulé Hill is recognized by not one, but two different roles: presidential aide Charlie Young on The West Wing and Gus Guster on Psych. But before he got these long-running parts, Hill was a Broadway baby, having made his Broadway debut in 1996 in George C. Wolfe and Savion Glover's dance production Bring in 'Da Noise, Bring in 'Da Funk. While he returned to the New York stage briefly in 2011, in Lydia R. Diamond's drama Stick Fly, his tap shoes weren't put to use again until late-2013, when he returned to Broadway in the Duke Ellington musical spectacular After Midnight.
Hill filled out TheaterMania's Final Bow questionnaire and described his various leading ladies, his favorite backstage guest (hint: the Sundance Kid himself), and his idea of just what would happen if Gus and Charlie got into a Warren Carlyle-choreographed dance-off.
1. What is your favorite line that you delivered?
"That's the evening, Daddy! I know you've heard the boogie-woogie rumble of a dream deferred."
2. Every show experiences technical difficulties. What was the worst technical difficulty experienced during your show and how was it handled?
The basement of the Brooks Atkinson flooded. I believe the show was delayed for about 30-45 minutes. Delays aren't so bad when you have the Jazz at Lincoln Center All-Stars onstage every night.
3. What was the most "interesting" present someone gave you at the stage door?
Balcones Brimstone Texas Scrub Oak Smoked Corn Whiskey.
4. Who is the coolest person that came to see your show? (You can't say family!)
5. If you could go back in time to see one Cotton Club performer, who would it be and why?
Harold Nicholas. He's one of my great inspirations.
6. In one word, describe the "Guest Vocalists" you've worked with during this run:
a. Fantasia — Sexy
b. k.d. lang — Instrumental
c. Vanessa Williams — Diverse
d. Patti LaBelle — Complete
7. Which number in the show, even after having seen it time and time again, can you not get enough of, and why?
"Cotton Club Stomp/Freeze and Melt." It's just white-hot energy!
8. What has it been like to be back performing on Broadway after flourishing in the world of television?
It's like coming home after being abroad for a very long time.
9. What specialty act would Charlie from The West Wing perform if he was cast in After Midnight? What about Gus from Psych?
Charlie as Julius "iGlide" Chisolm in "Hottentot Tot" & Gus as Virgil "Lil' O" Gadson in "Hottentot Tot." It would be an epic bad dancer battle to the end.