Theater News

Okieriete Onaodowan Joins the Cast of Jelly’s Last Jam

Complete casting announced for the show at New York City Center.

Okieriete Onaodowan
Okieriete Onaodowan
(© David Gordon)

New York City Center announced that Okieriete Onaodowan (Hamilton) will join the cast of Encores! Jelly’s Last Jam as Buddy Bolden and Alaman Diadhiou will make his New York stage debut as Young Jelly, completing the cast.

They join the previously announced cast that includes Nicholas Christopher (Sweeney Todd) as Jelly, John Clay III (Choir Boy) as Jack the Bear, Joaquina Kalukango (Paradise Square) as Anita, Tiffany Mann (Be More Chill) as Miss Mamie, Billy Porter (Kinky Boots) as Chimney Man, Leslie Uggams (American Fiction) as Gran Mimi, and original Broadway cast members Mamie Duncan-Gibbs, Stephanie Pope Lofgren, and Allison M. Williams, reprising their roles as the Hunnies. The ensemble includes Raymond Baynard, Shawn Bowers, Reese Britts, Amanda Castro, Joshua Dawson, John Edwards, Ari Groover, Holly James, Morgan McGhee, Jodeci Milhouse, Ramone Nelson, Paul Niebanck, James Patterson, Antonia Raye, Salome Smith, Funmi Sofola, Jordan Simone Stephens, Renell Anthony Taylor, Nasia Thomas, Sir Brock Warren, Chanse Williams, Topher J. Babb, and Charlotte McKinley.

Jelly’s Last Jam runs February 21-March 3 at New York City Center. Written by George C. Wolfe and set to jazz legend Jelly Roll Morton’s music with lyrics by Susan Birkenhead and musical adaptation and additional music composed by Luther Henderson, Jelly’s Last Jam is the story of jazz through its self-proclaimed inventor. This production will be directed by Robert O’Hara with choreography by Edgar Godineaux and tap choreography by Dormeshia, with guest music director Jason Michael Webb leading the Encores! orchestra.

New York City Center also announced Black Theater Legacy Night on Friday, March 1. The performance on that night will be followed by a post-show conversation with George C. Wolfe and Susan Birkenhead, moderated by Robert O’Hara.

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Jelly’s Last Jam

Final performance: March 3, 2024