After Midnight At The Paper Mill
By Jim Dombrowski
The Post Eagle Newspaper has been in publication for over 50 years promoting ethnic pride for Polish culture. It has brought to light the achievements of Polish Americans born both in the United States and Poland. The Post Eagle has highlighted Polish athletes, politicians, musicians, actors and actresses, and much more.
Being Polish (James Dombrowski), I have always found pride and a better understanding of the importance of appreciating not only my roots as a Polish and Italian American but also the diversity that makes the United States of America a melting pot of diversity. With this in mind, After Midnight playing at the Tony Award winning Paper Mill Playhouse until February 25th is a perfect fit for Black History Month of February.
The music of the 1920 & 30’s which saw Jazz take over the country with the invention of the radio comes to life at The Paper Mill. The Cotton Club in NYC’s Harlem became a venue synonymous with AfroAmerican Musicians. The Cotton Club lead by Duke Ellington drew the richest and most connected crowds of the roaring 20’s and continued into the Depression era of the 1930’s.
Unfortunately America was racially divided with the likes of Ellington, Cab Calloway and Lena Horn being able to perform on stage yet made to enter through the back door. This period of time also saw the rich live a much different life than the masses which would not really change until the 1950’s when a true Middle Class would appear after World War II.
“After Midnight” once again draws attention to the Paper Mill Playhouse and its ability for 85 years to not only entertain its audiences but also bring awareness to its crowds of fans who leave feeling a little better and more informed.
Photo by Jim Dombrowski. Talia Dombrowski and Angela Birchett in photo. Broadway star Angela Birchett who lives in Hackensack, NJ makes her return to the Paper Mill having stared in “The Color Purple “ in 2018. Birchett has hit the Broadway stage in “The Color Purple”, “Hairspray”, “Dreamgirls”, and “ Grease.” Talia Dombrowski helping her dad review “After Midnight” found Angela the glue that made this show and its audience sing and dance in its seats.
Talia asked Angela if her songs had any meaning and how did they relate to her personally and her character. “I feel my lyrics relate to my character and my real life experiences as a role model to young woman. I like to express the best version of myself and life. How you surround yourself with friends and the ones you love is critical to a healthy relationship,” voiced Birchett. Temptation is always out their .”
“After Midnight “ is more of a concert than a usual Theater Production giving you an insight into an evening at The Cotton Club. Sadah Espii Proctor handled the complicated sound design. “The tap dancing coupled with singing and the orchestra is very challenging,” explained Proctor.
Next up “Gun & Powder” opening on April 4.
photo by Talia Dombrowski. “After Midnight playing at The Paper Mill until February 25