After Midnight Press Announcement


Wednesday, December 20, 2023



(December 20, 2023 – Millburn, NJ) – Paper Mill Playhouse (Mark S. Hoebee– Producing Artistic Director; Michael Stotts– Executive Director), recipient of the 2016 Regional Theatre Tony Award, is pleased to announce the cast and creative team for After Midnight, co-directed by Dominique Kelley (PMP: The Great Gatsby; Denver Center: Oklahoma!) and Paper Mill Playhouse’s Associate Artistic Director Jen Bender (PMP: Honeymoon in Vegas; Broadway: The Lion King) and choreographed by Kelley. The production will play January 31 – February 25, 2024 at Paper Mill Playhouse (22 Brookside Drive). Opening night is Sunday, February 4.

Conceived by Jack Viertel (former Artistic Director of City Center Encores!), this Jazz Age rhythm and dance extravaganza is an electrifying musical revue that transports you to the Cotton Club of the Harlem Renaissance, an unparalleled time in New York City when jazz and swing were king. After Midnight intertwines the poetry of Langston Hughes with songs from big-band legends Duke Ellington, Cab Calloway, Harold Arlen, Dorothy Fields, and more. The exhilarating score features such hits as “I Can’t Give You Anything but Love,” “Stormy Weather,” “On the Sunny Side of the Street,” and “It Don’t Mean a Thing (If It Ain’t Got That Swing).”

After Midnight will star Angela Birchett (PMP & Broadway: The Color Purple), Sasha Hutchings (Broadway: Hamilton, My Fair Lady), Joshua Lamar (Lyric Opera: West Side Story; HBO Max: “Legendary”), James T. Lane (Broadway: Chicago, The Scottsboro Boys), Stanley Martin (Broadway: Disney’s Aladdin; International Tour: West Side Story), Aramie Payton (Broadway: MJ: The Musical; National Tour: Dreamgirls), Destinee Rea (PMP: Disney’s Hercules; Broadway: Tina: The Tina Turner Musical), Awa Sal Secka (Signature Theatre: Ragtime, Gun & Powder), Liv Symone (Broadway: Disney’s Aladdin; Starz: “Power Book III: Raising Kanan”), Harris Matthew Turner (Broadway: MJ: The Musical, Disney’s Frozen), Jasmine Pearl Villaroel (Centre Theater: Tuck Everlasting; Fulton Theatre: Grease), and Anthony Wayne (Broadway: Tina: The Tina Turner MusicalOnce on This Island).

The production features music direction by Sean Mayes (Broadway: MJ: The Musical, Hadestown), scenic and lighting design by Adam Honoré (Broadway: Purlie VictoriousAin’t No Mo’), costume design by Azalea Fairley (Broadway: HamiltonA Strange Loop), sound design by Sadah Espii Proctor (Broadway: Trouble in Mind; Off-Broadway: Daphne), and hair and wig design by Alfreda Howard (Netflix: “Mystery Science Theatre 3000;” Off-Broadway: Mrs. Murray’s Menagerie). Casting is by Tara Rubin Casting. RL Campbell is the Production Stage Manager.

Paper Mill Playhouse’s 2024 lineup also features Fiddler on the Roof (now – January 7, 2024), Gun & Powder (April 4– May 5, 2024), and Beautiful: The Carole King Musical (June 5 – 30, 2024).

Paper Mill Playhouse offers its audiences the opportunity to enhance their theater experience with behind-the-scenes views of mainstage productions, including Q&As held live in the theater with cast members. Paper Mill Prologues and Director’s Viewpoint will be available to everyone on-demand in the Paper Mill Playhouse mobile app.

Award-winning access programs and services are available at all Paper Mill Playhouse productions, including audio-described performances, American Sign Language interpreted and open-captioned performances, Braille and large-print programs, and assistive listening devices.

Paper Mill Playhouse offers three-show subscription packages, starting at just $111. Each subscription package includes a different level of special benefits – see for details. Accessibly priced youth subscriptions are available for children under 18 with the purchase of an adult subscription. Tickets and subscriptions may be purchased by calling 973.376.4343, online at, or at the box office.

Programs, dates, and artists are subject to change.


PAPER MILL PLAYHOUSE, recipient of the 2016 Regional Theatre Tony Award, is a nationally renowned not-for-profit theater under the direction of Mark S. Hoebee (Producing Artistic Director) and Michael Stotts (Executive Director). A beloved New Jersey arts institution since 1938, Paper Mill creates and produces groundbreaking new musicals and reimagined classics. Several productions have gone on to Broadway and launched national tours, including Disney’s Newsies, Les Misérables, Honeymoon in Vegas, A Bronx Tale, and Bandstand. The theater is also the home to an award-winning center for musical theater education and artist training, with outreach programs that impact thousands of students each year. As one of the nation’s premier musical theaters, Paper Mill fosters a creative environment to advance the art form, educate students, develop future theater lovers, nurture inclusion, and provide access for all. We acknowledge that our theater stands on the traditional land of the Lenni-Lenape, and we honor the Indigenous people who inhabited it for thousands of years before European settlers arrived. Paper Mill Playhouse programs are made possible, in part, by funds from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, a partner agency of the National Endowment for the Arts. Paper Mill Playhouse is a member of the National Alliance for Musical Theatre, the Council of Stock Theatres, and the New Jersey Theatre Alliance.

Paper Mill Playhouse’s 2023-2024 Season

Fiddler on the Roof

Now–January 7, 2024

Book by Joseph Stein

Music by Jerry Bock

Lyrics by Sheldon Harnick

Original Choreography by Jerome Robbins

Directed by Mark S. Hoebee

Reproduction Choreography by Parker Esse

This beloved classic is sure to charm and captivate the entire family. The Tony Award–winning musical is set in a Russian village in the home of Tevye, a Jewish husband and father striving to uphold his family’s religious and cultural traditions. Directed by Paper Mill Producing Artistic Director Mark S. Hoebee with the original choreography of Jerome Robbins, Fiddler on the Roof’s timeless score includes such favorites as “Tradition,” “Matchmaker, Matchmaker,” “If I Were a Rich Man,” “To Life (L’Chaim!),” and “Sunrise, Sunset.”

Based on Sholem Aleichem stories by special permission of Arnold Perl.

Produced on the New York Stage by Harold Prince.

Original New York Stage Production Directed and Choreographed by Jerome Robbins.

This production of Fiddler on the Roof was licensed by Music Theatre International.

New Musical

Gun & Powder

April 4 – May 5, 2024

Book and Lyrics by Angelica Chéri

Music by Ross Baum

Directed by Stevie Walker-Webb

Gun & Powder is a new musical inspired by the true story of Mary and Martha Clarke, African American twin sisters who take extraordinary measures to settle their mother’s sharecropper debt and save her home. In 1893 Texas, the Sisters Clarke—passing as white—embark on a remarkable Wild West adventure that examines race, family, and identity with two electrifying women who transformed from farm girls to outlaws to legends. Featuring book and lyrics by Angelica Chéri (a real-life descendant of Mary and Martha Clarke), music by Ross Baum, and direction by Obie winner Stevie Walker-Webb (Ain’t No Mo’).

Beautiful: The Carole King Musical

June 5 – 30, 2024

Book by Douglas McGrath

Words and Music by Gerry Goffin & Carole King, Barry Mann & Cynthia Weil

Choreographed by Jennifer Werner

Directed by Casey Hushion

This Tony-nominated musical follows the early life and career of Carole King on her journey from teenage songwriter to chart-topping solo artist. King wrote for many of the biggest names in music, often alongside her husband, but it wasn’t until she made the leap from the writer’s room to the stage that she truly found her voice. This inspiring story of love, heartbreak, and empowerment features over two dozen hits, including “One Fine Day,” “Will You Love Me Tomorrow,” and “Natural Woman.”


Angela Birchett is excited to be back at Paper Mill Playhouse! She was last seen on the Paper Mill stage in 2018 in the first national tour of The Color Purple (2015 revival). Birchett made her Broadway debut with the show as well. Other credits include Hairspray, Dreamgirls, Once on This IslandRentSmokey Joe’s CafeAin’t Misbehavin’, and Grease. Television and film highlights include Lifetime’s “The Clark Sisters: First Ladies of Gospel,” “Kirk Franklin’s A Gospel Christmas,” and “Kevin Can Wait” (CBS). Instagram: @angelabirchett

Sasha Hutchings is thrilled to make her Paper Mill debut with After Midnight. Sasha is a stage and television actress, teaching artist, and creative producer. She recently starred as Laurey Williams on the national tour of Oklahoma!. Sasha is an original cast member of Hamilton and is featured in the Disney+ “Hamilton” film. Additional Broadway credits include My Fair LadyRockyMotown, and Memphis. Sasha stars as Hope on “Run the World” (Starz). Additional TV appearances include “Demascus” (SXSW premiere), “Fosse/Verdon,” “The Bold Type,” “Jessica Jones,” “Master of None,” and “Blue Bloods.”

Joshua Lamar began training at age eight in Los Angeles, CA, under the tutelage of Otis Sallid and Kyme Sallid. He is skilled in tap, ballet, African, contemporary, and modern; he has worked with world-renowned instructors and choreographers Debbie Allen, Tanisha Scott, Darrell Grand Moultrie, Kevin Iega Jeff, Judith Jamison, Alonzo King, Robert Garland, Andrea Long-Naidu, Michael Sheridan, Karen Brown, and more. Performance credits include a Comme des Garçons commercial, “Legendary” (seasons 2 and 3, HBO Max), Deeply Rooted Dance Theatre, West Side Story (Lyric Opera), An American in Paris (Ogunquit Playhouse), Collage Dance Collective, Dance Theatre of Harlem (Second Company). Instagram: @joshualamarh

James T. Lane. West End: The Scottsboro BoysA Chorus Line. Broadway: Chicago (Billy Flynn, Amos Hart); Kiss Me, Kate (Paul); King KongThe Scottsboro BoysA Chorus Line (Richie Walters). National Tours: Jersey BoysCinderellaFame. Regional Theater: Mary Poppins (Bert, Drury Lane Theatre); The Wiz (Tin Man, Broadway at Music Circus, The Muny); The Little Mermaid (Sebastian) and Sister Act (The Muny). Concerts: Carnegie Hall with the New York Pops, Ottawa Symphony, and many more. Creator of the 2023 Audelco Award-winning Off-Broadway show Triple Threat. Mr. Lane teaches music theater dance when and wherever anyone will let him!, Instagram: @jamestlane

Stanley Martin. Broadway: Disney’s Aladdin (original cast). Regional: Traffic & Weather (world premiere, Adirondack Theatre Festival), The Wiz (The Wiz), The Legend of Georgia McBride (Rexy), The Rocky Horror Show (Eddie), Something Rotten! (Minstrel), The Addams Family (Conquistador), The Music Man (Constable), Show BoatRomeo and JulietDirty Rotten Scoundrels. National/International Tours: West Side StorySmokey Joe’s Cafe, Sophisticated Ladies. 2016 Metropolitan Cabaret Award winner for audience favorite. Cabarets: Green Eyed Soul and Smoke and Mirrors. Playwright: Opportunity at the Strawberry One-Act Festival, nominated for six awards including Best Play; won Best Director and Best Actress. @stanleymartinthethird

Aramie Payton is fresh from his Broadway debut as the original MJ standby at MJ: The Musical. Enjoying artistry in all facets, Payton has worked as a performer and creative around the world and revels in any chance to learn and share simultaneously. Tours: Dreamgirls, Flashdance, and Cruel Intentions. NYC: Bat Out of Hell (City Center). Regional: The Scottsboro Boys (Helen Hayes Award, Signature Theatre), Hairspray (Starlight), Mamma Mia! (Marriott). Film/TV: “Run the World,” “The Equalizer,” Triple Threat, “Wu Tang: An American Saga.” @mynameisaramie

Destinee Rea is a multidisciplinary artist, discoverer, and lover of culture. Her Broadway credits include Tina: The Tina Turner MusicalThe Book of Mormon; and Amélie. You most recently saw her at Paper Mill in Disney’s Hercules as a beloved Muse. @destineeRea

Awa Sal Secka. NY workshops: Goddess (Zawadi), Grace (Jacqui). Berkeley Rep: Goddess (Zawadi). Signature Theatre: Ragtime (Sarah), Simply SondheimGun & Powder (Flo), Jesus Christ Superstar (Simon). Kennedy Center: Rent in Concert (Joanne), Me… Jane (Maisie), Chasing the Wind (Abby, concert). Ford’s: Into the Woods (Baker’s Wife), The Wiz (Glinda/Dorothy u/s). Round House: School Girls… (Ama); Caroline, or Change (Dottie). Theater J: Intimate Apparel (Mayme). Imagination: …Charlie Brown (Lucy). ArtsCentric: The Last Five Years (Cathy), Aida (Aida), Memphis (Felicia). Baltimore Center Stage: Glorious World… (Lady 3). Studio: Silence! (Ardelia). Olney: Cowriter of The Joy That Carries You (2023 Helen Hayes Award), concerts of Dessa Rose (Dessa) and Children of Eden (Eve). Rep: Nicolosi & Co. Instagram: _kujichagulia_

Liv Symone is thrilled to be making her Paper Mill debut this season! She is a proud graduate of Howard University. Recent credits include “Power Book III: Raising Kanan” on Starz and Disney’s Aladdin on Broadway. Liv is excited to return to the stage in After Midnight with this fierce team! Instagram: @livsymone

Harris Matthew is thrilled to be making his Paper Mill Playhouse debut! A performer hailing from Rochester, New York, he began dancing at two years old at the Rochester Association for the Performing Arts (RAPA) and hasn’t stopped since. After studying at Point Park University, Harris has traveled the globe performing and was most recently seen in the Broadway smash hit MJ: The Musical. Broadway/touring credits include Disney’s Frozen, Summer: The Donna Summer MusicalAin’t Too ProudHair 50th Anniversary (Sydney Opera House), Vegas! The Show, Norwegian Cruise Lines, and Garth Fagan Dance. @harrismturner

Jasmine Pearl Villaroel is endlessly grateful to be making her Paper Mill debut in After Midnight! As a junior in the Musical Theater BFA program at Temple University, Jasmine has recently appeared in Once on This Island (Ti Moune), Xanadu (Euterpe), and Head Over Heels (Mopsa). Other credits include Cha-Cha DiGregorio in Grease (Fulton Theatre) and ensemble in Tuck Everlasting (Centre Theater). Instagram: @jasmine.villaroel

Anthony Wayne is thrilled to make his Paper Mill Playhouse debut. Broadway: Tina: The Tina Turner Musical (Raymond), TootsieOnce on This IslandPippinAnything GoesPriscilla Queen of the Desert (Jimmy). Off-Broadway: Mighty Real: A Fabulous Sylvester Musical (Sylvester), A Chorus Line (Richie, NY City Center). Regional: Mary Poppins (Bert), Ain’t Misbehavin’ (Andre, Cape Playhouse), Guys and Dolls (Kennedy Center, DC). Black Broadway Men Inc. (executive director, @BlackBroadwayMen)., Instagram: @MrAWayne. Norfolk, Virginia native.

Dominique Kelley (Choreographer & Co-director) is jazzed to return to Paper Mill after choreographing the recent world premiere of The Great Gatsby. His other theater credits include Oklahoma!, Indecent, and Rattlesnake Kate (Denver Center); Sophisticated Ladies and Singin’ in the Rain (Zach Theatre); Wild Women Blues (Germany); and Ain’t Misbehavin’ (Ebony Rep). Favorite TV: “Mariah Carey’s Magical Christmas Special,” “SYTYCD,” “Dancing with the Stars,” “Perry Mason,” “The Masked Singer,” “American Music Awards,” “The Late Late Show with James Corden.” Recording artist choreography: Beyoncé, Mariah Carey, Janet Jackson, Taylor Swift, Ariana Grande, Usher, P!nk, FKA Twigs, Camila Cabello. Film: Gone with the BulletsJo Bole So Nihaal. Cirque du Soleil’s Volta. Sports team choreography: NY Knicks, Brooklyn Nets, L.A. Clippers, San Francisco 49ers, Houston Rockets, L.A. Chargers.

Jen Bender (Co-director) is the Associate Artistic Director at Paper Mill Playhouse. Paper Mill: Honeymoon in Vegas (Associate Director). Broadway: The Lion KingAvenue Q (Resident Director); Honeymoon in VegasThe Wedding SingerSteel Magnolias (Associate/Assistant Director). Regional: Godspell (Muny); RentGrease (Surflight Theatre). For three years, Jen traveled around the world as the Assistant Artistic Director for Cirque du Soleil’s Ovo. Prior to Paper Mill, she was the Senior Vice President of Production and Development at The Araca Group and a co-founder of the New York Musical Festival and Broadway in South Africa. Jen is an adjunct professor at New York University and a graduate of Northwestern University.

Sean Mayes (Music Director). Based between New York and Toronto, Sean Mayes enjoys a career internationally as a conductor, music supervisor, music director, orchestrator, arranger, composer, author, and educator, spanning numerous musical styles between Broadway, theater, opera, classical, and pops. Select credits include MJ and Hadestown (Broadway); The Color Purple (conductor, Canadian regional premiere); Ali (music supervisor); Rent: In Concert (music supervisor, Kennedy Center); Come From Away (music supervisor, Finland); Aportia Chryptych (composer, music supervisor, Canadian Opera Company); Fall on Your Knees (composer, music supervisor, Canadian national tour); Afropunk’s Black HERstory (music supervisor, Lincoln Center); André De Shields with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra (orchestrations, music director). @maestromayes

Jack Viertel (Concept) was artistic director of City Center Encores!, where After Midnight was developed, from 2000 to 2020. He also was creative director and senior vice president of Jujamcyn Theaters, where he worked on productions as varied as Angels in AmericaGuys and Dolls, and A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, and six August Wilson plays, beginning with the Pulitzer Prize-winning The Piano Lesson. He was the dramaturg for Hairspray, conceived Smokey Joe’s Cafe, and began as a theater critic in Los Angeles.

Adam Honoré (Scenic & Lighting Design) is a Harlem-based designer for the stage. Recent Broadway: Purlie VictoriousAin’t No Mo’Chicken & Biscuits. Select Off-Broadway: Jelly’s Last Jam (City Center Encores!), Flex (Lincoln Center), This Land Was Made (Vineyard Theatre), Patience (Second Stage), Ain’t No Mo’ (The Public), Carmen Jones (Classic Stage Co.). Regional: Alliance Theater, Arena Stage, Asolo Rep, Barrington Stage Co., Center Theatre Group, Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Cleveland Play House, Dallas Theater Center, Geffen Playhouse, Goodspeed Musicals, Hartford Stage, Huntington Theatre Co., Shakespeare Theatre Co., Signature Theatre, Williamstown Theatre Festival. Nominations: Drama Desk, Elliot Norton, Henry Hewes, Helen Hayes, Suzi Bass. @itsadamhonore

Azalea Fairley (Costume Design) is a New Orleans–born, NYC-based costume designer. Selected Off-Broadway and regional credits include shadow/land (Public Theater); Eternal Life Part 1 (Wilma Theater, PA); Clyde’s (George Street Playhouse, NJ); Detroit ’67 and School Girls… (TheatreSquared, AR); Blood Knot (Flat Rock Playhouse, NC); By the Way, Meet Vera Stark (Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center); 10×10 New Play Festival (Barrington Stage, MA); What Lies Beneath (On Site Opera, NYC); TJ Loves Sally 4 Ever (Jack Theater, NYC; NYT Critic’s Pick). Broadway assistant: HamiltonA Strange Loop (2022 Tony Award winner for Best Musical). Film: The Rainbow ExperimentParis in Harlem. Nominations: Audelco, Barrymore, Henry Awards. Member of USA 829.

Sadah Espii Proctor (Sound Design) is a multimedia director and sound designer working in performance, installations, and immersive experiences. Broadway: Trouble in Mind (assistant sound designer). Off-Broadway: Daphne (LCT3); The Cotillion (New Georges/The Movement Theatre Company); Notes on Killing Seven Oversight, Management and Economic Stability Board Members (Soho Rep/ The Sol Project). Regional: we are continuous (Geva Theatre); The Gradient (Repertory Theatre of St. Louis). Installation: Soul Tree Forest (Yerba Buena Center for the Arts); public/private (NEW INC). Upcoming: Sound Place Love (Baden Abraham and Gordon Hempton); Flying Afrikans + Other Urban Legends (André M. Zachery). Nominations: Audelco, St. Louis Theatre Circle. @espiistudios

Alfreda Howard (Hair & Wig Design).

RL Campbell (Production Stage Manager). (he/him) Paper Mill Playhouse debut! Upcoming: A Wonderful World. Broadway: Bring It On. National Tours: A Soldier’s PlayPretty Woman, The Gershwins’ Porgy and BessBring It On, Tyler Perry’s Hell Hath No Fury…. Off-Off-Broadway: The Choking Game. Regional: CTG/Ahmanson, Alliance Theatre, Kenny Leon’s True Colors Theatre, The Wallis, Ogunquit Playhouse, Theatre Emory, Horizon Theatre, Theatre in the Square, Utah Festival Opera.

Tara Rubin Casting (Casting). Paper Mill: RentHerculesUnmaskedChasing Rainbows, The StingBandstandA Bronx TaleThe Hunchback of Notre DameCan-CanLes Misérables 25th Anniversary Tour. Selected Broadway and National Tours: The Heart of Rock and RollThe Wiz, The OutsidersThe Who’s TommyWater for ElephantsBack to the FutureHere Lies Love, Bad CinderellaBob Fosse’s Dancin’KPOPMr. Saturday NightSixAin’t Too Proud, The Band’s VisitSunset BoulevardMiss SaigonDear Evan HansenCatsSchool of Rock, Aladdin, Billy ElliotSpamalot…Spelling BeeThe ProducersMamma Mia!Jersey BoysLes MisérablesThe Phantom of the Opera. Selected Off-Broadway: Buena Vista Social ClubThe Gardens of AnunciaSing Street.


After Midnight
Conceived by Jack Viertel

Selected Text by Langston Hughes

Music by Duke Ellington, Jimmy McHugh, Harold Arlen and others

Co-directed by Dominique Kelley and Jen Bender

Choreography by Dominique Kelley

Music Direction by Sean Mayes

Scenic and Lighting Design by Adam Honoré

Costume Design by Azalea Fairley

Sound Design by Sadah Espii Proctor

Hair & Wig Design by Alfreda Howard

Casting by Tara Rubin Casting

Production Stage Management by RL Campbell

January 31 – February 25, 2024
Opening Night: Sunday, February 4 at 7:00 PM
Paper Mill Playhouse

22 Brookside Drive

Millburn, NJ 07041
Ticket Information:









The Press Room – 212-763-7724

Contact: Jim Byk / Kelly Guiod / Louisa Pancoast 

# # #