Misty Copeland to Make Broadway Debut in ‘On the Town’

The American Ballet Theatre’s first African American principal dancer will play Ivy Smith

Joan Marcus
Joan Marcus

Misty Copeland is slated to make her Broadway debut as Ivy Smith in the Tony-nominated musical revival “On the Town” this summer.

Copeland, who made history last week when she was became the first African American to be named principal dancer at the American Ballet Theatre, will play 12 performances of “On the Town,” from Aug. 25 through Sept. 6.

She steps in for Megan Fairchild, a principal with the New York City Ballet who has played Ivy since the revival opened last fall.

“We are so thrilled to have Misty joining us at this momentous time in her career,” producer Howard Kagain said in a statement. “‘On the Town’ has a long history of progressive, diverse casting which began with the creative team’s casting of Japanese-American dancer Sono Osato as Ivy Smith in the original 1944 production, in the midst of World War II, as well as featuring one of the first racially-integrated ensembles”

He added, “So it seems fitting that this incredible talent, who has broken through barriers in the dance world, will make her Broadway debut in this show.”

The show currently stars Tony nominee Tony Yazbeck (“Gypsy,” “A Chorus Line”), Jay Armstrong Johnson (The New York Philharmonic’s “Sweeney Todd,” “Hands On A Hardbody,” “Hair”) and Clyde Alves (“Bullets Over Broadway,” “Nice Work If You Can Get It”) as WWII-era sailors who take on the Big Apple while on 24-hour shore leave.

“On the Town” is directed by John Rando and choreographed by Joshua Bergasse, who both earned Tony nominations for their work on the production.