( b. Apr 09, 1889 Birmingham, Alabama, USA - d. Feb 1943 New York, New York, USA ) Male
A significant contributor as a great dancer and celebrated director and choreographer, Leonard Harper was a formidable force in the Harlem Renaissance in the 1920s and 30s. Over two decades, he made his mark on virtually every well-known supper club and theater in the storied area from Connie's Inn, to the Cotton Club, to the Apollo Theater, and his collaborators included Duke Ellington, Bricktop, Fats Waller, Lena Horne and others. In addition to developing a number of Colored Musical Comedies, Harper was also a central figure in designing the nightclub floorshow. He was quite active at the Columbia Burlesque Theatre (located at Times Square and 47th Street), having staged the return engagement of Lucky Sambo in May 1926. At the Columbia, he also produced Joe Hurtig’s Hollywood Follies and Harry Steppe's Own Show, and choreographed the revue 4-11-44. At the cabaret Plantation, he staged a floor show featuring Josephine Baker and Ethel Waters. He performed as part of the Vaudeville duo “Harper and Blanks” as part of the Shubert Vaudeville series. Additionally, he served as production supervisor for the revue Tan-Town Topics at Connie’s Inn in Harlem.
In 2015, 132nd Street and Adam Clayton Powell, Jr Boulevard in New York City was named Leonard Harper Way.
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