Story

JIG SHOW | Leon Claxton's Harlem in Havana
A documentary film by Leslie Cunningham

In this untold story of an American Jig Show, producer Leon Claxton and his brown-skin troupe break barriers performing for 'whites-only' audiences, enduring violent racism, state-sanctioned segregation and immigration laws in a competition to win the hearts of America's changing pop culture. But with social revolutions in the U.S. and Cuba, and a startling family secret, what would be the fate of ‘Harlem in Havana’, one of the greatest variety shows of our time?

Step right up, folks! In the feature documentary film, JIG SHOW | Leon Claxton’s Harlem in Havana, filmmaker Leslie Cunningham and a colorful cast of characters take viewers on a tour of one of America's most successful traveling shows that- broke carnival records, birthed music icons and ushered in a new age of entertainment during Jim Crow. Also unearthed is the legend of African American showman Leon Claxton, whose vision, passion and determination, produced a multicultural stage show that still resonates with wonder today.

A magical journey into the complexities of American entertainment, race and family history, the film weaves together breathtaking show photographs, rarely seen historical clips and on-interviews with a cast of former performers, past patrons, historians and academics. Classic and new music honor the world-renowned impresario, voluptuous showgirls and tenacious colored entertainers who bravely showcased their talents on the front-line of racial polarization, and left an indelible mark on the history of entertainment around the globe. 

Coming Soon!