Hayti Film Next Level: JIG SHOW | Leon Claxton’s Harlem in Havana Drive-In & Virtual Screening
Step right up, folks! The last remaining great troupers are finally telling their stories about one of America’s most successful traveling shows that broke carnival records, birthed music icons, and significantly impacted Black entertainment during Jim Crow- Harlem in Havana!
In this untold triumph of the spirit story, Claxton and his brown-skin troupe break barriers and perform for “Whites only” audiences, aptly competing for box office to have the best outdoor attraction in North America, and win the hearts of a 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?
A magical journey into the complexities of American entertainment, race history and family, JIG SHOW | Leon Claxton’s Harlem in Havana is a compelling 3-part documentary film produced by director Leslie Cunningham who shines a spotlight on her family’s Black and Cuban traveling revue- a so-called “Jig Show” that endures racism, segregation and immigration laws to become popular in the 1940s through the 1960s. Also unearthed is the legend of producer Leon Claxton, a brave African-American showman who left an extraordinary entertainment legacy despite the insurmountable odds against him and his dreams.