Monday, October 3, 2011

Broadway Productions Featuring Black Casts

I must admit that I am impressed with the number of productions on or coming to Broadway featuring a meaningful number of black actors in their casts. Now let's hope that we can begin to see other groups represented. In the meantime, let’s take a look at what is out there....

The Lion King (opened on November 13, 1997)
An impressive Disney musical based on the successful animated film. Actors skillfully portray all the wonderful animals we love from the jungle.

Memphis (opened on October 19, 2009)
While this story focuses on one of the first white DJ to play black music on the radio, it features a large ensemble of black actors.

The Book of Mormon (opened on March 24, 2011)
Similar to Memphis, this story focuses on two young white Mormons and their interactions with a impoverish Ugandan community – played by an ensemble of black actors.

Sister Act (opened on April 20, 2011)
Like The Lion King, Sister Act is the musical version of a successful film. The star is a young black woman and the musical features a number of black actors.

The Mountaintop (limited run - previews began on September 22, 2011)  
Two famous Hollywood black actors re-imagine the night before the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

The Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess (previews begin on December 17, 2011)
A musical about African American life in Catfish Row in Charleston in the early 1920s.

Stick Fly (previews begin on November 18, 2011)
Alicia Key produces this story about an affluent African American family that comes together to spend a weekend in Martha's Vineyard.

Clybourne Park (scheduled to open in April 2012 – hopefully)
Inspired in part by of Lorraine Hansberry’s classic, the first part of this play picks up where A Raisin in the Sun leaves off. The second part looks at the same neighborhood in the present day when the neighborhood is being re-gentrified.

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