(Click here for The SOB Review of The Scottsboro Boys)
This evening, The Scottsboro Boys opens at Minneapolis' prestigious Guthrie for its pre-Broadway tryout. The tuner is billed as "the thrilling final collaboration between by musical theater giants John Kander and Fred Ebb," with the latter having died on September 11, 2004.
As noted here over three years ago, the musical was initially conceived as The Minstrel Show and was to be presented in blackface. The musical provides a minstrel-style depiction of racial inequalities in the deep south during the Great Depression that Kander describes as "vicious."
The Guthrie offers this set-up:
Based on the notorious "Scottsboro" case in the 1930s (in which nine African-American men were unjustly accused of a terrible crime) this daring and wildly entertaining musical explores a fascinating chapter in American history with brilliant originality. This critically-acclaimed production, directed by five-time Tony Award winner Susan Stroman (The Producers) and featuring a book by David Thompson (who adapted the script for Chicago's record-breaking revival), comes to the Guthrie following a sold-out run Off-Broadway at the Vineyard Theatre.It should be noted that not every cast member from The Scottsboro Boys that's opening tonight is necessarily making his way to Broadway. John Collum, who created the role of the Interlocutor at the Vineyard and who will reprise that turn on the Great White Way, has been replaced in Minneapolis by David Anthony Brinkley. Jeremy Gumbs, who will portray Scottsboro Boy Eugene Williams in Minneapolis, is not yet listed among the players who will make their way to New York.
The rest of the cast performing in Minneapolis are set for the Broadway berth at the Lyceum Theatre, where the open-ended run is set to begin previews on October 7 and open October 31. The cast includes Colman Domingo as Mr. Bones, Forrest McClendon as Mr. Tambo, Sharon Washington as the Lady, and the Scottsboro Boys will be portrayed by Sean Bradford (Ozie Powell), Josh Breckenridge (Olen Montgomery), Derrick Cobey (Andy Wright), Joshua Henry (Haywood Patterson), Rodney Hicks (Clarence Norris), Kendrick Jones (Willie Roberson), Julius Thomas III (Roy Wright) and Christian Dante White (Charles Weems).
Since Guthrie Director Joe Dowling has stated, "The production that people will see here is very much the production they'll see on Broadway," I'll be in the audience for tonight's opening. Expect to see my SOB Review shortly after.
This is Steve On Broadway (SOB).
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