John Cullum Will Be Part of Broadway's Scottsboro Boys

News   John Cullum Will Be Part of Broadway's Scottsboro Boys Two-time Tony Award winner John Cullum will re-create the role of The Interlocutor when Kander and Ebb's Scottsboro Boys arrives on Broadway this fall. Cullum created that part in the world premiere Off-Broadway production earlier this year at the Vineyard Theatre.

John Cullum in The Scottsboro Boys
John Cullum in The Scottsboro Boys Photo by Carol Rosegg

Cullum is the latest casting for the Broadway production of the new musical by John Kander, Fred Ebb and librettist David Thompson.

Following its spring Off-Broadway run at Vineyard Theatre, and further summer development at the Guthrie Theater (July 31-Sept. 25) in Minneapolis, The Scottsboro Boys — inspired by a famous case of American injustice in the Jim Crow South — will open on Broadway Oct. 31 at the Lyceum Theatre. Previews will begin Oct. 7.

Joshua Henry, who created the "Favorite Son" military hero in Broadway's American Idiot, will play Haywood Patterson, one of nine young men wrongly accused of rape in Depression-era Alabama. (Brandon Victor Dixon originated the role Off-Broadway and will play Ray Charles in the forthcoming Broadway musical Unchain My Heart.)

Ten cast members from the Vineyard production will also re-create their performances on Broadway: Sean Bradford as Ozie Powell and Ruby Bates, Josh Breckenridge as Olen Montgomery, Derrick Cobey as Andy Wright, Colman Domingo as Mr. Bones, Rodney Hicks as Clarence Norris, Kendrick Jones as Willie Roberson, Forrest McClendon as Mr. Tambo, Julius Thomas III as Roy Wright, Sharon Washington as The Lady and Christian Dante White as Charles Weems and Victoria Price.

Broadway casting for the role of Eugene Williams will be announced soon.  The Scottsboro Boys is one of the final produced collaborations by Tony Award-winning musical theatre masters John Kander (composer) and Fred Ebb (lyricist), whose work includes Chicago, Cabaret, Kiss of the Spider Woman and Zorba. Kander wrote additional lyrics for the show, stepping in for Ebb, who died in 2004.

According to producers, "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."

The critically acclaimed production —which follows the lead of the script and borrows elements of the American theatrical form of a "minstrel show" — is directed and choreographed by five-time Tony Award winner Susan Stroman (The Producers, Contact, The Music Man). Book writer Thompson worked with Kander and Ebb on a revised Flora, the Red Menace and the musical Steel Pier and co-created their revue And the World Goes 'Round (all with Stroman). Thompson also adapted the script for Chicago's record-breaking revival.

The Scottsboro Boys is the winner of the 2010 Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Musical and the 2010 Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Off-Broadway Musical and a 2010 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Lyrics.

The Broadway creative team includes set designer Beowulf Borritt, costume designer Toni-Leslie James, lighting designer Ken Billington, sound designer Peter Hylenski, orchestrator Larry Hochman, musical arranger Glen Kelly and music director David Loud.

The Scottsboro Boys will be produced on Broadway by Barry and Fran Weissler, Jacki Barlia Florin and The Vineyard Theatre.

Broadway tickets ($39.50 - $131.50; Premium $251.50) are available by calling Telecharge.com at (212) 239-6200 or online at www.telecharge.com. Performances will be Tuesday through Sunday at 8 PM, with matinees Saturday and Sunday at 3 PM.

For more information, visit www.ScottsboroMusical.com.

Forrest McClendon, Sharon Washington, Colman Domingo and John Cullum
Forrest McClendon, Sharon Washington, Colman Domingo and John Cullum Peter James Zielinski
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