Parks' Pulitzer-Winner Topdog/Underdog Will Tour U.S.

News   Parks' Pulitzer-Winner Topdog/Underdog Will Tour U.S.
 
Suzan-Lori Parks' drama, Topdog/Underdog, which won the 2002 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, will have a national tour, producer Anita Waxman told Playbill On-Line.

Suzan-Lori Parks' drama, Topdog/Underdog, which won the 2002 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, will have a national tour, producer Anita Waxman told Playbill On-Line.

The road show will go out sometime in 2003. No launch date has been set, but details of a San Francisco stop have already been announced. The charged two-hander will be part of that city's Best of Broadway 2002-03 season, stopping at the Curran Theatre in winter 2003. Best of Broadway's co-producer Carole Shorenstein Hays is a co-producer of the Broadway Topdog. Seattle will also be a tour stop.

Topdog/Underdog, a fast-talking, quasi-symbolic tale of African American sibling rivalry (the brothers are named Lincoln and Booth), is nominated for Tony Awards for Best Play and Best Actor in a Play, for Jeffrey Wright. Wright stars in the Broadway production with rapper-actor Mos Def. Don Cheadle played the rapper's part in a 2001 Off-Broadway premiere of the work. George C. Wolfe directed both versions.

Topdog was one of the poorest box-office performers on Broadway for the week ending April 7, when it took in only $81,941, with audience capacity standing at a paltry 27 percent.

The good reviews which greeted the show's April 7 opening—and, more importantly, the play winning the Pulitzer Prize for Drama that same day—changed all that. For the week ending April 14, Topdog took in $242,981, roughly three times the box office draw of the previous. Attendance figures hovered close to 70 percent at the Ambassador Theatre, which boasts 1,125 seats. Attendance has been fair-to-good ever since. The Ambassador Theatre is at 219 W. 49th Street. Tickets range $35-$75. For information, call (212) 239-6200 or (800) 432-7250.

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