The first city will be Stamford, CT and The Stamford Center for the Arts, Oct. 10. Other stops include The Kennedy Center, The Kodak Theatre in Los Angeles, New York City’s Beacon Theatre and the Chicago Theatre. The road show continues until January 2005. For other cities and dates, consult www.defpoetryjamontour.com.
The cast includes original Broadway cast members Black Ice, Georgia Me, Lemon, Poetri, Staceyann Chin and Suheir Hammad, along with Shihan, Flaco Navaja and Ishle Yi Park (the Poet Laureate of Queens, no less). DJ Reborn provides music.
In 2003, Def Poetry Jam launched a 32-city national tour in Philadelphia.
Russell Simmons' Def Poetry Jam opened on Broadway Nov. 14, 2002, following a run at San Francisco's Theatre on the Square. The unique theatrical production brought the slam-style poetry — made famous on HBO specials — to Broadway. The production closed at the Longacre Theatre May 4, but garnered the Tony Award for Best Special Theatrical Event.
Def Poetry Jam is conceived and presented by Russell Simmons and Stan Lathan — who also directs.