August Wilson's latest play, King Hedley II, may find itself on Broadway following its scheduled run at the Mark Taper Forum, Sept. 2- Oct. 22. A recent casting notice for the play in Back Stage advertised the L.A. Production as "pre-Broadway," listing as producers Benjamin Mordecai, Scott Rudin and Jujamcyn Theatres.
Morcecai was out of the country and couldn't be reached for comments. Calls to the other producers were not returned by press time.
As has been the tradition with other Wilson plays which have eventually seen the lights of Broadway, King Hedley II has been bopping around the country for some time now. It premiered in late 1999 at the Pittsburgh Public Theater, then traveled to Seattle Repertory Theatre and Boston's Huntington Theatre, where it recently closed.
Director Marion Isaac McClinton, who piloted Wilson's Jitney Off Broadway earlier this year, staged King Hedley II at all three theatres and will repeat his duties in Los Angeles.
King Hedley II is set in 1985, and extends Wilson's cycle of plays chronicling the African-American experience through each decade of the 20th century. A sequel of sorts of Seven Guitars, the play takes place in 1985 in the Hill District neighborhood of Pittsburgh, the setting for most of Pittsburgh-native Wilson's plays, and tells the story of King and his friend, Mister, who try to make ends meet by selling refrigerators. King lives with his wife, Tonya, and his mother Ruby (a holdover character from Seven Guitars). Secrets and shared legacies are unearthed when Elmore, a suave gambler from Ruby's past, comes to visit. No cast has been set for the Taper mounting.