By Adam Hetrick
29 May 2013
|Photo by Craig Schwartz|
The Scottsboro Boys has music and lyrics by Cabaret, Chicago and Kiss of the Spider Woman collaborators John Kander and Fred Ebb, and a book by David Thompson (Steel Pier, Thou Shall Not, And the World Goes Round). The writers use the theatrical form of a minstrel show to examine the flashpoint in American Civil Rights history and make it sing, dance and sting.
The Tony-nominated musical premiered on Broadway in 2010, earning 12 Tony Award nominations, including Best Musical, Best Book, Best Direction, Best Choreography, Best Orchestrations and Best Score.
Scottsboro Boys director and choreographer Susan Stroman re-creates her Broadway staging for the Center Theatre Group production that began previews May 21 for a run through June 30.
Original, Tony-nominated Broadway cast member Henry (American Idiot) plays Haywood Patterson, with Kendall as Mr. Bones and JC Montgomery as Mr. Tambo. The cast also features original Broadway cast members Clinton Roane and Christian Dante White, as well as Gilbert L. Bailey II, David Bazemore, Ayanna Berkshire, Shavey Brown, Christopher James Culberson, Max Kumangai, Justin Prescott, Cedric Sanders, Deandre Sevon and C. Kelly Wright.
The work of the original Broadway design team is also represented in the L.A. production. The Scottsboro Boys has set design by Beowulf Boritt, costume design by Toni-Leslie James and lighting design by Ken Billington. Jon Weston designs sound for the CTG engagement. Jesse Kissel (The Visit, Leap of Faith) conducts and musical directs the production.
The Scottsboro Boys, according to CTG, "explores a shocking and pivotal chapter in American history with arresting originality, innovative staging and piercing new songs. The show is based on the infamous 'Scottsboro' case in the 1930s, and tells the story of the nine unjustly accused African American men whose lives would eventually spark the Civil Rights Movement."
The Scottsboro Boys had its world premiere in February 2010 at the Vineyard Theatre in New York City. The show moved to the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis in July 2010, where it played to sold-out houses, before moving to Broadway’s Lyceum Theatre in October 2010.
Tickets are available at CenterTheatreGroup.org, the CTG box office located at the Ahmanson Theatre, or by calling (213) 628-2772.