Stroman Brings New Musical The Scottsboro Boys to Off-Broadway

By Ernio Hernandez
February 12, 2010

John Cullum, Brandon Victor Dixon and Colman Domingo star in Susan Stroman's world-premiere staging of John Kander, Fred Ebb and David Thompson's musical The Scottsboro Boys, starting Feb. 12 at Off-Broadway's Vineyard Theatre.

Stroman directs and choreographs the musical featuring music and lyrics by John Kander and the late Fred Ebb (Cabaret, Chicago, Kiss of the Spider Woman) and a book by David Thompson. The show will officially open March 10 for a run through April 4.

The Scottsboro Boys, according to an announcement, "explores the famous 'Scottsboro' case of the 1930s — in which a group of young African American teenagers were unjustly accused of attacking two women — and the boys' attempts to prove their innocence." Billed as a "new musical," the work was one of the final collaborations from the famed songwriting team before Ebb's death.

The show reunites Stroman (The Producers), Kander, Thompson and the Vineyard, which previously presented the revival of Flora, The Red Menace.

Cullum (Urinetown, Shenandoah), Dixon (The Color Purple, Ray Charles Live!) and Domingo (Passing Strange, A Boy and His Soul) — who appeared in a June 2009 reading of the work — star. The cast also includes Sean Bradford, Josh Breckenridge, Derrick Cobey, Rodney Hicks, Kendrick Jones, Forrest McClendon, Julius Thomas III, Sharon Washington, Cody Ryan Wise and Christian White.

The design team includes Beowulf Boritt (set), Toni-Leslie James (costumes), Kevin Adams (lighting) and Peter Hylenski (sound). David Loud serves as music director. Orchestrations are by Larry Hochman.

The Vineyard next presents the world premiere of Adam Rapp's The Metal Children. The troupe will also team this season with Playwrights Horizons to present the new musical The Burnt Part Boys. The work, penned by Mariana Elder, Nathan Tysen and Chris Miller, will be staged at the latter company's Off-Broadway home.

Tickets to The Scottsboro Boys at The Vineyard Theatre, 108 East 15th Street, are available by calling (212) 353-0303 or on the web at vineyardtheatre.org