The Scottsboro Boys, With Hal Linden, Joshua Henry and J.C. Montgomery, Premieres in L.A. May 21
By Adam Hetrick
John Kander and Fred Ebb's The Scottsboro Boys, which musicalizes a flashpoint in American Civil Rights history, begins its Los Angeles premiere engagement May 21 at the Center Theatre Group's Ahmanson Theatre. Veteran Tony Award-winning actor Hal Linden, Tony Award nominee Joshua Henry, Trent Armand Kendall and J.C. Montgomery star.
Tony Award-winning Scottsboro Boys director and choreographer Susan Stroman re-creates her Broadway staging for the Center Theatre Group production that officially opens May 29 for a run through June 30.
The Scottsboro Boys has music and lyrics by Cabaret, Chicago and Kiss of the Spider Woman collaborators John Kander and Fred Ebb, and 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.
Tony and Emmy winner Linden was the star of "Barney Miller" and Broadway's The Rothschilds. He returns to the role of the Interlocutor, which he previously played at the Old Globe Theatre and the American Conservatory Theatre.
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.
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