Unchain My Heart, with Dixon as Ray Charles, Postpones Opening to Spring 2011

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09 Jul 2010

Brandon Victor Dixon
Brandon Victor Dixon
Unchain My Heart, the Ray Charles musical that had been scheduled to begin previews Oct. 8 at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre, will now open on Broadway in spring 2011 at a Shubert theatre to be announced.

The principal cast is expected to stay with the production. Producer Stuart Benjamin cited logistical reasons for the change in date.

The cast is scheduled to feature Brandon Victor Dixon as Ray Charles and Nikki Renée Daniels as Della with Harrison White as Jeff Brown and Tasha Taylor as Margie Hendricks.

Directed by Sheldon Epps, Unchain My Heart features the music of Ray Charles and a book by Suzan-Lori Parks.

The creative team also includes choreographer Kenneth L. Roberson, associate choreographer Edgar Godineaux, music supervisor and arranger Rahn Coleman, orchestrator Harold Wheeler and music director Shelton Becton. The design team comprises Riccardo Hernandez (sets), Paul Tazewell (costumes), Howell Binkley (lights), Carl Casella (sound), Jason H. Thompson (projections) and Charles LaPointe (hair).



The new musical, according to press notes, "explores the strength, humor and musical genius of the legendary Ray Charles. One of the greatest pioneering musical artists of all time, Ray Charles mastered everything from soul and rhythm & blues to gospel, jazz, country and pop. Set in his last live recording session, Unchain My Heart reveals Charles’ remarkable life story through his music."

The score will feature such Charles hits as “Georgia on My Mind,” “What’d I Say,” “Mess Around,” “Hit The Road, Jack,” “Unchain My Heart,” “I Got a Woman,” “You Don’t Know Me” and “Hallelujah, I Love Her So.”