Broadway's Def Poetry Jam Original Cast to Launch International Tour in Summer

News   Broadway's Def Poetry Jam Original Cast to Launch International Tour in Summer
The recently-closed production of Def Poetry Jam on Broadway will head off on tour this summer, confirmed director Stan Lathan. The work will kick off in the U.K. before returning to the States.

"The original cast is slated to go," revealed Lathan. "We're going to go to Edinburgh in August and probably to London right after that, then there's the U.S. tour." Broadway in Boston has previously announced the work scheduled to play at the Colonial Theatre, starting Dec. 9.

Lathan also told Playbill On-Line that the poems performed in the stageshow will be featured in a book that will be released in August. The hardcover, published by Pocket Books, is available for pre-sale at many online book vendors.

Russell Simmon's Def Poetry Jam opened on Broadway Nov. 14, 2002 following a run at San Francisco's Theatre on the Square. The unique theatrical production brought the slam-style poetry — made famous on HBO specials — to Broadway. The production closed at the Longacre Theatre, May 4, but garnered a Tony Award nomination for Best Special Theatrical Event.

The diverse cast of modern-day troubadours includes Black Ice, Staceyann Chin, Steve Colman, Mayda Del Valle, Suheir Hammad, Tamika (AKA Georgia Me) Harper, Lemon, Poetri and Beau Sia. Also featured was DJ Tendaji interspersing everything classic R&B to modern hip-hop between performances.

Presented by Russell Simmons and Stan Lathan, in association with Kimora Lee Simmons, Island Def Jam Music Group, Brett Ratner and David Rosenberg, Def Poetry Jam was conceived by Lathan and Simmons. Def Poetry Jam is on the web at

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