The New Group's world premiere of Black No More—the new musical inspired by George S. Schuyler’s 1931 Afrofuturist novel of the same name set during the Harlem Renaissance—officially opened February 15 following previews that began January 20.
Directed by Scott Elliott with choreography by Tony winner Bill T. Jones, the production features Tariq “Black Thought” Trotter of The Roots—who also co-wrote the show—along with Tony-nominated actor and Tony-winning producer Brandon Victor Dixon (Hamilton, Power), Tony winner Lillias White (Chicago, The Life), Tony nominee Jennifer Damiano (Next to Normal), Tamika Lawrence (If/Then), Theo Stockman (American Psycho), Tracy Shayne (Bronx Bombers), Tony nominee Ephraim Sykes (Ain't Too Proud, Hamilton), Tony nominee Howard McGillin (The Mystery of Edwin Drood), and Gaelen Gilliland (Legally Blonde).
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The ensemble includes Leanne Antonio, Rhaamell Burke-Missouri, Elijah A. Carter, Ryan Fitzgerald, Polanco Jones Jr., Zachary Daniel Jones, Sarah Meahl, Mary Page Nance, Oneika Phillips, Nicholas Ranauro, Malaiyka Reid, Mars Rucker, Angela M. Sauers, Akron Watson, Nyla Watson, and Edward Watts.
The musical, originally announced for fall 2020, tells the story of Max Disher (Dixon), who’s eager to try the mysterious machine invented by Dr. Junius Crookman (Trotter) that guarantees to “solve the American race problem"—by turning Black people white.
Black No More features lyrics by Trotter; music by Trotter, Anthony Tidd, James Poyser, and Tony winner Daryl Waters; and a book by John Ridley, as well as music supervision, orchestrations, and vocal arrangements by Waters. The staging also has music direction and dance arrangements by Zane Mark, scenic design by Derek McLane, costume design by Qween Jean, lighting design by Jeff Croiter, sound design by Nevin Steinberg, wig and hair design by Nikiya Mathis, and casting by The Telsey Office's Rebecca Scholl and Kristian Charbonier.
The associate director is Monet, the artistic associate is Shariffa Ali, the associate choreographer is Antonio Brown, the production stage manager is Valerie A. Peterson, and Nicole Iovino is the assistant stage manager.