The reviews are rolling in for Jocelyn Bioh's Jaja’s African Hair Braiding, which opened on Broadway October 3. The production began previews at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre September 12 as part of Manhattan Theatre Club's season.
Whitney White directs the play's world premiere. The cast features Brittany Adebumola, Maechi Aharanwa, Rachel Christopher, Kalyne Coleman, Somi Kakoma, Lakisha May, Nana Mensah, Michael Oloyede, Dominique Thorne, and Zenzi Williams. Rounding out the company are understudies Victoire Charles, Abigail C. Onwunali, Onye Eme-Akwari, Morgan Scott, and Rachel Christopher. Casting is by Caparelliotis Casting's Kelly Gillespie and Erica Hart.
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Jaja's African Hair Braiding is set in a Harlem hair braiding salon where a hot summer day brings out some love, dreams, and secrets. The production features scenic design by David Zinn, costume design by Dede Ayite, lighting design by Jiyoun Chang, original music and sound design by Justin Ellington, video design by Stefania Bulbarella, and hair and wig design by Nikiya Mathis. Dawn-Elin Fraser is dialect and voice coach, and Melanie J. Lisby is production stage manager.
The producing team includes LaChanze, Taraji P. Henson in her Broadway producing debut, and Madison Wells Live. Jaja's African Hair Braiding is currently scheduled to continue through November 5.