Playwright Dominique Morisseau stepped into her play Paradise Blue at Off-Broadway's Signature Theatre May 3 due to a last-minute scheduling conflict. Morisseau stepped into the role of Silver, the bold and powerful stranger from out of town, usually played by Simone Missick.
"I had a blast playing with my cast last night while I covered the role of Silver," Morisseau told Playbill. "They took good care of me and I have a whole nother respect for them in this work. These roles ain't easy. I blame the playwright."
Set in a jazz club in Detroit’s gentrifying Blackbottom neighborhood in 1949, Paradise Blue looks at the changes a community endures to find its resilience. In the play, Blue, a troubled trumpeter and the owner of Paradise Club, is torn between remaining in Blackbottom with his loyal lover Pumpkin and leaving behind a traumatic past.
The New York premiere, which has been extended through June 10, is directed by Tony winner Ruben Santiago-Hudson, who helmed the world premiere at the Williamstown Theater Festival in 2015. Performances began April 24 ahead of a May 14 opening night.
The cast also includes Dear Evan Hansen's Kristolyn Lloyd, Francois Battiste (Head of Passes), J. Alphonse Nicholson (Luke Cage), and Keith Randolph Smith (Malcolm X, Jitney).
Check out photos of Morisseau in Paradise Blue last night, as well as backstage before her debut: