Woodie King, Jr., the legendary founder of the New Federal Theatre and a leading light in African-American theatre, will journey down to New Brunswick, N.J.'s Crossroads Theatre this month to direct a new production of Geoffrey Ewing and Graydon Royce's Ali. The play will begin performances Jan. 28, open Feb. 4 and run through Mar. 7, 1999.
Co-author Ewing acted in a New York staging of the Muhammad Ali drama during the 1992-93 season. The Theatre Row production was extended and netted Ewing an Obie Award and Audelco Award. Ewing will not perform in the Crossroads mounting. Instead, Lloyd Goodman will play the boxer in his younger years and Charles Brown will embody the older Ali.
Goodman has been seen in New York in Seeking the Genesis at Manhattan Theatre Club and at New Haven's Long Wharf Theatre in Amen Corner . Brown was in the original casts of August Wilson's Fences and Neil Simon's Rumors.
Ali covers the major events in the life of the person many consider the greatest athlete of the 20th Century; a charismatic, poetry-spouting, heavyweight champion who began his life as Cassius Clay, changed his name to Muhammad Ali after a religious conversion, and opposed the Vietnam War on political grounds.
King has directed more than 150 productions at the New Federal Theatre. As producer, his credits include For Colored Girls.... For information, call (732) 249-5581, ext. 214.
-- By Robert Simonson