Def Poetry Jam's Lemon Andersen's Toast Opens Tonight | Playbill

News Def Poetry Jam's Lemon Andersen's Toast Opens Tonight New York's Public Theater Lab production of Toast, the new play by acclaimed poet and playwright Lemon Andersen (Def Poetry Jam), officially opens May 5 following preview performances that began April 21 Off-Broadway.

Leading the cast is Broadway vet Keith David, who was featured in Hot Feet, Seven Guitars and Hedda Gabler among numerous Public Theater productions. The cast also features Phillip James Brannon, Dan Butler, Teddy Cañez, Hill Harper, John Earl Jelks, Jonathan Peck and Armando Riesco.

Keith David
Keith David Photo by Carol Rosegg

Directed by Andersen’s County of Kings collaborator Elise Thoron and set inside a 1970's prison, performances run through May 10.

Toast is a Public Theater commission, first presented at its Under the Radar Festival. The play weaves characters from black oral narratives into a story that takes place inside Attica prison during the 1971 uprising. Keith plays legendary inmate Dolomite, who becomes an unlikely role figure and hero to his cellmates: folklore legends like Jesse James, Hobo Ben, Annabelle Jones, Stackolee and Hard Rock. Dolomite is faced with the challenge of choosing to riot for his rights or his promised freedom. The play honors the spoken word narratives recited in pool halls, bars and prisons by generations of black poets.

Tickets can be purchased by calling (212) 967-7555 or visiting

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