A Broadway revival of the Tony Kushner-Jeanine Tesori musical Caroline, Or Change and a Broadway premiere of Off Broadway’s seminal A Soldier’s Play, starring David Alan Grier and Blair Underwood, are set for 2020 opening nights in Roundabout Theatre Company productions.
Caroline, Or Change, last on Broadway in 2004, will star Sharon D. Clarke, reprising as the title character direct from her Olivier Award-winning West End production performance.
Both Soldier and Caroline were announced today by Roundabout. The productions will close out the theater company’s 2019-20 season.
First up will be Charles Fuller’s A Soldier’s Play, directed by Kenny Leon (American Son) and beginning previews December 27, 2019 for a limited engagement at the Roundabout’s American Airlines Theatre. Official opening is January 21, 2020.
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The Pulitzer Prize-winning A Soldier’s Play premiered Off-Broadway in 1981 at the Negro Ensemble Company with an acclaimed cast that included Adolph Caesar, Denzel Washington and Grier, all of whom would go on to star in the 1984 film adaptation A Soldier’s Story, written for the screen by the playwright. Fuller was nominated for an Academy Award, as was the film.
In the Roundabout production, Grier, who played Corporal Cobb in the Off Broadway and film versions, will star as Sergeant Vernon C. Waters, the role originated by Adolph Caesar. Underwood will play Captain Richard Davenport, played by Howard E. Rollins in the film and Charles Brown Off Broadway.
The Roundabout design team will include Derek McLane (Sets), Dede Ayite (Costumes), Allen Lee Hughes (Lights), Dan Moses Schreier (Sound).
Set in 1944, A Soldier’s Play chronicles the fall out when a black sergeant is murdered on a Louisiana Army base and a tenacious investigator goes up against the white establishment to solve the crime.
Grier (In Living Color, A Series of Unfortunate Events) was last on Broadway in a Tony-nominated performance (his third) for 2012’s The Gershwins’ Porgy & Bess.
Underwood, currently in production on Netflix’s Madam CJ Walker, made his Broadway debut as Stanley in Tennessee Williams’ A Streetcar Named Desire in 2012.
Following A Soldier’s Play, Roundabout will present the Broadway revival of Caroline, Or Change, starring Clarke, with book and lyrics by Angels in America author Kushner and music by Tesori (Fun Home).
Directed by Michael Longhurst, Artistic Director of London’s Donmar Warehouse, and like Clarke reprising his role from the acclaimed West End staging, Caroline, Or Change begins previews March 13, 2020 at Broadway’s Studio 54, with official opening of April 7, 2020.
The creative team will include Fly Davis (Set & Costume design), Jack Knowles (Lights), Paul Arditti (Sound), Nigel Lilley (Music Supervision), Chris Fenwick (Music Direction).
This production is produced in association with Ambassador Theatre Group, Benjamin Lowy Productions, Gavin Kalin Productions, Glass Half Full Productions and Nine Stories Productions.
Additional cast members for both productions will be announced later.
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