Phylicia Rashad Sets Broadway Directing Debut With Charles Randolph-Wright’s ‘Blue’; Nona Hendryx Will Provide Music

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Phylicia Rashad will make her Broadway directing debut next spring with Charles Randolph-Wright’s play Blue, featuring music by Nona Hendryx, producer Brian Moreland announced today.

The production will mark a reunion: Rashad starred in the work’s 2000 world premiere at Arena Stage in Washington D.C. and the 2001 New York premiere at the Roundabout Theatre Company.

Though Blue will be Rashad’s Broadway directing debut, she has directed productions of four August Wilson plays, including Gem of the Ocean at Seattle Repertory Theatre, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom and Joe Turner’s Come and Gone at the Mark Taper Forum, and Fences at both the Long Wharf Theatre and the McCarter Theatre. She’s also directed at Chicago’s Steppenwolf Theatre and New York’s Signature Theatre.

“I am happy to be directing this play that brought me so much joy,” Rashad said in a statement. “It affirms the importance of theater and its power to touch the human heart.”

The play focuses on a socially prominent family named the Clarks, who are struggling with the legacy and pitfalls of their own good fortune. The production will be “Infused with a searing jazz and soul score” and “celebrates the love and spirit of a family coming to terms with itself,” according to the announcement.

Said the playwright today, “Part of the inspiration for writing Blue was that I had never seen a family like mine on stage. I am thrilled that Blue will continue to open doors to a more diverse world, and also spread a little joy.”

Hendryx, an acclaimed singer and songwriter who was part of the groundbreaking group Labelle when they had their massive worldwide hit “Lady Marmalade (Voulez Vous Coucher Avec Moi C’est Soir?)”, said, “I am excited that Phylicia, Charles, and Brian are bringing Blue back to the stage. I am thrilled to be part of a play about a family coping with life, love, secrets, and lies.”

Moreland commented, “Blue is a comedy, about a family reshaping ways to love unconditionally. We are thrilled and honored to bring this show to Broadway, under the visionary, watchful eyes of Ms. Phylicia Rashad.

Blue will be produced on Broadway by Moreland, Eric Falkenstein, and Ron Simons.

Casting and the design team will be announced shortly.

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