Broadway’s upcoming production of Charles Fullers’ A Soldier’s Play starring David Alan Grier and Blair Underwood has rounded out the 12-member cast, with Jerry O’Connell, Namdi Asomugha and Billy Eugene Jones among the new recruits.
The announcement was made by producer The Roundabout Theatre Company.
The casting comes none too soon – preview performances begin at the American Airlines Theatre Dec. 27, with an official opening night of Jan. 21. The limited engagement, with Kenny Leon directing, will mark the first Broadway staging of the acclaimed play, which premiered Off Broadway at the Negro Ensemble Company in 1981.
Joining the previously announced Grier and Underwood are Nnamdi Asomugha as “Private First Class Melvin Peterson,” Jerry O’Connell as “Captain Charles Taylor,” McKinley Belcher III as “Private Louis Henson,” Rob Demery as “Corporal Bernard Cobb,” Jared Grimes as “Private Tony Smalls,” Billy Eugene Jones as “Private James Wilkie,” Nate Mann as “Lieutenant Byrd,” Warner Miller as “Corporal Ellis,” J. Alphonse Nicholson as “Private C. J. Memphis” and Lee Aaron Rosen as “Captain Wilcox.”
The play, renamed The Solider’s Story for the Oscar-nominated 1984 movie, is set in 1944 at a Louisiana Army base. A sergeant is murdered, triggering questions about sacrifice, service, and identity in America.