The previously announced revival of Charles Randolph-Wright’s play Blue, directed by Phylicia Rashad, will play a 16-week engagement at Harlam’s legendary Apollo Theater, with Tony winner Leslie Uggams and Emmy winner Lynn Whitfield heading the cast.
The production was announced last spring with the intention of finding a Broadway opening, a task that proved impossible in a very crowded Broadway landscape (the popular Beetlejuice is being booted from the Winter Garden Theatre in June to make way for The Music Man with Hugh Jackman).
Blue, a play with a jazzy score by Nona Hendryx and Randolph-Wright, will begin previews at the Apollo on April 27, with opening night on May 10. The engagement will run through August 16.
The announcement was made today by producers Brian Moreland, Ron Simons, Mike Jackson, Eric Falkenstein and singer John Legend.
Rashad starred in the play’s 2000 premiere at Arena Stage in Washington D.C. and its 2001 New York premiere at Roundabout Theatre Company. In addition to her acting career, Rashad has directed stage productions of August Wilson classics, and others, in New York, Chicago, Seattle and elsewhere.
Uggams, who made her professional stage debut at age 9 at the Apollo, will play the role of Tillie Clark, with Whitfield in the role of Peggy Clark. Complete casting will be announced shortly.
Said producer Moreland, “What do you say when a living legend comes home? Bringing Leslie Uggams back to the Apollo Theater in this role is simply historic. Returning Lynn Whitfield back to the New York stage is a must see. Blue is a play about a family learning to love all parts of itself. Who better to lead us on this journey of love and discovery, than the ever present and ever loving visionary Phylicia Rashad.”
Randolph-Wright said, “I am thrilled that Blue will continue to open doors to a more diverse world, and also spread a little joy.”
Blue, states the production, “explores the complexities of identity and trust behind the carefully constructed façade of the Clarks, a socially prominent family that is struggling with the legacy and pitfalls of its own good fortune. Infused with a searing jazz and soul score, Blue celebrates the love and spirit of a family coming to terms with itself.”