By Britni Danielle
This fall, three plays written or adapted by black women will be hitting the ‘Great White Way.’ While it is notoriously difficult to land a play on Broadway, the odds are even steeper for black women. But these women — Katori Hall, Lydia Diamond, composer Diedre Murray, and Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Suzan-Lori Parks — have beaten the odds.
If you’re a theater buff, or just someone who loves a good story, try to make your way to Broadway this fall to check out these three plays.
Produced by Grammy winner Alicia Keys and starring a cast of heavy hitters like Dulé Hill, Mekhi Phifer, Tracie Thomas, and Ruben Santiago-Hudson, Stick Fly is about a woman meeting her fiancee’s family for the first time. The play has garnered rave reviews and the Boston Globe called it “laugh-out-loud funny. Brilliant and endlessly fascinating.” Stick Fly opens in previews November 18, and officially opens December 8.
Katori Hall’s ode to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. stars some of Hollywood’s biggest stars-Samuel L. Jackson and Angela Bassett. Taking place at the Lorraine Motel on April 3, 1968 — the day before he was assassinated — The Mountaintop is a “re-imagining” of what took place that fateful night before history changed forever. Originally opening in London’s famed West End, The Mountaintop won the Olivier Award for Best Play, a first for a female African-American playwright. It will be opening on Broadway on October 13.
Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Suzan-Lori Parks teamed up with jazz musician and composer Diedre Murray to adapt the classic Gershwins opera for a wider audience. Although, as The New Yorker points out, Porgy & Bess was never a favorite for black audiences because it was a play “about black people written by all white people,” Parks and Murray’s version has been hailed as “profound.” Starring Tony award winning actress Audra McDonald, Norm Lewis, and David Alan Grier, Porgy & Bess opens in previews on Broadway December 17.
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