A Broadway-aimed Soul Train musical will play a world-premiere engagement at San Francisco's American Conservatory Theatre, running August 25–October 1 and opening September 6. Hippest Trip - The Soul Train Musical will take audiences back to Chicago in 1971 as DJ Don Cornelius transforms the pop culture landscape with his TV show bringing Black music, dance, and style into American living rooms.
An all-star creative team is at work bringing the new work to the stage, led by director Kamilah Forbes (Between the World and Me). Dominique Morisseau (Ain't Too Proud) has penned the book, and Camille A. Brown (for colored girls...) is choreographing. On the producing team are Matthew Weaver, Jeffrey Tick, and Richard Gay, along with executive producers Ahmir "Questlove" Thompson, Tony Cornelius (son to Don), Anthony E. Zuiker, Shawn Gee, and Devin Keudell. Nick Stern and J. Todd Harris are co-producing.
Soul Train was created in 1971 by Don Cornelius and predominantly featured performances by R&B, pop, soul, and hip-hop artists, in addition to the occasional funk, jazz, disco, and gospel artists. When the final episode of the show’s historic 35-year run aired in 2006, it was the longest-running, first-run, nationally syndicated program in television history.
The musical has been in development since at least 2019, when the work was expected to make a Broadway bow by 2021. That was, of course, before the spread of COVID-19 forced the shutdown of live theatre worldwide, slamming the breaks on many productions' development schedules.
The world premiere is part of A.C.T.'s newly announced 2023-24 season. Also in the upcoming offerings is the world premiere of Kate Attwell's Big Data, running February 15–March 10, 2024, at the Toni Rembe Theater. Opening night is February 21. Pam MacKinnon is directing the new play, exploring what we really agree to when we accept terms and conditions.
Also planned for the season are the final presentation of the theatre's current version of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol, running December 6–24; Pulitzer Prize finalist Kristina Wong's Kristina Wong, Sweatshop Overlord, running March 30–May 5; and the five-time Tony-winning production of Stefano Massini's The Lehman Trilogy, directed by Sam Mendes.
For full season details, visit ACT-SF.org.