Emmy-winning Master of None writer and star Lena Waithe has joined the producing team for Broadway's Ain't No Mo', which opened at the Belasco Theatre December 1. Read reviews for the Jordan E. Cooper play here.
Waithe joins a starry roster of producers bringing the work to Broadway, including Slave Play playwright Jeremy O. Harris, New York Jets' CJ Uzomah, Miami Heat's Dwyane Wade, Bring It On star Gabrielle Union-Wade, and drag superstar RuPaul. The group is part of a new trend putting star power on producing teams; pop music icon Mariah Carey recently joined the producing team for Broadway's Some Like It Hot as well.
The screen star joins the Ain't No Mo' team as a fan of the work from even before its 2019 Off-Broadway debut. "I attended a reading of Ain’t No Mo’ four years ago. I've been thinking about it ever since," shares Waithe. "It's a play that not only challenges you, but it makes you laugh—and it encourages you to participate. I'm honored to be added to this amazing team of producers. Jordan E. Cooper is an artist that challenges the status quo and I know he'll inspire other artists to do the same."
Waithe is no stranger to producing for the screen, having worked on such projects as Dear White People, Queen & Slim, Beauty and The Chi, along with Netflix's Master of None, on which Waithe stars as Denise. She won a 2017 Primetime Emmy Award for Master of None's critically lauded "Thanksgiving" episode, and a 2019 Black Film Critics Circle Award for Best Original Screenplay for Queen & Slim.
Ain't No Mo', in which Flight 1619 on African American Airlines is readying to take off and bring all Black Americans to Africa on one-way tickets provided by the U.S. government, played a world premiere run Off-Broadway at The Public Theater in 2019. Playwright Cooper is making his Broadway debut reprising his performance as flight attendant Peaches from the Off-Broadway debut.
Starring alongside Cooper are fellow Off-Broadway cast members Crystal Lucas-Perry (1776) as Passenger #5, Fedna Jacquet as Passenger #1, Marchánt Davis as Passenger #2, and Ebony Marshall-Oliver as Passenger #4 alongside Shannon Matesky as Passenger #3.
Back at the helm from the Off-Broadway staging is director Stevie Walker-Webb, also making his Broadway debut. The production's creative team for the Broadway bow includes lighting designer Adam Honoré, scenic designer Scott Pask, costume designer Emilio Sosa, co-sound designers Jonathan Deans and Taylor Williams, and wig designer Mia M. Neal.
The producing team is led by Lee Daniels, and, along with Waithe, also includes BET: Black Entertainment Television, Len Blavatnik, Ron Burkle, Aryeh B. Bourkoff, 59th & Prairie Entertainment, RuPaul Charles, I'll Have Another Productions, Jeremy O. Harris, Tucker Tooley Entertainment, CJ Uzomah, Ann Cox, Gina Pulia, Bob Yari, Marvin Peart, Colleen Camp, Marvet Britto, Jeremy Green, Sue Wagner, John Johnson, Jillian Robbins, and The Public Theater. Wagner Johnson Productions serve as executive producers and general managers.