"Broadway is the pulse of New York," says director LaTanya Richardson Jackson, sharing her thoughts on Broadway history while The Piano Lesson marquee goes up at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre.
The upcoming Broadway revival of the August Wilson work begins previews September 19, with opening night set for October 13. The all-star production stars Samuel L. Jackson, John David Washington, and Danielle Brooks.
"It's one of the spark plugs that keeps this great city moving. It's the lifeblood of New York. It shows us who we are and holds our culture," Jackson adds.
The cast continues with Trai Byers, Ray Fisher, April Matthis, and Michael Potts, and Nadia Daniel and Jurnee Elizabeth Swan alternating the role of Maretha. Understudies will be Shirine Babb, Charles Browning, Peter Jay Fernandez, Sharina Martin, Warner Miller, Doron JePaul Mitchell, and Kim Sullivan.
The Piano Lesson is the fourth in Wilson's Century Cycle, which explores the Black experience in every decade of the 20th century with such works as Fences, Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, and Jitney, among others. The work is set in Pittsburgh's Hill District in 1936, with a brother and sister embroiled in a battle over a family heirloom piano carved with the faces of their ancestors. The upcoming production will be its first Broadway revival.
The creative team consists of scenic design by Beowulf Boritt, costume design by Toni-Leslie James, lighting design by Japhy Weideman, sound design by Scott Lehrer, and wig design by Cookie Jordan. Tony Award honoree Jason Michael Webb will compose new music for the revival.
August Wilson’s The Piano Lesson is produced on Broadway by Brian Anthony Moreland, Sonia Friedman, Tom Kirdahy, Kandi Burruss and Todd Tucker, Hunter Arnold, Playing Field, The Factor Gavin Partnership, FBK Productions/42nd Club, Jay Alix & Una Jackman, Creative Partners Productions, Harris Rubin Productions, Marguerite Steed Hoffman, Alia Jones-Harvey, Mark Gordon Pictures, Stephanie McClelland, Moore Delman, James L. Nederlander, Seriff Productions, The Shubert Organization, Salman Al-Rashid/Jamie deRoy, Brad Blume/Cliff Hopkins, Jean Doumanian/Fakston Productions, Edqewood/DMQR Productions, Jay & Cindy Gutterman/ Rose & Luigi Caiola, Van Kaplan/LuShawn Thompson, Erik A. King/FineWomen Productions, Marc David Levine/William Frisbie, Syrinda ElizabethPaige/Kevin Ryan & Diane Scott Carter, Silva Theatrical Group/Tilted, and Thomas Swayne/ Cynthia J. Tong. Constanza Romero-Wilson serves as associate producer.