Full casting has been revealed for Manhattan Theatre Club's upcoming Broadway world premiere of Jocelyn Bioh (School Girls, or the African Mean Girls Play)'s Jaja's African Hair Braiding, set to begin performances at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre September 12 ahead of an October 3 opening night. Whitney White is directing.
The cast will feature Brittany Adebumola (The Other Black Girl), Maechi Aharanwa (The Misanthrope), Rachel Christopher (for colored girls who have considered suicide...), Kalyne Coleman (So Help Me Todd), Somi Kakoma (Dreaming Zenzile), Lakisha May (Skeleton Crew), Nana Mensah (Presumed Innocent), Michael Oloyede (Inanimate), Dominique Thorne (Black Panther: Wakanda Forever), and Zenzi Williams (Mobile Unit of Henry V). Casting is by Caparelliotis Casting's Kelly Gillespie and Erica Hart.
Jaja's African Hair Braiding is set in a Harlem hair braiding salon where a hot summer day brings out some love, dreams, and secrets. The production will also feature scenic design by David Zinn, costume design by Dede Ayite, lighting design by Jiyoun Chang, original music and sound design by Justin Ellington, video design by Stefania Bulbarella, and hair and wig design by Nikiya Mathis. Dawn-Elin Frasier will be dialect and voice coach, and Melanie J. Lisby will be production stage manager.
As announced earlier this week, Manhattan Theatre Club has added some A-list names to the producing team for Jaja's African Hair Braiding, including LaChanze, Taraji P. Henson, and Madison Wells Live. The credit will be Henson's Broadway producing debut, while LaChanze has previously produced Topdog/Underdog, Kimberly Akimbo, and the recently opened Here Lies Love. Already a Tony winner for her performance in the original Broadway production of The Color Purple, LaChanze became a three-time Tony winner following 2023 Tony wins in production categories for Topdog/Underdog and Kimberly Akimbo.
Tickets are currently available to MTC subscribers, with single tickets becoming available August 9. Visit ManhattanTheatreClub.com.