Suzan-Lori Parks' Pulitzer-winning Topdog/Underdog will return to Broadway for its 20th anniversary in a new production directed by Tony winner Kenny Leon and starring Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, in his Broadway debut, and Corey Hawkins.
The new production will begin its 16-week limited engagement September 27 at the John Golden Theatre with opening night set for October 20.
Topdog/Underdog follows brothers Lincoln (Hawkins) and Booth (Abdul-Mateen II), named by their father as a joke. Haunted by the past and their obsession with three-card monte, the brothers come to learn the true nature of their history.
The work made its world premiere Off-Broadway at The Public Theater in 2001 with a production directed by George C. Wolfe and starring Don Cheadle and Jeffrey Wright. It transferred to Broadway the following year with Wright reprising his Off-Broadway performance opposite rap artist Mos Def. The production received two 2002 Tony nominations, including Best Play, and won the 2002 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, making Parks the first Black woman to win the honor. The Broadway cast also brought the work to London's Royal Court Theatre in 2003.
"I’m so blessed that Topdog is back on Broadway!," says Parks in a statement. "What a beautiful opportunity to share this work with new audiences. And, wow, how many writers get to be here for a Broadway revival of their work? I’m grateful and thrilled. And doing the show with Kenny, Yahya, and Corey—that’s icing on the gravy, baby!"
The new revival comes to Broadway from producers David Stone, LaChanze, Rashad V. Chambers, Marc Platt, Debra Martin Chase, and the Shubert Organization. Tickets are set to go on sale June 20, Juneteenth National Independence Day, at Telecharge.com.
Leon's creative team will include scenic designer Arnulfo Maldonado, costume designer Dede Ayite, lighting designer Allen Lee Hughes, and sound designer Justin Ellington. Casting is by Calleri Jensen Davis, and Kamra Jacobs will serve as production stage manager.
Hawkins earned a 2017 Tony nomination for his performance in Six Degrees of Separation and made his Broadway debut playing Tybalt in the David Leveaux-helmed revival of Romeo and Juliet. On screen, Hawkins has been seen in The Tragedy of Macbeth, In the Heights, and Straight Outta Compton. Abdul-Mateen II, who makes his Broadway debut with the production, was featured in HBO's Watchmen and has been seen on the big screen in Ambulance, The Matrix Resurrections, and Candyman.