KANDI BURRUSS TO JOIN PRODUCING TEAM OF “THE PIANO LESSON” ON BROADWAY
FOR RELEASE ON TUESDAY, MAY 3, 2022
GRAMMY AWARD® WINNER
JOINS PRODUCING TEAM OF
PULITZER PRIZE®-WINNING DRAMA
“THE PIANO LESSON”
SAMUEL L. JACKSON,
JOHN DAVID WASHINGTON,
DIRECTED BY TONY AWARD NOMINEE
LaTANYA RICHARDSON JACKSON
PERFORMANCES BEGIN SEPTEMBER 19, 2022
AT THE ST. JAMES THEATRE
16 WEEKS ONLY
New York, NY – Kandi Burruss, the Grammy Award®-winning singer / songwriter, actress, entrepreneur, beloved star of “the Real Housewives of Atlanta” on BRAVO, and co-producer of Thoughts of a Colored Man, alongside Todd Tucker, announced today that they will be joining the producing team for the all-star production of August Wilson’s seminal, Pulitzer Prize®-winning drama The Piano Lesson, in the first Broadway revival in more than 30 years since the play’s Main Stem premiere in 1990, joining producers Brian Anthony Moreland, Sonia Friedman and Tom Kirdahy.
The production is directed by Tony Award® nominee LaTanya Richardson Jackson – who is making her Broadway directorial debut and will be the first woman to ever direct an August Wilson play on Broadway – and will star Samuel L. Jackson Doaker Charles, John David Washington as Boy Willie, Danielle Brooks as Berniece, Trai Byers as Avery, Ray Fisher as Lymon, April Matthis as Grace, and Michael Potts as Wining Boy. The Piano Lesson will begin performances on Monday, September 19, 2022 at the St. James Theatre.
In a statement, Burruss and Tucker said, “We couldn’t be more honored and excited to join the producing team of August Wilson’s The Piano Lesson. As we continue to push to diversify the Broadway audience, this all-star team and cast is a dream come true for our next venture on Broadway.”
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Tickets for August Wilson’s The Piano Lesson are now on sale exclusively for American Express® Card Members. American Express Card Members can purchase tickets before the general public now through Wednesday, May 4 at 9:59am ET by visiting SeatGeek.com.
Presale tickets for August Wilson’s The Piano Lesson will be available exclusively to Audience Rewards® members and American Express® Card Members from Wednesday, May 4 at 10am ET – Monday, May 9 at 9:59am ET. It’s free and fast to join the Audience Rewards program at www.AudienceRewards.com.
Tickets will go on sale to the general public on Friday, May 13 at 10am ET.
August Wilson’s Pulitzer Prize-winning The Piano Lesson is the fourth play in the American Century Cycle, which premiered at the Yale Repertory Theatre in 1987, starring a then-39-year-old Samuel L. Jackson as Boy Willie. Three years later, a new production, starring Carl Gordon, Charles S. Dutton and S. Epatha Merkerson, opened at Chicago’s Goodman Theatre, and soon transferred to Broadway’s Walter Kerr Theatre. In addition to winning the Pulitzer Prize for drama, The Piano Lesson won the New York Drama Critics’ Circle Award for Best Play, the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Play, the Peabody Award and was nominated for the 1990 Tony Award for Best Play.
Wilson’s American Century Cycle chronicles the Black experience throughout the 20th Century over the course of ten plays – each set in a different decade. The Cycle consists of Jitney, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, Fences, Joe Turner’s Come and Gone, The Piano Lesson, Two Trains Running, Seven Guitars, King Hedley II, Gem of the Ocean, and Radio Golf. The Cycle includes five New York Drama Critics’ Circle Award winners, two Pulitzer Prize winners, and a Tony Award-winning Best Play.
The Piano Lesson is set in Pittsburgh’s Hill District in 1936. A brother and sister are locked in a war over the fate of a family heirloom: a piano carved with the faces of their ancestors. Only by revisiting history can the siblings endeavor to move forward. The Piano Lesson, wrote Frank Rich in The New York Times, “has its own spacious poetry, its own sharp angle on a nation’s history, its own metaphorical idea of drama and its own palpable ghosts that roar right through the upstairs window of the household where the action unfolds. Like other Wilson plays, The Piano Lesson seems to sing even when it is talking.”
The St. James Theatre is owned and operated by Jujamcyn Theaters, who produced the original Broadway production of The Piano Lesson at their theatre, the Walter Kerr, in 1990. In 2005, Jujamcyn Theaters renamed the Virginia Theatre the “August Wilson Theatre” in honor of the Pulitzer-Prize winner. Additionally, their history with August Wilson goes back many years. Jujamcyn Theaters lead produced six original productions in Wilson’s Century Cycle, including the Broadway runs of The Piano Lesson (1990, Walter Kerr); Two Trains Running (1992, Walter Kerr); Seven Guitars (1996, Walter Kerr); King Hedley II (2001, formerly the Virginia, now the August Wilson); Gem of the Ocean (2004, Walter Kerr); and Radio Golf (2007, Cort).
The design team for The Piano Lesson includes Tony Award winner Beowolf Boritt (Set Design), Tony Award nominee Toni-Leslie James (Costume Design), Tony Award nominee Japhy Weideman (Lighting Design), Tony Award winner Scott Lehrer (Sound Design), and Drama Desk Award nominee Cookie Jordan (Wig Design). Casting by Calleri, Jensen, Davis.
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