There may be two theatres opening up on Broadway next next week – the Circle in the Square Theater and the Henry Miller’s Theater – but Off-Broadway’s The Scottsboro Boys won’t make the transfer to the Great White Way this season because neither is an ideal production space.
Producer Barry Weissler told The New York Times that the former would require director-choreographer Susan Stroman to restage the show to suit the arena set up of the threatre and the latter is “too glamorous and sprawling” a venue for the intimate show.
The only pity about this, really, is that the show might have given some artistic credibility to the fight for Best Musical, Book and Score at the Tony Awards this season, something the shows that are competing for nominations in that category this season are generally lacking. With its inventive and daring minstrel show framework, one that turns on its head the tradition of blackface, The Scottsboro Boys is one of the final collaborations between John Kander and Fred Ebb, the musical theatre team responsible for Cabaret, Chicago and many other musicals and has had a positive response in its current run at the Vineyard Theatre, having extended its closing date until 18 April. The book of the show is by David Thompson. The cast features John Cullum, Colman Domingo, Brandon Victor Dixon, Sean Bradford, Josh Breckenridge, Derrick Cobey, Rodney Hicks, KendRick Jones, Forrest McClendon, Julius Thomas III, Sharon Washington, Cody Ryan Wise and Christian White.
Let’s all hope that we do see a transfer of the show in the upcoming season. It’s about time Broadway got a new musical that’s worthy of that moniker, one that is tossed around far too easily these days.
Purchases from Amazon.com
FROM LEFT TO RIGHT:
1. Scottsboro: an American Tragedy on DVD.
2. Heaven’s Fall Film about the Scottsboro Trials on DVD.