James Nederlander, Mike Tyson, Spike Lee on stage at The Longacre Theatre for press conference (Photo credit: Getty Images)

*Tickets went on sale on Monday, June 18, 2012 for* the upcoming Broadway blackbuster, Mike Tyson: Undisputed Truth starring the former boxing champ Mike Tyson and directed by Academy Award nominee Spike Lee at Broadway’s oldest theater, The Longacre Theatre, in Times Square, NYC.

Tyson, the youngest undisputed heavyweight champion in boxing history, will bring his story to The Great White Way in a candid autobiographical one-man show for a limited run.  Performances will begin on Tuesday, July 31, 2012 and will run for an exclusive six-night limited engagement through Sunday, August 5, 2012.  Ironically, both Tyson and Lee will be making their Broadway debuts.

The celebrated boxer recently enjoyed a successful show at the MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas where he performed an unhampered look at his struggles with drug abuse, professional triumphs and a series of personal setbacks.  Ticketholders learned about his life experiences after he became the heavyweight champion of the world; time spent in prison for a rape conviction; and battling drug addiction.

At a special press conference conducted by acclaimed public relations guru Ken Sunshine of Sunshine Sachs, Tyson — looking like he had just come from a GQ magazine shooting wearing white shirt and white trousers topped off with a lilac jacket with a white pocket hankie — accompanied by mega Broadway producer James L. Nederlander and Lee, sat in director’s chairs on stage as they each talked about their role in the upcoming production.  Tyson and Lee were in good form and even playfully sparred for photographers.  Then the trio participated in a Q&A session.

Mike Tyson: Undisputed Truth is a rare, personal look inside the life and mind of one of the most feared men ever to wear the heavyweight crown.  Directed by Lee, this riveting one-man show goes beyond the headlines, behind the scenes and between the lines to deliver a must-see theatrical knockout.

“It is an honor to work with Spike Lee,” said Tyson.  “I have always admired his work. Sharing the highlights and lowlights of my life with New York is especially important to me as I was born and raised in Brooklyn.  I am thrilled to bring the story of Undisputed Truth to Broadway.”

“It’s my honor to be making our Broadway debut together,” added “Brooklyn-in-the-house” native Lee all spruced up in a retro pin-striped suit.  He called his collaboration with Tyson, “Brooklyn to Broadway.”

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Mike Tyson carries his sleeping daughter Milan into The Longacre Theatre followed by wife Kiki to participate in press conference (Photo credit: Getty Images)

Though Tyson and Lee promise the show will be honest and Tyson will be vulnerable.  “I have to be careful because I can’t stay on some subjects for a long time.  I can’t stay … for a long time because I might cry, something might happen,” said Tyson.  “It will be raw but not raw in a vulgar sense… I’m just naked and very vulnerable, and telling you who I am, and where I’m from,” he explained.  “How this happened, and how I lost all this damn money, and how I had all these children and I go to prison and… you know. You know what happened, guys.”

“We love good stories and great storytelling,” Lee explained.  “When Mike Tyson is on this stage, you’re going to hear a great American story.”  “But crying’s alright, though,” Lee added.

When asked what ticketholders can expect he said, “Well, they’ll find out that my mother is a prostitute, my father’s a pimp and I come from a real, um, this — I don’t know what — the sex worker world and stuff, you know.  That’s why I look at the world from a different perspective than most people when I was a young kid,” Tyson said.

The former boxer said the show is part of his effort to move his life in a positive direction.  “This is just what me and my wife wanted to do.  This is what we decided to do after I gave up using drugs and being a pig and stuff, right, so this is what we decided we were going to live on this kind of level.  Just keep it moving and doing positive things,” he said.

Lee discussed how brave he thinks Tyson is for doing the show.  “It takes courage to get into the ring, but it takes courage to get onto the stage,” Lee said.  “Denzel’s not playing Mike, it’s not Sam Jackson.  It’s Mike Tyson, in person, on stage.  That takes a lot of courage.”

Tickets are on sale now with pricing from $75 – $199.  A limited number of VIP tickets, which include a meet and greet and photo with Tyson after the show, are available for $300.  Tickets can be purchased online at www.telecharge.com or over the phone 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  Tickets are available for the following performances: July 31 and August 1 at 8pm; August 2 at 6:30pm (opening night); August 3 and August 4 at 8pm; and August 5 at 7pm.

Created by Adam Steck, CEO of SPI Entertainment, Mike Tyson: Undisputed Truth is presented by James L. Nederlander, directed by Spike Lee, written by Lakiha “Kiki” Tyson and Randy Johnson, executive produced by Mike Tyson, Kiki Tyson, and Steck and originally directed by Johnson.

When asked whether he’s ever tempted to return to the ring.  “That will never happen, he exclaimed!  My fighting days are over.  I think fighting’s for saps now.”   Spoken like a true champ!

 

About Mike Tyson
Mike Tyson is a larger-than-life legend both in and out of the ring. Tenacious, talented, and thrilling to watch, Tyson embodies the grit and electrifying excitement of the sport. With nicknames such as “Iron” Mike, Kid Dynamite, and The Baddest Man on the Planet, it’s no surprise that Tyson’s legacy is the stuff of a legend. Tyson was one of the most feared boxers in the ring– and one look at his resume proves he is one of boxing’s greats: Aside from having been the undisputed heavyweight champion, Tyson holds the record as the youngest boxer to win the WBC, WBA and IBF world heavyweight titles. He was the first heavyweight boxer to hold the WBA, WBC and IBF titles simultaneously. In 2011 Tyson was inducted into the Boxing Hall of Fame, and earlier this year was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame.  Tyson’s enduring mass appeal owes not only to his incomparable athleticism, but to his huge personality and unrivaled showmanship.  His ability to work a crowd extends far beyond the ring Tyson’s career in entertainment spans blockbuster movies (The Hangover and The Hangover 2), television (the Animal Planet’s “Taking on Tyson”), his own clothing company, and iPhone ap called “Mike Tyson: Main Event.”  He is the CEO of his production company, Tyrannic Productions.

 

About Spike Lee
Spike Lee is a writer, director, actor, producer, author and educator who has helped revolutionize modern Independent cinema.  Lee is a forerunner in the ‘do it yourself’ school of independent film.  Spike’s latest endeavor is the Peabody Award winning documentary If God is Willing and Da Creek Don’t Rise, which revisits the recently Storm ravaged Gulf Coast region as residents attempt to rebuild in their cities while also demanding assistance and accountability from their political leaders.  Recent critical and box office successes have included such films as Inside Man, 25th Hour, The Original Kings of Comedy, Bamboozled and Summer of Sam.  Lee’s films Girl 6, Get on the Bus, Do the Right Thing and Clockers display his ability to showcase a series of outspoken and provocative socio-political critiques that challenge cultural assumptions on race, class and gender identity.  Spike’s commercial work began in 1988 with his Nike Air Jordan campaign.  Collaborating with basketball great Michael Jordan on several commercials, Lee resurrected his popular character, Mars Blackmon from She’s Gotta Have It.  His other commercial ventures include TV spots for Philips, ESPN, American Express, Snapple, Taco Bell and the Lean Forward campaign for MSNBC.  Lee began teaching a course about filmmaking and Black cinema at Harvard in 1991 and since 2002, Lee has been Artistic Director of the Graduate Film Program at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts where he received his Master of Fine Arts in Film Production.  Spike Lee has combined his extensive creative experience into yet another venture: partnering with DDB Needham he created SpikeDDB, a full-service advertising agency.  SpikeDDB clients include Chevy, Pepsi and Comcast.

 

About James L. Nederlander
James L. Nederlander, president of The Nederlander Organization, leads a family business that began in 1912 and now encompasses every aspect of the live entertainment industry from venue ownership and management, theatrical producing and concert presentation, concessions and patron services.  With venues in New York, Chicago, Durham, Los Angeles, San Diego, San Jose and London, Jimmy is a prolific producer who is currently represented on Broadway by Evita starring Ricky Martin, Priscilla Queen of the Desert and Spider-Man: Turn off The Dark.  With a keen eye for popular entertainment for audiences of all ages, he has also produced dozens of distinguished, award-winning musicals and plays including Movin’ Out; Fiddler on the Roof; Grease; La Cage aux Folles; Million Dollar Quartet; Next To Normal; The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee; West Side Story, and Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? Jimmy is also one of the country’s most astute presenters of headline talent such as Adele, Billy Joel, Harry Connick Jr., Neil Diamond, U2, Paul McCartney, Florence and the Machine, Pink Floyd, Sting, U2, and the Rolling Stones to mention a few.  In addition to being a business innovator, Jimmy is also a committed leader and philanthropist who sits on the Board of Trustees of many leading organizations.

Audrey J. Bernard is an established chronicler of Black society and Urban happenings based in the New York City area.

audrey j. bernard

Audrey J. Bernard