*“The Scottsboro Boys” opens tonight, Wednesday, May 29 at 8 p.m. at the Center Theatre Group/Ahmanson Theatre in downtown Los Angeles.
CTG’s production of Kander and Ebb’s bold and wildly entertaining musical, with book by David Thompson, and direction and choreography by Tony Award-winning Susan Stroman, continues through June 30, 2013.
The cast features Gilbert L. Bailey II, David Bazemore, Ayanna Berkshire, Shavey Brown, Christopher James Culberson, Joshua Henry (Tony nomination for “Scottsboro”), Trent Armand Kendall, Max Kumangai, Hal Linden, JC Montgomery, Justin Prescott, Clinton Roane, Cedric Sanders, Deandre Sevon, Christian Dante White and C. Kelly Wright. Scenic design is by Beowulf Boritt, costume design is by Toni-Leslie James, lighting design is by Ken Billington and sound design is by Jon Weston. The production stage manager is Evangeline Rose Whitlock.
Kander and Ebb’s final collaboration, “The Scottsboro Boys” explores a shocking and pivotal chapter in American history with arresting originality, innovative staging and piercing new songs. The show is based on the infamous “Scottsboro” case in the 1930s, and tells the story of the nine unjustly accused African American men whose lives would eventually spark the Civil Rights Movement. Michael Kuchwara of the Associated Press called it “a staggeringly inventive piece of musical theatre.” “The Scottsboro Boys” received 12 Tony Award nominations in 2011, including Best Musical.
David Rooney of Variety said that the musical has “. . . riveting material and toe-tapping songs shot through with wry humor.” Scott Brown ofeach bravura number.” Charles Isherwood of The New York Times called it “adventurous. . . directed with dazzling verve by Susan Stroman.”
John Kander and Fred Ebb have collaborated for the theatre on “Flora, the Red Menace,” “Cabaret” (Tony Award for Best Composer and Lyricist), “Chicago,” “Woman of the Year” (Tony Award for Best Original Score), “Kiss of the Spider Woman” (Tony Award for Best Original Score), “Curtains” (which had its world premiere at the Ahmanson Theatre in 2006), and many more. Their films include “Funny Lady,” “Cabaret,” “New York, New York” (the title song became the official anthem of New York City in 1985), “Chicago,” “Kramer vs. Kramer,” “Places in the Heart” and more. Ebb died in 2004 and “The Scottsboro Boys” was their last collaboration.
Tickets for “The Scottsboro Boys” are available by calling (213) 972-4400, visiting online at www.CenterTheatreGroup.org, or in person at the Center Theatre Group box office at the Ahmanson Theatre. Tickets range from $20 – $115 (ticket prices are subject to change). The Ahmanson Theatre is located at the Music Center, 135 N. Grand Avenue in Downtown L.A. 90012.