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For half a century, the Charles R. Drew Prep School for Boys has been dedicated to the education of strong, ethical black men. One talented student has been waiting for years to take his rightful place as the leader of the legendary gospel choir. But can he make his way through the hallowed halls of this institution if he sings in his own key? On its US debut at MTC’s Studio at Stage II, The New York Times called the play “vivid, magnetic and moving,” and The New York Post hailed it as “bracing and provocative.” Now, we’re thrilled to bring this soaring music-filled work to Broadway. Playwright Tarell Alvin McCraney is an Oscar®-winning screenwriter of Moonlight and a recipient of the MacArthur Fellowship Grant. Directing is Trip Cullman (Murder Ballad).
They may appear to be in perfect harmony, but when they stop singing, the young men at Charles R. Drew Prep School for Boys are far from in sync with one another. In the Broadway bow of Tarell Alvin McCraney’s “Choir Boy,” which premiered off Broadway at Manhattan Theatre Club in 2013, boys are molded to be “strong, ethical black men,” so tension erupts when Headmaster Marrow chooses Pharus Jonathan Young, a gay student, to lead the school’s choir of strapping, straight men.
Shunned by everyone but his roommate, it isn’t long before Pharus’ rival, Bobby Marrow, gets the rest of the choir boys to turn against him. When things get out of control, the headmaster recruits formerly retired professor Mr. Pendleton to teach a course in “creative thinking” and serve as the choir’s faculty advisor. Directed by Tripp Cullman, the play, which features gospel music, is a story of a young man trying to find his voice when those around him would rather he remain silent.
Recommended for 12+ for adult themes and language. Children under the age of 4 are not permitted in the theatre.
Playwright Tarell Alvin McCraney is the Academy Award-winning writer of the movie “Moonlight.”
McCraney is openly gay, like many of the characters he creates for the stage and screen. However, he says, he never had a “coming out” moment. “People were telling me I was gay from the off,” he explains. “There was never a moment when I had to sit everybody down and have a conversation.”
Though McCraney is an accomplished and acclaimed playwright, “Choir Boy” marks his Broadway debut.
Actors Jeremy Pope, Chuck Cooper and Austin Pendleton return to the roles of Pharus, Headmaster Marrow and Mr. Pendleton, respectively, in “Choir Boy.” All thress actors were in the original Off-Broadway production in 2013.
1 hour, 45 minutes, with no intermission
December 12th, 2018
March 11th, 2019
Samuel J. Friedman Theatre
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