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New York, NY

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The Roots' Tariq "Black Thought" Trotter brings his magic to theatre.
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About

Black No More, a new musical inspired by George S. Schuyler’s Afrofuturist novel set during the Harlem Renaissance, is the story of Max Disher (Brandon Victor Dixon) who’s eager to try the mysterious machine invented by Dr. Junius Crookman (Tariq Trotter) that guarantees to “solve the American race problem” —by turning Black people white. Through a fusion of music by two-time Grammy Award winner Tariq Trotter (Black Thought, The Roots), and choreography by two-time Tony Award winner Bill T. Jones (Spring Awakening and Fela!), with book by Academy Award winner John Ridley (12 Years a Slave), and directed by The New Group’s founding Artistic Director Scott ElliottBlack No More is one Black man’s journey colliding with truths of race and identity.

Start date

January 18th, 2022

End date

February 27th, 2022

Categories

Production note
The first and second rows will have a slightly angled view.
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94 Reviews

DOUG Rob NYC

DOUG Rob NYC

772 Reviews | 424 Followers
97
Absorbing, Must see, Intelligent, Great singing, Great staging

See it if Moving & powerful musical about removing African-Americans from society. A must see with great music, choreography, lighting & direction.

Don’t see it if If the topic of race & racism makes you uncomfortable, this is not your show!

Seth G

Seth G

178 Reviews | 69 Followers
91
Relevant, Intense, Profound, Must see, Intelligent

See it if you love new, fresh, funny, yet hopeful and meaningful shows. Beautiful music, very rich. Super relevant! Unreal cast.

Don’t see it if you're timid around anti-racist messaging or want to see a perfect product, this will need a little polish before it transfers to Broadway.

GirlFriday

GirlFriday

488 Reviews | 194 Followers
86
Surreal-real-fantasy mixture that doesn’t always soar, Edgy-yet-upsetting, Uneven plotting in parts, Imaginative, Engrossing (singing, dancing, storytelling, acting)

See it if a fan of new, Black-led musicals; openminded about heavy material (racism; misogyny; violence; abuse) even when presented in satiric means.

Don’t see it if violence; misogyny; and racial slurs used with relative frequency are upsetting to you; you dislike spoken-word/rap/singing combinations.

The4thWall

The4thWall

1034 Reviews | 952 Followers
82
Refreshing, Thought-provoking, Great singing, Absorbing, Clever

See it if interesting plot, great talent/sinin gand very enjoyable varied music that moves plot along well.

Don’t see it if needs some pruning. Agamemnon character makes no sense and does only disservice to story + makes for a misogynistic ending

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cast and creative team

By: John Ridley
Songs by: Tariq Trotter
Director: Scott Elliott
Producer: The New Group
Cast list: Walter Bobbie, Jennifer Damiano, Brandon Victor Dixon, Tamika Lawrence, Tracy Shayne, Theo Stockman, Tariq Trotter
Design: Derek McLane
Lighting: John Croiter
Costume: Qween Jean
Choreography: Bill T. Jones
Sound: Nevin Steinberg
Other info: Music supervision, orchestrations, and vocal arrangements by Daryl Waters

Venue

480 West 42nd Street, New York, NY, USA, 10036

Accessibility

Wheelchair access, assisted listening devices; open caption, audio described, and ASL performances

More information about

The musical adaptation of Black No More, the Harlem Renaissance-era satire novel, revives author George S. Schuyler’s searing examination of American race relations. Get Black No More tickets on TodayTix now.

The Black No More musical, like the book, centers on a young Black man named Max Disher living in 1930s Harlem. After being rejected by a white woman at a speakeasy because of his race, he hears of a machine invented by Dr. Junius Crookman to turn Black people white and is eager to try it. Crookman claims that his machine will, more broadly, “solve the American race problem.” Soon, as a white man named Matthew Fisher, he is more romantically successful, and he even infiltrates a white supremacist organization. But as more Black people turn white and there are less targets for people’s racist attitudes, a horrific, bitter campaign ensues to find and root out anyone with supposed Black ancestry, no matter their outward skin tone.

Black No More features a book by John Ridley and music and lyrics by Tariq Trotter (who also stars as Dr. Junius Crookman). Scott Elliott directs alongside music director Daryl Waters, and iconic dancer/choreographer Bill T. Jones choreographs.

Get tickets to Black No More in New York on TodayTix.

What to Watch For

  • Black No More is considered one of the first works of Afrofuturism, a term coined by Mark Dery 60 years after Schuyler published his book. Afrofuturism broadly refers to literary and academic works that explore what black futures can look like when African culture intersects with technological advances. Works in this genre are often science fiction.
  • Black No More shares some themes with Jeremy O. Harris’s Slave Play, playing a return engagement on Broadway in 2021. Some of the characters in Black No More use the machine to aid in their love life, exploring how race factors into romantic and sexual attraction. Slave Play shows three interracial couples who are no longer attracted to each other, similarly exploring race-related power dynamics in relationships.
  • Tariq Trotter wrote the music and lyrics for Black No More, but you may know him better as Black Thought. He’s the Grammy-winning co-founder and lead MC of The Roots, the house band of The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.
  • Sound familiar? TV and film buffs may recognize Black No More bookwriter John Ridley as the screenwriter for 12 Years a Slave, for which he won the 2013 Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay, and as the creator and showrunner of ABC’s Emmy-nominated anthology series American Crime. In August 2021, he began writing a new Marvel comic book series about the superhero Black Panther, whose corresponding 2018 film is a recent example of Afrofuturism in mainstream media.

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