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The Piano Lesson starring Samuel L. Jackson on Broadway
The Piano Lesson starring Samuel L. Jackson on Broadway
Broadway

The Piano Lesson starring Samuel L. Jackson on Broadway

New York, NY
Samuel L. Jackson. Danielle Brooks. John David Washington. Need we say more?
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About The Piano Lesson starring Samuel L. Jackson on Broadway

See an all-star cast lead the first revival of August Wilson's The Piano Lesson on Broadway this fall. Get The Piano Lesson tickets on TodayTix.

Don't miss Oscar winner Samuel L. Jackson (Pulp Fiction), Tony and Emmy nominee Danielle Brooks (Orange Is the New Black), and Golden Globe nominee John David Washington (BlacKkKlansman) together on stage in August Wilson's gripping drama. These celebrated actors play a family haunted by the ghosts of their past as they figure out how to forge their future.

This Pulitzer Prize-winning play about legacy and memory is more relevant than ever in a time when history is being reevaluated and reexamined through different and often-overlooked perspectives, And if you loved Wilson's work on screen, such as in the film adaptations of his plays Fences and Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, now's your chance to see one of his works on stage, as it was meant to be seen.

The Piano Lesson is a play about family history: what to keep, what to let go of, how to tell one's history to future generations, and the best way to honor one's ancestors. In the play, Boy Willie (Washington) and Berniece (Brooks) are two adult siblings in a disagreement over what to do with their treasured family heirloom, a hand-carved piano. Willie wants to sell it and use the money to buy the land where their enslaved ancestors once worked. But Berniece wants to keep the piano, even though she's reluctant to play it. Set in 1936 Pittsburgh, the play unfolds over a series of seven scenes in which the past and present collide.

With a starry cast, plenty of family drama, and a touch of the supernatural, The Piano Lesson hits all the right notes of a thrilling production. Get tickets to The Piano Lesson on Broadway on TodayTix now.

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Tell Me More

August Wilson wrote The Piano Lesson as the fourth play in his Pittsburgh Cycle. The Cycle is a collection of 10 plays, each set during a different decade of the 20th century, exploring Black life in the titular Pennsylvania city.

The Piano Lesson premiered in 1987 at Yale Repertory Theatre in Connecticut, followed by productions at Boston's Huntington Theatre Company and Chicago's Goodman Theatre. The cast from the Chicago production stayed on for the premiere of The Piano Lesson on Broadway in 1990. That year, the show received five Tony nominations, including Best Play, and won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama.

The play was revived off Broadway in 2012, directed by Ruben Santiago-Hudson and starring Chuck Cooper and Brandon J. Dirden. That production won four Lucille Lortel Awards and two Obie Awards.

Ten years later, a celebrity cast heads up the first Piano Lesson Broadway revival. Samuel L. Jackson, now making his third Broadway appearance, is best known for his onscreen roles in Pulp Fiction, Do the Right Thing, Django Unchained, The Hateful Eight, the Marvel Cinematic Universe films, and many more. His career earned him the Academy Honorary Award for lifetime achievement.

Danielle Brooks is a Tony nominee for The Color Purple musical and star of Netflix's Orange Is the New Black as Taystee, and The Piano Lesson marks her return to Broadway. John David Washington is a Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild Award nominee for his role in Spike Lee's BlacKkKlansmen and makes his Broadway debut in the production.

Set an alert for tickets to The Piano Lesson in New York on TodayTix.

What to Watch For

  • Samuel L. Jackson made his Broadway debut as an understudy for Boy Willie and Lymon in the original Broadway production of The Piano Lesson.
  • A love of Wilson's work runs in the family! John David Washington is the son of multi-award-winning actor Denzel Washington, who won the Tony Award for starring in Wilson's Fences and also directed, produced, and starred in the four-time Oscar-nominated film adaptation. Denzel Washington also produced the 2020 film adaptation of Wilson's Ma Rainey's Black Bottom.
  • There's another family affair related to this Piano Lesson revival, too. Director LaTanya Richardson Jackson, a Tony-nominated actor, is Samuel L. Jackson's wife of more than 40 years.
  • With this revival, LaTanya Richardson Jackson makes her Broadway directorial debut and becomes the first woman to direct an August Wilson play on Broadway.
  • The Piano Lesson is playing Broadway's Barrymore Theatre. A different Broadway theatre bears August Wilson's name, but none of his plays have appeared there since the venue was named for him in 2005 (one of his plays, King Hedley II, played there in 2001). Maybe his next revival will!
Run time

2 hours and 45 minutes with one intermission

Start date

September 19th, 2022

End date

January 29th, 2023

Genre

Broadway, Plays

Venue

Barrymore Theatre

Age

Children under 4 are not permitted in the theatre.

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