August Wilson’s ‘The Piano Lesson’ Returns To Broadway


Samuel L. Jackson will return to Broadway for the first time in over a decade this fall, starring alongside Danielle Brooks and John David Washington in a revival of August Wilson’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play, The Piano Lesson.

The show also marks the Broadway debut of director LaTanya Richardson Jackson, who will not only have the rare opportunity to direct her husband’s big return in the first revival of the show in three decades but will break ground as the first woman to ever direct an August Wilson play on Broadway.

LaTanya Richardson attends The New Dramatists 70th Annual Spring Luncheon honoring Nathan Lane at Marriott Marquis on May 14, 2019 in New York City.

The show is a particularly special return for Jackson, who starred in the play’s 1987 debut as Boy Willie at age 39. Now 73, he returns to the play as Doaker Charles, with Washington starring as Boy Willie and Brooks as Berniece.

Produced by Brian Anthony Moreland, Sonia Friedman, Tom Kirdahy, Kandi Burruss and Todd Tucker, The Piano Lesson will begin a 17-week engagement at New York’s Ethel Barrymore Theater starting on September 19.

“We are thrilled to have secured this iconic playhouse, which happened to have been one of August Wilson’s favorite theaters,” Moreland said. “The legacy of the Barrymore makes it the ideal space to experience a play all about how we shepherd and look after our ancestral legacies.”

The Piano Lesson is the fifth chapter in August Wilson’s American Century Cycle play series, which documents slices of the Black experience over the course of the 20th Century across ten plays set in different decades. Fans may be most familiar with Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, set in the 1920’s and Fences, set in the 1950’s.

Set in Pittsburgh’s Hill District in 1936, The Piano Lesson tells the tale of siblings locked in a battle over the fate of a precious family heirloom: a piano carved with the faces of their ancestors. To move forward, they must revisit the history of their family and the legacy of the ancestors carved therein.

The Piano Lesson opens on September 19th at the Ethel Barrymore Theater in New York City. You can get your tickets HERE.

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