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Choir Boy is a play by American playwright Tarell Alvin McCraney. The play premiered in September 2012 at the Royal Court Theatre, London, before going on to play productions at New York City Center, Alliance Theatre, Geffen Playhouse, and many more regional theatres across the United States. The show opened on Broadway at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre on January 8, 2019, after entering previews on December 12, 2018.[1]

Choir Boy
Written byTarell Alvin McCraney
CharactersPharus Jonathan Young
Headmaster Marrow
Junior Davis
David Heard
Bobby Marrow
Anthony Justin ‘AJ’ James
Mr. Pendleton
Date premieredSeptember 4, 2012
Place premieredRoyal Court Theatre
London, England
Original languageEnglish
GenreDrama
SettingCharles R. Drew Prep School
https://choirboybroadway.com/

Contents

Main charactersEdit

  • Pharus Jonathan Young
  • Headmaster Marrow
  • Junior Davis
  • David Heard
  • Bobby Marrow
  • Anthony Justin ‘AJ’ James
  • Mr. Pendleton

Production historyEdit

Royal Court Theatre, LondonEdit

Choir Boy opened at the Royal Court Theatre on September 4, 2012 and it played until October 6. Dominic Cooke directed and the cast featured: Dominic Smith (Pharus), David Burke (Mr Pendleton), Gary McDonald (Headmaster Marrow), Eric Kofi-Abrefa (Bobby), Kwayedza Kureya (Junior Davis), Khali Best (Anthony Justin), and Aron Julius (David Heard).[2]

Manhattan Theater Club at City Center, Stage IEdit

Choir Boy was commissioned by Manhattan Theater Club. The production began previews on June 18, 2013, with an official opening on July 2, 2013.[3] The production starred Jeremy Pope as Pharus Jonathan Young, Nicholas L. Ashe as Junior Davis, Kyle Beltran as David Heard, Grantham Coleman as Anthony Justin 'AJ' James, Chuck Cooper as Headmaster Marrow, Austin Pendleton as Mr. Pendleton, and Wallace Smith as Bobby Marrow.[4] The show closed on August 11, 2013.[3]

Alliance TheatreEdit

Choir Boy premiered on the Hertz Stage at Alliance Theatre on September 20, 2013, and closed on October 13, 2013.

The show featured Jeremy Pope as Pharus Jonathan Young and Nicholas L. Ashe as Junior Davis, both reprising their performances from the City Center run of the show. New cast members included Caleb Eberhardt as David Heard, Joshua Boone as Bobby Marrow, Scott Robertson as Mr. Pendleton, John Stewart as Anthony Justin 'AJ' James, and Charles E. Wallace as Headmaster Marrow. [5] Serving as the production understudies were Victor Jackson for Pharus Jonathan Young and Junior Davis; Patrick McColery for Mr. Pendleton; Kevin O'Hara for Headmaster Marrow; and Alex B. West for Anthony Justin 'AJ' James, David Heard, and Bobby Marrow.[6]

The production was directed by Trip Cullman, and featured set and costume design by David Zinn, lighting design by Peter Kaczorowski, sound design by Fitz Patton, music direction and vocal arrangements by Jason Michael Webb, and casting by Nancy Piccione, Kelly Gillespie, and Jody Feldman.[6]

Geffen PlayhouseEdit

The Geffen Playhouse production in Los Angeles, California began previews on September 16, 2014, before the official opening night on September 26, 2014, and a final performance on October 26, 2014. This production marked the show's West Coast premiere.

The cast included Jeremy Pope as Pharus Jonathan Young, Nicholas L. Ashe as Junior Davis, and Grantham Coleman as Anthony Justin 'AJ' James, all reprising their performances from New York City Center Stage I, and Caleb Eberhardt as David Heard, reprising his performance from the Alliance Theatre production.[7] New to the company was Michael A. Shepperd as Headmaster Marrow, Donovan Mitchell as Bobby Marrow, and Leonard Kelly-Young as Mr. Pendleton. [7]

The production was directed by Trip Cullman and featured set design by David Zinn, costume design by E.B. Brooks, lighting design by Peter Kaczorowski, sound design by Fitz Patton, music direction and vocal arrangements by Jason Michael Webb, and casting by Phyllis Schuringa.[8]

BroadwayEdit

Choir Boy began previews on Broadway at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre on December 12, 2018, officially opening on January 8, 2019 and closing on March 10. Trip Cullman directed the production and Jeremy Pope reprised his role as Pharus Jonathan Young.[9]

CastsEdit

Character Royal Court Theatre (2012) New York City Center (2013) Alliance Theatre (2014) Geffen Playhouse (2014) Broadway (2018)
Pharus Jonathan Young Dominic Smith Jeremy Pope
Headmaster Marrow Gary McDonald Chuck Cooper Charles E. Wallace Michael A. Shepperd Chuck Cooper
David Heard Aron Julius Kyle Beltran Caleb Eberhardt
Bobby Marrow Eric Kofi-Abrefa Wallace Smith Joshua Boone Donovan Mitchell J. Quinton Johnson
Anthony Justin 'AJ' James Khali Best Grantham Coleman John Stewart Grantham Coleman John Clay III
Junior Davis Kwayedza Kureya Nicholas L. Ashe
Mr. Pendleton David Burke Austin Pendleton Scott Robertson Leonard Kelly-Young Austin Pendleton

Awards and nominationsEdit

Original Off-Broadway productionEdit

Year Award Category Nominee Result
2013 Drama League Award Distinguished Performance Jeremy Pope Nominated
Outer Critics Circle Award Outstanding New Off-Broadway Play Nominated

Broadway productionEdit

Year Award Category Nominee Result
2019 Tony Awards Best Play Nominated
Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Play Jeremy Pope Nominated
Best Sound Design of a Play Fitz Patton Won
Best Choreography Camille A. Brown Nominated
Special Tony Award Jason Michael Webb Won
Drama Desk Award Outstanding Music in a Play Jason Michael Webb and Fitz Patton Won
Outstanding Sound Design in a Play Fitz Patton Nominated
Outstanding Choreography Camille A. Brown Nominated
Outer Critics Circle Award Outstanding Actor in a Play Jeremy Pope Nominated
Outstanding Featured Actor in a Play John Clay III Nominated

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Clement, Olivia (January 4, 2019). "Watch Highlights From Tarell Alvin McCraney's Choir Boy on Broadway". Playbill. Retrieved 2019-06-15.
  2. ^ Gardner, Lyn (2012-11-09). "Choir Boy - Review". The Guardian. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved June 10, 2019.
  3. ^ a b Isherwood, Charles (2013-08-11). "Hoping the Songs Lead Him to Freedom". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2019-02-17.
  4. ^ "Manhattan Theatre Club – Choir Boy". Manhattan Theatre Club. Retrieved 2019-02-17.
  5. ^ Alliance Theatre Institute for Educators and Teaching Artists Staff (2013). "Choir Boy at Alliance Theatre Study Guide" (PDF). Alliance Theatre.
  6. ^ a b "Alliance Theatre "Choir Boy"". Issuu. Retrieved 2019-02-17.
  7. ^ a b "Show Cast | Geffen Playhouse | Best Live Entertainment In Los Angeles". geffenplayhouse.org. Retrieved 2019-02-17.
  8. ^ Playhouse, Geffen. "Choir Boy at Geffen Playhouse | Best Live Shows and Theatrical Performances in Los Angeles". geffenplayhouse.org. Retrieved 2019-02-17.
  9. ^ Clement, Olivia (January 25, 2019). "Tarell Alvin McCraney's Choir Boy Extends Again on Broadway". Playbill. Retrieved March 19, 2019.

External linksEdit