Roundabout announces David Alan Grier & Blair Underwood in A SOLDIER'S PLAY directed by Kenny Leon on Broadway
Posted by: Official_Press_Release 01:04 pm EDT 08/19/19



Three-Time Tony Award nominee Two-Time Golden Globe nominee

To Star in the First Broadway Production of

Pulitzer Prize-Winning Drama

Directed by Tony Award winner KENNY LEON

Previews begin December 27, 2019
Official opening January 21, 2020
Limited engagement on Broadway at the American Airlines Theatre

Roundabout Theatre Company (Todd Haimes, Artistic Director/CEO) announces the first Broadway production of Charles Fuller's award-winning drama A Soldier's Play, directed by Kenny Leon starring David Alan Grier (Porgy and Bess) as "Sergeant Vernon C. Waters" and Blair Underwood (A Streetcar Named Desire) as "Captain Richard Davenport."

A Soldier's Play will begin preview performances on December 27, 2019, and open officially on January 21, 2020 2019. This is a limited engagement at the American Airlines Theatre on Broadway (227 West 42nd Street).

1944. A black Sergeant is murdered on a Louisiana Army base, and one tenacious investigator must race against his white leadership to unravel the crime before they unravel him. A hair-raising drama that reverberates with the "authentic and exciting pulse" (Ben Brantley, The New York Times) of mystery, Charles Fuller's Pulitzer Prize-winning masterpiece rockets onto Broadway for the first time, directed by Tony Award® winner Kenny Leon (A Raisin in the Sun).
A Soldier's Play premiered Off-Broadway in 1981 at the Negro Ensemble Company starring Adolph Caesar, Denzel Washington, Larry B. Riley, Samuel L. Jackson, Peter Friedman and Charles Brown. The production won the NY Drama Critics' Circle & Obie Awards for Best Play and the Pulitzer Prize. The 1984 film version A Soldier's Story - adapted by Fuller for the screen - earned Academy Award & Golden Globe nominations for Best Film & Best Screenplay. David Alan Grier has a long history with A Soldier's Play, having joined the NEG production in the early 80's and then playing "Corporal Cobb" in the film adaptation.

The design team will include Derek McLane (Sets), Dede Ayite (Costumes), Allen Lee Hughes (Lights), Dan Moses Schreier (Sound).

Tickets for A Soldier's Play are first made available to subscribers and donors. Whether you are interested in the best value or VIP experiences, Roundabout has a package option for you. Visit roundabouttheatre.org or call 212-719-1300 for more info. Sign up for Roundabout's email club at roundabouttheatre.org to be notified when tickets go on sale to the public.

A Soldier's Play will play Tuesday through Saturday evenings at 8:00PM with Wednesday and Saturday matinees at 2:00PM and Sunday matinees at 3:00PM. After January 21, the production will play Tuesdays at 7:00PM, Wednesday through Saturday evenings at 8:00PM with Wednesday and Saturday matinees at 2:00PM and Sunday matinees at 3:00PM


DAVID ALAN GRIER (Sergeant Vernon C. Waters). Countless theater, television, film and comedic endeavors have pushed David Alan Grier's career to remarkable heights. His ability to excel across all mediums and contexts is a testament to his inherent sense of comic timing and creative drive. The three-time Tony and Grammy Award nominee is trained in Shakespeare, receiving an M.F.A. from the Yale School of Drama. Grier has received many accolades and awards throughout his career, not the least of which was his inclusion on Comedy Central's list of the 100 Greatest Stand-Ups of All Time. Although Grier's acting career is rooted in live theater, he perhaps is best known for his television work. He starred in all three seasons of the Image Award-nominated comedy series "The Carmichael Show." He also starred as the iconic "Cowardly Lion" in the Emmy Award-winning 2015 live television production of "The Wiz Live!," earning him two Image Awards and two Critics' Choice Award nominations. Grier's television work is highlighted predominately by his turn as a principal cast member on the Emmy Award-winning "In Living Color" from 1990-1994, during which he created and portrayed some of the show's most memorable characters. He starred in "DAG" from 2000-2001 and "Life with Bonnie" in 2003, which earned him Image Award and Golden Satellite Award nominations. In 2008, Grier created, wrote and starred in Comedy Central's "Chocolate News." He also starred in 2013 network comedy series "Bad Teacher." Additionally, Grier hosts the cable game show "Snap Decision," and can be seen recurring in the second season of streaming comedy "A Series of Unfortunate Events." Grier starred in the 2013 feature "Peeples," opposite Kerry Washington and Craig Robinson, and produced by Tyler Perry; he appeared in the Wayans Brothers' 2009 spoof, "Dance Flick"; and he was seen in the 1995 fantasy adventure "Jumanji." He made his film debut in Robert Altman's 1983 film, "Streamers," for which he won the Golden Lion for Best Actor at the Venice Film Festival. Grier began his professional career on Broadway as Jackie Robinson in "The First," for which he earned a Tony Award nomination for Best Featured Actor in a Musical and won the Theatre World Award in 1981. He then joined the cast of "Dreamgirls," before going on to star opposite Denzel Washington in "A Soldier's Play," for which both actors reprised their roles in the film adaptation in 1984. From 2009-2010, Grier starred in David Mamet's acclaimed play, "Race," opposite James Spader and Kerry Washington, for which he received his second Tony Award nomination. He received his third Tony nomination in 2012, for his performance in "The Gershwins' Porgy & Bess." He received his first Grammy Award nomination in 2013, when the cast recording of "The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess" was nominated for Best Musical Theater Album. Grier recently wrapped a nationwide comedy tour, during which he was joined by "In Living Color" co-star Tommy Davidson. He also portrayed "Daddy Warbucks" in a performance of "Annie" at the Hollywood Bowl. His recent films include "Arizona," a dark comedy in which he stars opposite Danny McBride, Kaitlin Olson and Rosemarie DeWitt and "Sprinter," about a Jamaican runner, in which he portrays the coach; and "Native Son," the adaptation of the acclaimed novel by Richard Wright. He lives in Los Angeles with his daughter, Lulu.

BLAIR UNDERWOOD (Captain Richard Davenport). A true multi-hyphenate, Blair Underwood is enjoying success in film, television and theatre, as an actor, director and producer. Underwood is currently in production on Netflix's Madam CJ Walker opposite Octavia Spencer. Most recently, he wrapped recurring roles on two other Netflix series: Ava DuVernay's When They See Us, and the comedy series, Dear White People; and can be seen in Clark Johnson's Juanita, opposite Alfred Woodard, also for Netflix. He spent two years as a series regular on the ABC drama series, Quantico, while also recurring on another hit ABC drama, AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D. He also had a co-starring role in The After Party, from writer/director Ian Edelman, which Netflix released late in 2018. Past television credits include series regular roles on Dirty Sexy Money, The New Adventures of Old Christine, In Treatment, L.A. Law and The Event. Film credits include Rules of Engagement, Madea's Family Reunion and Full Frontal, for director Steven Soderbergh. Underwood co-starred opposite Cicely Tyson in the Lifetime telefilm, A Trip To Bountiful, based on the Tony Award-winning play. In 2012 he made his acclaimed Broadway debut in the iconic role of "Stanley" in Tennessee Williams' A Streetcar Named Desire, for which he earned a 2012 Drama League Distinguished Performance Award nomination. Other theater includes: A Trip to Bountiful (Center Theatre Group/Mark Taper Forum/Ahmanson Theatre), Othello (Old Globe Theatre; d: Barry Edelstein), and Measure for Measure (Shakespeare in the Park, 1993). Underwood also has several projects in the development pipeline as a director, including Patch, an elevated genre feature based on a Gregg McBride script. In 2010 he made his feature-film directing debut with The Bridge to Nowhere, which starred Ving Rhames, Danny Masterson, Bijou Phillips and Alex Breckenridge. Blair is an Emmy Award-winner (as producer of the philanthropy-centered NBC Saturday morning series, Give), a two-time Golden Globe Award nominee, and has been nominated for 17 NAACP Image Awards (three wins). He won a Grammy Award for Best Spoken Word as co-narrator of Al Gore's audiobook, An Inconvenient Truth. A newly minted member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, he is also active in several philanthropic endeavors.

CHARLES FULLER (Playwright). Charles Fuller recently received the Dramatists Guild's Flora Roberts Award for his extensive body of work. Mr. Fuller's creative efforts involve a wide range of theater, film and television. He was a member of The Negro Ensemble Company, where his Zooman and the Sign won him an Obie and A Solder's Play won him a Pulitzer Prize, Best American Play, and an Edgar Award. Mr. Fuller's adaptation of his play became the 1984 film A Soldier's Story which was nominated for an Academy Award, a Golden Globe Award, and won a Writers Guild of America Award, and has written screenplays for CBS, PBS and Showtime. He has also mentored young playwrights at Cherry Lane Theatre and was commissioned by Cherry Lane to write a play, One Night, which opened there in 2014.

KENNY LEON (Director) is a Tony Award-winning Broadway and television director. Most recently he directed this summer's acclaimed production of Much Ado About Nothing at the Delacorte/Shakespeare in the Park. Broadway: American Son, Children of a Lesser God; Holler If Ya Hear Me; two productions of A Raisin in the Sun (Tony Award, 2014); The Mountaintop; Stick Fly; August Wilson's Fences, Gem of the Ocean and Radio Golf. Television: "American Son" (adapted for Netflix), "Hairspray Live!," "The Wiz Live!," "Steel Magnolias," "Dynasty," "In My Dreams." Author, Take You Wherever You Go. Artistic Director, True Colors Theatre Company. Board Member, Public Theater.

Roundabout Theatre Company celebrates the power of theatre by spotlighting classics from the past, cultivating new works of the present, and educating minds for the future. A not-for-profit company, Roundabout fulfills that mission by producing familiar and lesser-known plays and musicals; discovering and supporting talented playwrights; reducing the barriers that can inhibit theatergoing; collaborating with a diverse team of artists; building educational experiences; and archiving over five decades of production history.

Roundabout Theatre Company presents a variety of plays, musicals and new works on its five stages: Broadway's American Airlines Theatre, Studio 54 and Stephen Sondheim Theatre, and Off-Broadway's Harold and Miriam Steinberg Center for Theatre, which houses the Laura Pels Theatre and Black Box Theatre.

American Airlines is the official airline of Roundabout Theatre Company. Roundabout productions are supported, in part, with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

Roundabout's 2019-2020 Broadway season includes The Rose Tattoo, by Tennessee Williams, starring Marisa Tomei, directed by Trip Cullman; A Soldier's Play by Charles Fuller, starring David Alan Grier and Blair Underwood, directed by Kenny Leon; Birthday Candles, by Noah Haidle, starring Debra Messing, directed by Vivienne Benesch; Caroline, or Change, by Tony Kushner and Jeanine Tesori, starring Sharon D Clarke, directed by Michael Longhurst.

In 2019-2020, Roundabout will also present five new works Off-Broadway, including: Scotland, PA a new musical by Michael Mitnick and Adam Gwon, directed by Lonny Price; 72 Miles to Go... by Hilary Bettis, directed by Jo Bonney; ...what the end will be by Jiréh Breon Holder, directed by Margot Bordelon; Darling Grenadine, book, music & lyrics by Daniel Zaitchik, directed and choregraphed by Michael Berresse; and Exception to the Rule by Dave Harris, directed by Miranda Haymon.


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