Anika Noni Rose to Star in 'Carmen Jones'

Courtesy of Nathan Johnson
Anika Noni Rose

The 2004 Tony winner will lead the cast in Oscar Hammerstein II's African-American makeover of the Georges Bizet opera, starting performances June 8.

Anika Noni Rose will return to the New York stage this summer, leading an off-Broadway revival of the 1943 musical Carmen Jones.

The rarely performed show features a book and lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II, which transports Georges Bizet's opera Carmen from the gypsy setting of a tobacco factory in Southern Spain in 1820 to the African-American South during World War II. The title character is a parachute factory worker drawn into a deadly romantic triangle with an airman and a prizefighter.

The musical is best known for the 1954 screen version directed by Otto Preminger, which starred Dorothy Dandridge and Harry Belafonte.

The Classic Stage Company production will be directed by John Doyle and choreographed by Bill T. Jones, beginning performances June 8 in a limited engagement scheduled to run through July 29. It marks the show's first major New York revival since its Broadway debut 75 years ago.

Appearing alongside Rose in the production are David Aron Damane, Erica Dorfler, Andrea Jones-Sojola, Justin Keyes, Lindsay Roberts, Soara-Joye Ross, Lawrence E. Street and Tramell Tillman. Casting of the co-starring role of Joe, the airman, is to be announced.

Rose last appeared on Broadway opposite Denzel Washington in the 2014 revival of A Raisin in the Sun. She won a Tony Award for best featured actress in a musical in 2004 for Caroline, or Change, and played Maggie opposite Terrence Howard's Brick in the 2008 revival of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.

Rose's film and TV work includes Dreamgirls, Roots, The Quad, The Good Wife, Private Practice, The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency and Assassination Nation, which premiered at Sundance earlier this year.