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Andre Holland and John Legend are getting behind the wheel for the Broadway debut of Jitney.
Holland, currently making waves in Barry Jenkins’ critically lauded film Moonlight, joins the ensemble cast of the August Wilson drama, which follows a group of men in 1970s Pittsburgh trying to survive by driving unlicensed cabs against opposition from city officials.
Holland will play Youngblood alongside Harvy Blanks as Shealy, Anthony Chisholm as Fielding, Brandon Dirden as Booster, Carra Patterson as Rena, Michael Potts as Turnbo, Keith Randolph Smith as Doub, Ray Anthony Thomas as Philmore and John Douglas Thompson as Becker.
Holland, a New York stage regular, was last seen on Broadway in another Wilson play: the Tony-winning 2009 revival of Joe Turner’s Come and Gone.
The Manhattan Theatre Club production also announced Thursday that Grammy-winning musician John Legend and his Get Lifted partner Mike Jackson have joined the associate producers on the play. The move marks Legend’s first foray into Broadway. Also joining the producing team are Eric Falkenstein, Ron Simons and Ken Wirth.
Ruben Santiago-Hudson, who has directed a number of acclaimed productions of Wilson’s work, will stage the play, which begins previews Dec. 28 ahead of a Jan. 19 opening at MTC’s Samuel J. Friedman Theatre.
First produced in 1982, Jitney is the only one of 10 plays in The American Century Cycle, the late playwright’s decade-by-decade depiction of African-American experience in the 20th century, that has never been staged on Broadway.
The screen adaptation of Wilson’s Fences is set to open Dec. 25. The Paramount release was directed by Denzel Washington, who also stars alongside Viola Davis, reprising roles that won them Tony Awards in the 2010 Broadway revival.
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