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Key casting is coming together for Second Stage Theater’s spring 2020 Broadway revival of Richard Greenberg’s exploration of homophobia, racism, class and masculinity in sports, Take Me Out, which won the Tony Award for best play in 2003.
Jesse Tyler Ferguson will play Mason Marzac, the money manager who becomes consumed by his love for professional baseball, just as conflict rips through the ranks of a Major League team and its fans after mixed-race star center fielder Darren Lemming comes out of the closet during a championship season.
Ferguson joins Jesse Williams, the Grey’s Anatomy regular making his Broadway debut as Darren, whose declaration stirs up unspoken prejudices among his teammates and friends as he contends with the reality of being a gay person of color in America’s most beloved sports institution.
That role had been played in an exploratory New York reading for the revival by Jussie Smollett, just prior to his controversial claim of being the victim of a hate crime in Chicago. Zachary Quinto also was featured in that cast.
Originally produced by London’s Donmar Warehouse and the Public Theater in New York, Take Me Out ran for just under a year in its Broadway premiere. That production starred Denis O’Hare as Mason and Daniel Sunjata as Darren. Both actors scored Tony nominations, with O’Hare bagging the win, along with director Joe Mantello.
Additional casting for the Second Stage revival is to be announced. Scott Ellis, a current Tony nominee for Tootsie, will direct the production, which begins previews April 2 at the Hayes Theater and officially opens April 23.
Best known for his multiple Emmy-nominated role on ABC’s Modern Family, Ferguson made his Broadway debut at 21 in a 1999 revival of On the Town. He returned in Second Stage’s production of The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee and in 2016 played 40 different characters in Fully Committed, a one-man satire of the restaurant industry.
Ferguson also has been a frequent performer in recent years in the Public Theater’s summer Shakespeare in the Park productions, including The Merchant of Venice, The Tempest, The Winter’s Tale, A Midsummer Night’s Dream and The Comedy of Errors.
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