Today, January 29, the Broadway revival of August Wilson‘s The Piano Lesson concludes its run at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre, having played 27 previews and 124 regular performances. The production is the highest grossing revival of a play on Broadway and the highest grossing Wilson production on Broadway ever.
Check out a full list of upcoming Broadway closings.
Fllowing today’s performance, the titular prop piano will be donated to The Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture.
The Piano Lesson is directed by Tony Award® nominee LaTanya Richardson Jackson – who made her Broadway directorial debut and is the first woman to ever direct an August Wilson play on Broadway, and stars Samuel L. Jackson as Doaker Charles, John David Washington as Boy Willie, and Danielle Brooks as Berniece.
August Wilson‘s The Piano Lesson, which premiered at the Yale Repertory Theatre in 1987 and starred a then-39-year-old Samuel L. Jackson as Boy Willie, is the fourth play in the American Century Cycle. Three years later, a new production, starring Carl Gordon, Charles S. Dutton and S. Epatha Merkerson, opened at Chicago’s Goodman Theatre, and soon transferred to Broadway’s Walter Kerr Theatre. In addition to winning the Pulitzer Prize for drama, The Piano Lesson won the New York Drama Critics’ Circle Award for Best Play, the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Play, the Peabody Award and was nominated for the 1990 Tony Award for Best Play.
The Piano Lesson is set in Pittsburgh’s Hill District in 1936. A brother and sister are locked in a war over the fate of a family heirloom: a piano carved with the faces of their ancestors.
The design team for The Piano Lesson included Tony Award winner Beowulf Boritt (Set Design), Tony Award nominee Toni-Leslie James (Costume Design), Tony Award nominee Japhy Weideman (Lighting Design), Tony Award winner Scott Lehrer (Sound Design), Drama Desk Award nominee Cookie Jordan (Wig Design), Tony Award nominee Jeff Sugg (Projection Design), Alvin Hough Jr. (Music & Music Direction), Otis Sallid (Choreographer). Casting is by Calleri, Jensen, Davis. General Management is by Foresight Theatrical.
Previous buzz indicated that the show might transfer to the West End later this year, though no official plans have been announced.