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Theater director Kenny Leon's latest is an all-black version of Shakespeare's ‘Much Ado About Nothing' in Central Park

Added 05-20-19 09:13:02pm EST - “Kenny Leon, who won the 2014 Tony Award for his revival of Lorraine Hansberry's "A Raisin in the Sun,' is directing an all-black version of the William Shakespeare comedy "Much Ado About Nothing."” - Nydailynews.com


Posted By TheNewsCommenter: From Nydailynews.com: “Theater director Kenny Leon’s latest is an all-black version of Shakespeare’s ‘Much Ado About Nothing’ in Central Park”. Below is an excerpt from the article.

The groundbreaking director who brought Diddy to Broadway — and the words of Tupac Shakur — is now reimagining a hallowed Shakespeare classic.

Kenny Leon, who won the 2014 Tony Award for his revival of Lorraine Hansberry’s “A Raisin in the Sun," is staging the William Shakespeare comedy “Much Ado About Nothing” at Central Park’s Delacorte Theater with an all-black cast and set in a modern-day Atlanta mansion — with music and dancing.

“I didn’t cast it all black because I wanted an all-black production,” says Leon about his audacious, contemporary take on the Bard’s 400-year-old prose. “I cast it because it came to me in terms of the play about community and I just chose it around this specific place in Georgia. Everything about the play and all these universal messages will come through.”

For this latest production of The Public Theater’s 57-year tradition of Free Shakespeare in the Park that runs May 21 through June 23, Leon enlisted “Orange Is The New Black” actress Danielle Brooks to lead a cast of two dozen.

Brooks, who made her Broadway debut as Miss Sofia in “The Color Purple” in 2015, plays Beatrice and is joined by fellow Julliard School alumni Grantham Coleman and Jeremie Harris as Benedick and Claudio, respectively. Tony Award-winning Broadway veteran Chuck Cooper takes on the role of Leonato in Shakespeare’s tale of love and deception.


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