The first Broadway revival of August Wilson's The Piano Lesson, starring Samuel L. Jackson, Danielle Brooks, and John David Washington, officially opened October 13 at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre after beginning previews September 19. Tony nominee LaTanya Richardson Jackson directs the 17-week engagement.
Set in Pittsburgh's Hill District in 1936, The Piano Lesson follows a brother and sister who are embroiled in a battle over a family heirloom piano carved with the faces of their ancestors. It is the fourth play in Wilson's Century Cycle, which explores the Black experience in every decade of the 20th century; other works in the cycle include Fences, Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, and Jitney, among others.
The cast stars Jackson as Doaker Charles, Washington as Boy Willie, Brooks as Berniece, Trai Byers as Avery, Ray Fisher as Lymon, April Matthis as Grace, Michael Potts as Wining Boy, and Nadia Daniel and Jurnee Swan alternating in the role of Maretha.
The creative team also includes Tony-winning music director Jason Michael Webb, who composed new music for the revival, Tony-winning set designer Beowulf Boritt, Tony-nominated costume designer Toni-Leslie James, Tony-nominated lighting designer Japhy Weideman, Tony-winning sound designer Scott Lehrer, Drama Desk-nominated designer Cookie Jordan, Tony-winning projection designer Jeff Snug, and choreographer Otis Sallid. Casting is by Calleri, Jensen, Davis, and general management is by Foresight Theatrical.