Muhammad Ali Biomusical Sets Chicago World Premiere | Playbill

Chicago News Muhammad Ali Biomusical Sets Chicago World Premiere

Telling the story of the boxing champion and humanitarian, the Broadway-aimed musical features a book by Clint Dyer and score by Teddy Abrams.

Muhammad Ali "When We Were Kings"/PolyGram Filmed Entertainment

The previously announced Broadway-aimed Muhammad Ali biomusical Ali will make its world premiere at Chicago's James M. Nederlander Theatre next year, with performances running April 22-May 18, 2025. Casting is to be announced.

The project, in development since at least 2022, is written and directed by Clint Dyer, deputy artistic director of London's National Theatre. The score features music by Teddy Abrams and lyrics by Q-Tip, who also serves as music producer. Rich + Tone Talauega (MJ The Musical) will choreograph.

Muhammad Ali's childhood in Louisville, Kentucky, set the stage for him to become not only the greatest boxer of all time, but also an activist, entertainer, artist, and philanthropist. His combination of courage, confidence, swagger, compassion, humor, and optimism united people during the Civil Rights Movement, and his vision for a world without hate inspired generations of activists.

The Chicago production will feature set design by Anna Fleischle, costume design by Emilio Sosa, lighting design by Jen Schriever, video design by Tal Yarden and Gino Ricardo Green, and sound design by Benjamin Grant and Kai Harada. Abrams and Sean Mayes are providing orchestrations and arrangements, with Mayes also serving as music supervisor and Casey Benjamin as associate music producer emeritus. Fred Carl is the creative dramaturg, and Michael "Silk" Olajide, Jr. will be the special boxing consultant and fight coordinator. Broadway performer-turned-director Asmeret Ghebremichael will be associate director.

Ali is led by producer Richard Willis, now joined by co-producers Brook T. Smith, David and Michelle Campbell, Ian Rupert, Jim and Kathy Mora, and TheTribecaWorkshop, in collaboration with ABG Entertainment and in partnership with Lonnie Ali.

“It’s very exciting and fitting that Ali is premiering in Chicago," says producer Willis in a statement. "Muhammad called the South Side home, and the city held a special place in his heart. We are thrilled to be working with everyone at Broadway in Chicago to bring this powerful new musical to such a passionate, theatre-loving audience that will help us shape the show’s future. We can’t wait to be there."

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