Casting has been announced for American Conservatory Theater's world premiere of the Broadway-aimed Hippest Trip — The Soul Train Musical, based on the long-running TV show that celebrated Black music, dance, and style.
Directed by Kamilah Forbes (By the Way, Meet Vera Stark) with choreography by Tony nominee Camille A. Brown (for colored girls…, Once On This Island), performances are scheduled for August 25-October 1 at A.C.T.’s Toni Rembe Theater. Opening night in San Francisco will be September 6.
The cast will include Angela Birchett as Delores, Quentin Earl Darrington as Don Cornelius, Kayla Davion as Jody Watley, Sidney DuPont as Tony Cornelius, Cameron Hah as Cheryl Song/Ensemble, Amber Iman as Pam Brown, Richard James as Tyrone Proctor/Ensemble, Jaquez as Jeffrey Daniel, Alain “Hurrikane” Lauture as Don Campbellock/Ensemble, Mayte Natalio as Rosie Perez/Ensemble, and Charlene “Chi-Chi” Smith as Damita Jo/Ensemble.
Also in the ensemble are Terence Archie, Jennifer Marie Frazier, McKenzie Frye, Justin Jorrell, Jahi Kearse, Alora Tonielle Martinez, Miki Michelle, Aché Richardson, Roukijah Rooks, SeQuoiia, and Maleek Washington with swings Unissa Cruse, Amanda Le Nguyen, and Aya Travick-Best.
With a book by two-time Tony nominee Dominique Morisseau (Ain’t Too Proud) and utilizing hits of the era, Hippest Trip is set in 1971 Chicago as Black entrepreneur and radio DJ Don Cornelius transforms the pop culture landscape by recognizing the lack of Black musical artists on TV. Within a year, his local dance show goes national.
The creative team also includes music supervisor, orchestrator, and arranger Kenny Seymour, scenic designer Jason Sherwood, costume designer Dede Ayite, lighting designer Jen Schriever, sound designer Jonathan Deans, projection designer Aaron Rhyne, wigs designer Mia Neal, music director Sean Kana, music curator Jimmy Keys, dance arranger Zane Mark, casting director Victor Vazquez of X Casting, associate choreographer and dance consultant Adesola Osakalumi, associate choreographer Rickey Tripp, associate director Matthew Johnson Harris, associate music director Eryn Allen, and intimacy and cultural coordinator Ann James.
“A.C.T. is thrilled to play host and support the big vision of Hippest Trip—this stellar creative team and company of actors,” says A.C.T. Artistic Director Pam MacKinnon. “We’ve been in conversation for more than four years, and the time has finally come. The explosive dance-driven show will storm the Bay to celebrate and dive into the continuing legacy of Don Cornelius and Pam Brown, alongside the company of dancers who became stars, mentors, and culture makers. I cannot wait for our theatre to be filled with love, peace, and soul.”
Hippest Trip is produced by special arrangement with Matthew Weaver, Jeffrey Tick, and Richard Gay. Serving as executive producers are Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson, Tony Cornelius, Anthony E. Zuiker, Shawn Gee, and Devin Keudell along with co-producers Nick Stern and J. Todd Harris.