Whether it’s through songs that give a lens into coming of age in Chicago or the creation of films that amplify unsung elements of Black history, rapper and actor Common has used his artistry to tell stories that capture the essence of the human condition. For his latest project, he will take his talents to the Broadway stage, Deadline reported.
The Chicago native—whose real name is Lonnie Rashid Lynn—has been tapped to star in the Pulitzer Prize-winning play “Between Riverside and Crazy.” Penned by Stephen Adly Guirgis in 2014, the story chronicles the journeys of Walter “Pops” Washington, a former police officer and widower, and his son Junior who is on parole. As the two fight to save their rent-stabilized apartment along Riverside Drive, the dynamics of their father-son relationship are brought to the forefront.
Lynn will portray the role of Junior alongside Stephen McKinley Henderson, who will play Walter. The play initially made its debut off-Broadway in 2015, and most of the original cast—including Liza Colón-Zayas, Victor Almanzar, Rosal Colón, Michael Rispoli, and Elizabeth Canavan—will return for its reprise.
Black excellence is thriving on Broadway. News about Lynn’s role in “Between Riverside and Crazy” comes after it was announced Angelica Ross will make her Broadway debut as Roxie Hart in the musical “Chicago.” On Monday, the Cort Theatre was named after legendary actor James Earl Jones.
Lynn took to Twitter to express his excitement about making his Broadway debut.
“This has been a dream of mine for a very long time!” he posted. “I am supremely grateful and overwhelmingly inspired to be a part of ‘Between Riverside and Crazy.’” The play’s official opening night is slated for December 19 at Second Stage’s Hayes Theater, but its preview productions will begin on November 30.