THE COSBY SHOW's Malcolm-Jamal Warner to Star in GUESS WHO'S COMING TO DINNER, 9/5-10/5
Huntington Theatre Company announces that Malcolm-Jamal Warner, best known for his breakout role as Theo Huxtable, Bill Cosby's son on "The Cosby Show," will play Dr. John Prentice in Guess Who's Coming to Dinner in the Huntington's season opener September 5 - October 5, 2014 at the BU Theatre / Avenue of the Arts. Complete casting will be announced at a later date. Tickets go on sale to the general public on Tuesday, June 24, 2014.
Written by Todd Kreidler (Holler if Ya Hear Me on Broadway, August Wilson's long-time dramaturg) based on the screenplay by William Rose, and directed by David Esbjornson (All My Sons at the Huntington and Driving Miss Daisy on Broadway), this funny and poignant new stage adaptation offers a fresh interpretation of the beloved Academy Award-winning film. Joanna surprises her liberal, white parents when she brings home John, her African-American fiancé, to meet them. Both sets of parents must confront their own unexpected reactions and concerns for their children as their beliefs are put to the test in this warm family comedy.
Malcolm-Jamal Warner will reprise the role of Dr. John Prentice, made famous by Sidney Poitier in the original film, from a production at Arena Stage earlier this year. The Washington Post called Guess Who's Coming to Dinner "so darn appealing with masterly direction. Malcolm-Jamal Warner has matured into a solid leading man." The Washingtonian called it, "Riotously funny. Warner doesn't disappoint, his presence is forceful onstage." And Maryland Theatre Guide called it, "Truly uplifting. A delightfully funny, wonderfully acted evening of theatre that should not be missed."
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
Malcolm-Jamal Warner (Dr. John Prentice) is not only a seasoned actor, but an accomplished musician, director, and producer. Warner first rose to national prominence appearing in the television series "The Cosby Show." His work on the show garnered him an Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series. Other television credits include NBC's hit show "Community," TNT's "Major Crimes" and "Hawthorne," CBS' "The Cleaner," Showtime?s "Dexter," and BET's original series "Reed Between the Lines." As a director, he has worked on television series including "Malcolm & Eddie," "The Cosby Show," "All That," "Keenan & Kel," "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air," "Sesame Street," "Reed Between the Lines," and the AIDS awareness video "Timeout: The Truth about HIV, AIDS, and YOU" (NAACP Key of Life Image Award). His short film This Old Man received critical acclaim on the theatre festival circuit. Warner made his feature film debut in Paramount Pictures? Drop Zone and was also seen in Warner Bros?Pictures Fools Gold. He also co-starred in the independent films Restaurant with Adrien Brody, A Fare to Remember, and The Listwith Wayne Brady. Theatre credits include Three Ways Home, Cryin? Shame (NAACP Theater Award for Best Supporting Actor), andFreefall at the Victory Gardens Theater in Chicago; A Midsummer Nights? Dream at the La Jolla Playhouse in California; and the West Coast debut of his one-man theatrical production of Love and Other Social Issues. He plays bass guitar in his jazz-funk band Miles Long. The band has performed in several major jazz festivals and recently performed at the historic Apollo Theater. His CDs are available on iTunes.
Todd Kreidler (Playwright) served as dramaturg for August Wilson's Radio Golf and Gem of the Ocean in their early productions at the Huntington and other regional theatres and on Broadway. He wrote the musical Holler If Ya Hear Me, an original story featuring the lyrics of Tupac Shakur, currently on Broadway. He is also writing a musical with Nikki Sixx, based on Sixx's memoir and music, The Heroin Diaries. His stage adaptation of the film Guess Who's Coming to Dinner ran at Arena Stage in Washington, DC and premiered at True Colors Theatre Company in Atlanta. Most recently, he directed August Wilson's one-man show How I Learned What I Learned at Off Broadway's Signature Theatre. He originally directed and co-conceived the piece with Mr. Wilson performing at Seattle Repertory Theatre in 2003. He co-founded the August Wilson Monologue Competition, a national program aimed at integrating August Wilson's work into high school curriculum, of which the Huntington facilitates the Boston semi-final.
David Esbjornson (Director) returns to the Huntington having previously directed All My Sons. His credits include the premieres of Edward Albee's The Goat, or Who is Sylvia? (Broadway) and The Play About the Baby (Century); The Ride Down Mt. Morgan(Broadway) and Resurrection Blues (Guthrie Theatre) by Arthur Miller; Angels in America: Millennium Approaches and the first staged presentation of Perestroika (Eureka); Homebody/Kabul (London); Neal Bell's Therese Raquin (CSC); In the Blood by Suzan-Lori Parks (Public Theater); Albom/Hatcher's Tuesdays with Morrie (Minetta Lane); Israel Horowitz' My Old Lady (Promenade); Kathleen Tolan's Memory House (Playwrights Horizons); Ariel Dorfman's Purgatorio; Kevin Kling's How? How? Why? Why? Why? (Seattle Repertory Theatre), and Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa's Abigail/1702 (NYSF). Recent work includes Guess Who's Coming to Dinner (Arena Stage); Red Hot Patriot: The Kick-Ass Wit of Molly Ivins (Arena Stage, Philadelphia Theatre Company, Geffen Playhouse); Lady from Dubuque (Seattle Repertory Theatre); Measure for Measure (NYSF Delacorte); Moira Buffini's Gabriel and Peter Parnell's Trumpery(Atlantic). Revivals include Driving Miss Daisy (Broadway and West End), Death of a Salesman (Gate-Dublin); Hamlet (TFNY); A Few Good Men (West End); All My Sons (Huntington); Much Ado About Nothing (NYSF); The Normal Heart (Public); Mud and Drowning(Signature); The Entertainer, The Maids, Endgame and Entertaining Mr. Sloane (CSC); Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? and Summer and Smoke (Guthrie); and Farmyard (NYTW). David has served as Artistic Director of NYC Classic Stage Company and Seattle Repertory Theatre and is the current Chair of Theatre at Rutgers University.
ABOUT THE HUNTINGTON
Recipient of the 2013 Regional Theatre Tony Award and named Best of Boston 2013 by Boston magazine, the Huntington Theatre Company has developed into Boston's leading professional theatre and one of the region's premiere cultural assets since its founding in 1982. Bringing together superb local and national talent, the Huntington produces a mix of groundbreaking new works and classics made current to create award-winning productions, runs nationally renowned programs in education and new play development, and serves the local theatre community through its operation of the Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA. Under the direction of Artistic Director Peter DuBois and Managing Director Michael Maso and in residence at Boston University, the Huntington cultivates, celebrates, and champions theatre as an art form. For more information, visit huntingtontheatre.org.