Khalil Kain, J. Kyle Manzay Set for THE GREAT MACDADDY at 777 Theatre
Korner Theatricals in association with the Negro Ensemble Company, Freedome Bailey and the Hip Hop Theater Festival have announced that TV and film veteran Khalil Kain and Obie award-winning actor and producer J. Kyle Manzay are joining to play the roles of Scag and The Great MacDaddy in the first major revival in 35 years of the Obie award-winning play THE GREAT MACDADDY. Award-winning director Alfred Preisser helms the production, which opens November 29th at 8:00 PM. The Great MacDaddy is the first production at the new 777 Theater in the Broadway theatre district, at 777 Eighth Avenue in New York City. Further casting will be announced at a later date.
THE GREAT MACDADDY was originally staged in 1974 by the legendary Negro Ensemble Company and starred Phylicia Rashad, Lynn Whitfield, the late Al Freeman, Jr., Cleavon Little and Hattie Winston. It was one of the company’s seminal works. THE GREAT MACDADDY is a rich and theatrically vital play-with-music that resurrects many of the fabled heroes of the African-American storytelling tradition. It is a satirical romp driven by a funky music characterization that tells the story of a young, egotistical MacDaddy, the beneficiary of his father’s illegal booze fortune during Prohibition, who crosses the American landscape on an odyssey in search of Wine, the custodian of the formula for his father’s legacy who disappears shortly after his death. It is a Time-travel odyssey across the United States in the 20th Century that has the young, self-indulgent MacDaddy discovering a world of hostilities where he encounters many cautionary trials and tribulations until he discovers Wine among the ancestors in the South and becomes enlightened with a spiritual wisdom he must share with his people in the 21st Century. It is the conclusion of an often humorously raucous, yet captivating journey that galvanizes the audience to a sense of collective celebration.
Tony and Emmy award-winning actress and original cast member Phylicia Rashad is, like many in the theatre community, excited about the revival of play: "The Great MacDaddy was inspired by the folktale "The Palm Wine Drunkard," It is as relevant today as when it debuted at the Negro Ensemble Theater over thirty years ago. Come and enjoy this revival!"
TV and film actor and heartthrob Khalil Kain has appeared in films such as For Colored Girls, Love Jones, Juice, Passing Glory Renaissance Man, and as Tiger Woods in HBO’s The Tiger Woods Story. In television he’s starred in a recurring role on the series Girlfriends as well as CSI, Medium, Friends, CSI: Miami and many others.
J Kyle Manzay has appeared on stage in plays such as The Blacks: A Clown Show (Obie Award for Outstanding Performance), The Actor’s Rap, Ain’t Supposed to Die a Natural Death (AUDELCO Nomination for Best Actor in a Musical) and Waiting for Godot (AUDELCO Nomination for Best Ensemble). He has also worked Off-Broadway at The Cherry Lane Theater, Classic Stage Company, and New York Theater Workshop. J Kyle Manzay has been seen on Law & Order -SVU, CSI - NY, and just recently completed an appearance on the 2012 season of HBO’s hit series Treme. He has been seen in the films Brother to Brother, Little Manhattan (Twentieth Century Fox), Singe Hills, and played opposite Denzel Washington and Russell Crowe in American Gangster (Universal Pictures).
Alfred Preisser is an award winning director, writer and producer of theatre. From 1999 - 2009, Mr. Preisser was the Founding Artistic Director of The Classical Theatre of Harlem. Under his leadership The CTH grew from a startup into a critically acclaimed force with a national reputation for artistic excellence, producing over forty classical works ranging from Euripides to Melvin Van Peebles. Recent New York productions include The Man Who Ate Michael Rockefeller (NY Times Critic's Pick), Ain't Nothin But the Blues (2011 AUDELCO AWARDS, Outstanding Director and Musical of the Year) and the world premiere of Power of Trinity, a theatrical concert exploring the life of Haile Selassie. His work has been recognized with the American Theatre Wing Award (Outstanding Artistic Achievement), Drama Desk Award (Artistic Achievement), Edwin Booth Award (Outstanding Contribution to NYC Theater), Lucille Lortel Award (Outstanding Body of Work), two Obie Awards (Sustained Achievement and Excellence in Theatre) and numerous Audelco Awards.