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BLUE, Directed by Phylicia Rashad Starring Leslie Uggams Will Play the Apollo Theater; John Legend to Produce

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Producers Brian Moreland, Ron Simons, Mike Jackson, John Legend and Eric Falkenstein announced today that Blue, the play by Charles Randolph-Wright with music by Nona Hendryx and lyrics by Charles Randolph-Wright, will play a 16-week engagement at New York's Apollo Theater (253 West 125th Street), under the direction of Tony Award winner Phylicia Rashad who starred in both the play's 2000 world premiere at Arena Stage and 2001 New York premiere at Roundabout Theatre Company. Previews are set to begin on April 27th with opening night on May 10th. Blue will run through August 16th.

Rashad's directing credits include acclaimed productions of four August Wilson classics: Gem of the Ocean at Seattle Repertory Theatre, Ma Rainey's Black Bottom and Joe Turner's Come and Gone at the Mark Taper Forum, and Fences at both the Long Wharf Theatre and the McCarter Theatre. Additionally, she has directed at Chicago's Steppenwolf Theatre and New York's Signature Theatre.

Heading the cast will be Tony Award and Emmy Award® winner Leslie Uggams playing the role of Tillie Clark and Emmy Award winner Lynn Whitfield in the role of Peggy Clark. Uggams returns to the Apollo where she first stepped on stage making her professional debut at age 9. Complete casting will be announced shortly.

With fierce wit and astonishing honesty, Blue explores the complexities of identity and trust behind the carefully constructed façade of the Clarks, a socially prominent family that is struggling with the legacy and pitfalls of their own good fortune. Infused with a searing jazz and soul score, Blue celebrates the love and spirit of a family coming to terms with itself.

Randolph-Wright said, "I am thrilled that Blue will continue to open doors to a more diverse world, and also spread a little joy."

Hendryx said, "I am excited that Phylicia and Charles are bringing Blue back to the stage. I am thrilled to be part of a play about a family coping with life, love, secrets, and lies."

Rashad added, "I am happy to be directing this play that brought me so much joy. It affirms the importance of theater and its power to touch the human heart."

Moreland commented, "What do you say when a living legend comes home? Bringing Leslie Uggams back to the Apollo Theater in this role is simply historic! Returning Lynn Whitfield back to the New York stage is a must see! Blue is a play about a family learning to love all parts of itself. Who better to lead us on this journey of love and discovery, than the ever present and ever loving visionary Phylicia Rashad."

The award-winning creative team will include David Rockwell (set design), Toni-Leslie James (costume design), Ryan O'Gara (lighting design) and Dan Moses Schrier (sound design). Music supervisor will be Joseph Joubert.

Complete casting will be announced shortly.


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