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Ain't Supposed to Die a Natural Death
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Broadway Revival of AIN'T SUPPOSED TO DIE A NATURAL DEATH Will Proceed, Dedicated to Melvin Van Peebles


Melvin Van Peebles passed away earlier this week.

Ain't Supposed to Die a Natural Death

As BroadwayWorld reported in March, Melvin Van Peebles' musical Ain't Supposed to Die a Natural Death has been planning for a Broadway next year. According to Deadline, the production will proceed, despite the recent death of the playwright, who passed away earlier this week at the age of 89. The show will now be dedicated to Peebles.

Producer Lia Vollack is working on the revival in collaboration with the creator's son, Mario Van Peebles, and under the direction of Kenny Leon.

Featuring a book and score by Melvin Van Peebles, Ain't Supposed to Die a Natural Death blends early hip hop and spoken word, jazz and blues, humor and pain to offer a raucous celebration of - and clear-eyed look at - America.

The original Broadway production opened on October 20, 1971 and played through July 30, 1972, starring Bill Duke and Garrett Morris with Phylicia Rashad as a standby.

Ain't Supposed to Die a Natural Death went on to earn seven 1972 Tony Award nominations, including Best Musical, Best Book of a Musical, and Best Original Score. Given an unprecedented (and unrepeated) more-than nine-minute performance slot on that year's Tony Awards telecast. Its now-iconic score, steeped in funk, soul, jazz, and blues, is widely considered to have been a groundbreaking precursor to rap and hip-hop.

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