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Jawan M. Jackson Joins the Cast of THE UNDERSTUDY Reading, Starring Lesli Margherita and Andrew Kober


Play Reading Fridays will present the show  on Friday, August 7th at 7:00pm. 

Jawan M. Jackson Joins the Cast of THE UNDERSTUDY Reading, Starring Lesli Margherita and Andrew Kober

Grammy Award nominee Jawan M. Jackson, who originated the role of Melvin Franklin in Broadway's AIN'T TOO PROUD - THE LIFE AND TIMES OF THE TEMPTATIONS, has been tapped to play the role of Jake in Theresa Rebeck's comedy THE UNDERSTUDY for Play Reading Fridays.

It was also announced today that Peabody Award winning playwright, Ms. Rebeck, will join the cast and director for a post-show Q&A.

As previously reported, Broadway icons Lesli Margherita (Matilda; Dames At Sea) and Andrew Kober (Hair; School of Rock) will star as Roxanne and Harry, respectively, with all proceeds from the virtual reading going directly to The Actors Fund.

The event will be directed by Alison Tanney (The Theater Enthusiast Podcast). Stage directions will be read by Teresa Hui (The Big Band Theory).

Producers and Artistic Directors of Play Reading Fridays, Tanney and Tim Realbuto, created the bi-monthly reading series while NYC theatre is dark. Their past productions include "The Shape of Things" starring Realbuto and Tony Award winner Lena Hall, "The Glass Menagerie" starring Tony Award nominee Emily Skinner and Erika Henningsen, "Dog Sees God: Confessions of a Teenage Blockhead" starring Jack DiFalco and Emma Hunton, and "Red Light Winter" starring Joe Carroll and Janine DiVita.

Franz Kafka's undiscovered masterpiece in its Broadway premiere is the hilarious and apropos setting for Theresa Rebeck's exploration of the existential vagaries of show business and life. Charged with running the understudy rehearsal for the production, Roxanne (Margherita) finds her professional and personal life colliding when Harry (Kober), a journeyman actor and her ex-fiancé, is cast as the understudy to Jake (Jackson), a mid-tier action star yearning for legitimacy. As Harry and Jake find their common ground, Roxanne tries to navigate the rehearsal with a stoned lightboard operator, an omnipresent intercom system, the producers threatening to shutter the show and her own careening feelings about both actors and her past. Will the show go on? THE UNDERSTUDY is a dazzling and humanistic look at people trying to do what they love in the face of obstacles that mount until all anyone can do is dance.

Play Reading Fridays will present the show on Friday, August 7th at 7:00pm.

Play Reading Fridays does not charge ticket admission, but a $5-$10 donation to The Actors Fund is suggested. Please visit for a link to where you can watch the livestream.

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