*Andre Holland and John Legend are headed to Broadway for director Ruben Santiago-Hudson’s staging of the August Wilson play Jitney, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
The drama follows a group of men in 1970s Pittsburgh, trying to survive by driving unlicensed cabs against opposition from city officials.
Holland, currently earning praise in Barry Jenkins’ critically lauded film “Moonlight,” joins the ensemble cast as Youngblood. Also in the production is Harvy Blanks as Shealy, Anthony Chisholm as Fielding, Brandon Dirden as Booster, Carra Patterson as Rena, Michael Potts as Turnbo, Keith Randolph Smith as Doub, Ray Anthony Thomas as Philmore and John Douglas Thompson as Becker.
Holland, a New York stage regular, was last seen on Broadway in another Wilson play: the Tony-winning 2009 revival of Joe Turner’s Come and Gone.
The Manhattan Theatre Club production also announced Thursday that Grammy-winning artist John Legend and his Get Lifted partner Mike Jackson have signed on as associate producers. The move marks Legend’s first foray into Broadway.
Santiago-Hudson, who has directed a number of acclaimed productions of Wilson’s work, will stage the play, which begins previews Dec. 28 ahead of a Jan. 19 opening at MTC’s Samuel J. Friedman Theatre.
First produced in 1982, Jitney is the only one of ten plays in The American Century Cycle, the late playwright’s decade-by-decade depiction of African-American experience in the 20th century, that has never been staged on Broadway.
Below, Santiago-Hudson talks about his 2012 staging of Jitney at Two River Theater in Red Bank, NJ: