Thanks to a few of your Hollywood faves, Broadway show ‘Ain’t No Mo’ lives to see another day on stage, seven to be exact. The play which was initially in danger of closing on December 18th, has now been extended for at least an additional seven performances. Following a social media campaign calling the public to #SaveAintNoMo, the show began opening to sold out crowds, with many Black celebs buying out the Belasco Theater.
Jordan E. Cooper, who both wrote and stars in the production as the fearless flight attendant Peaches, took to Twitter on December 9th to post a call to action.
“‘Ain’t No ‘Mo’ needs your help!” Cooper wrote. “It’s a new original play that’s BLACK AF, which are both things that make it hard to sell on Broadway.” A great feat indeed, especially as a newcomer in the industry. The production—which tells a wild story of what it would look like if the United States attempted to end racism by sending Black people on a plane to Africa—makes Cooper the youngest Black playwright in Broadway history at just 27 years old.
“Now they’ve posted an eviction notice, we ‘must close’ on December 18th,” Cooper’s post continued. “But thank God Black people are immune to eviction notices.”
The playwright reflected on the legacy of “The Wiz,” and how despite the show being asked to close almost immediately after it opened in 1974, it went on to run for four years. Cooper remarked on the fact that although audiences have been “thrilled” by ‘Ain’t No Mo’, that the show’s success simply had yet to be reflected in ticket sales.
“In the name of art, in the name of resistance, in the name of we belong here too, in the name of every story telling ancestor who ever graced a Broadway stage or was told they never could, PLEASE SUPPORT THIS PRODUCTION AND BUY A TICKET and come have church with us,” Cooper closed out his call to action.
And if the call was a rent party, it’s safe to say we will be ready on the 1st. In response, celebrities such as Will and Jada Pinkett Smith, Shonda Rhimes, Gabrielle Union and Dwyane Wade, and the playwright, Tyler Perry have all bought out performances of ‘Ain’t No Mo.’ Adding to its star power, Lena Waithe stepped in to host the show this week and has also recently been added to the list of producers.
By Thursday night, Cooper was able to proudly announce that the show had been extended until the 23rd of December. As the Huffpost reports, the inspiration behind the production came from a run in Cooper had with police at a 7-Eleven as he was purchasing a Slurpee.
“I remember reaching upward to get a red slushie, and the police officer there tapped his gun and winked at me,” Cooper said.
However, Cooper expressed that through art, Black people have always “possessed the ability to turn shit into sugar,” which were his exact intentions as he began to write ‘Ain’t No Mo,’ describing the play as a “love letter to Black culture.”
“Black people were dragged to this country, stripped of our identity, and had to build our culture up from sticks and stones,” Cooper said. “We have to laugh in the face of our pain and use dark comedy to find the light in those painful moments.”