Raise the curtains for a Don Cornelius-esque intro, because Soul Train is coming to Broadway!
That’s right, a musical based on the TV series created and hosted by Cornelius will be making its way to the most acclaimed stage in theatre.
As Deadline reports:
The musical will feature more than 20 hit songs from the era while telling the personal story of Cornelius as he creates the television series. The series became TV’s primary showcase for soul, rock, R&B and, later, hip-hop. Nearly as popular as the stage acts was the in-studio audience, who taught the nation the latest dances. Cornelius ended each episode with his catchphrase “love, peace and soul.”
When news of the Broadway musical first hit the waves, it was reported that Anthony E. Zuiker (CSI franchise) would be penning the play. However, it looks like playwright Dominique Morrisseau (Ain’t Too Proud) is now attached to write, with Kamilah Forbes (Meet Vera Stark) directing and Camille A. Brown (Choir Boy, Once on This Island) serving as choreographer. There’s a trifecta of black girl magic behind this production! It looks like Zuiker will still be on board the project but as an executive producer instead of as a writer. Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson of The Roots will also be an executive producer, along with Don Cornelius’ son, Tony Cornelius.
“With many years of experience working directly with my father, I’m forever grateful and deeply humbled by the impact Soul Train has had on the culture at large both here and abroad,” Tony said in a statement. “For 37 years, and with purpose, through music, dance and style, Soul Train brought Love, Peace & Soul to a national audience.”
“I cannot wait to partner with this legendary creative team of incredible women to celebrate the history and the unsung heroes of our nation’s longest running televised music and dance series,” Morrisseau said.
Soul Train blessed America’s television screens when it debuted on October 2, 1971. The Broadway adaptation has a target debut date of 2021, which will mark the 50th anniversary of the series’ debut.
“Having grown up on this series,” Morrisseau added, “and being immersed in the culture around it, I never knew what it took to make it the iconic staple that it is. Through the socio-political challenges both internally and externally, Don Cornelius’ uncompromised vision, and the revolutionary dance culture that the show made visible to the mainstream, there are a million handprints on what we know as Soul Train.”