Audra Macdonald James Earl Jones Kenny Leon New York state Ohio performer stage gossips Audra Macdonald James Earl Jones Kenny Leon New York state Ohio

‘Ohio State Murders’ Broadway Review: Audra McDonald As A Woman Stalked By The Past

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Many decades after her brilliant and unsettling plays became seen Off Broadway, at regional theaters or, sometimes, not at all, the great playwright Adrienne Kennedy is making her Broadway debut tonight when her 1992 work Ohio State Murders opens as the inaugural production at the newly renamed James Earl Jones Theatre.

In a recent interview with The New York Times, the acclaimed 91-year-old Kennedy was blunt about why Broadway took so long: “It’s because I’m a Black woman,” she said, and one need look no further than Broadway’s other criminally late embrace – of Alice Childress and her wonderful 1955 play Trouble In Mind, which finally received an exceptional Broadway staging last year – to recognize the truth of the statement.

So the decision to bring Adrienne Kennedy to Broadway – or, perhaps more accurately, to bring Broadway to Adrienne Kennedy – is worthy of praise before so much as a single syllable is uttered on stage.

Adrienne Kennedy is on Broadway. For the occasion, the producers behind the show have assembled an amazing team of creative talent, from director Kenny Leon, one of the best directors working on Broadway right now – see his Topdog/Underdog for the slamdunk proof – to star Audra McDonald, whose talents on both the musical and non-musical stage are among Broadway’s most cherished.

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