TIMES SQUARE, Manhattan – It’s long overdue, but one Broadway show is finally coming to fruition after six decades.
“Trouble In Mind” tells the story of a landmark play on racism and it will finally be told at the American Airlines Theatre on W. 42nd Street this fall and winter.
Award-winning actress LaChanze plays the lead role as Wiletta Mayer.
“This is thrilling,” LaChanze said. “Here we are, back on Broadway!”
The play was originally written by Alice Childress and it’s taken more than 60 years for this work to get recognition on Broadway. The Roundabout Theatre is making it happen.
“Trouble In Mind” is a play within a play and the company says it takes a “moving look at racism, identity, and ego in the world of New York theatre.”
“I’ve never said words like this on Broadway in my career,” LaChanze said. “Never have I spoken this truthfully.”
The drama follows a Black actress, Wiletta Mayer, through rehearsals of a fictional anti-lynching Broadway production called “Chaos in Belleville.”
LaChanze says she’s never had the opportunity to play a woman as formidable as Wiletta Mayor, telling truth of an experience that a Black woman has had and is having.
“It’s so wonderful to speak the words of a Black woman in a Black production leading as a Black female actor in a role like this,” LaChanze added.
She’s never been directed by a Black director in her entire Broadway career as a lead actress.
Director Charles Randolph-Wright says it took him 15 years to get this show on the road, but he’s been a fan of the playwright long before that.
“I first read this play in college and I’ve been obsessed with Alice Childress ever since,” Randolph-Wright said.
He also says this is the role of a lifetime for LaChanze.
Previews for “Trouble in Mind” begin on Oct. 29 and opening night is Nov. 18.