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New Ray Charles musical to play the Ethel Barrymore Theatre on Broadway

May 11, 2010 |  2:25 pm

RAYCHARLES"Unchain My Heart, the Ray Charles Musical" has found a home for its Broadway run. Producer Stuart Benjamin said the show will open Nov. 7 at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre.

The production, which began life in 2007 as "Ray Charles Live! A New Musical" at the now-shuttered Pasadena Playhouse, will be directed by Playhouse artistic director Sheldon Epps. It features a book by Pulitzer Prize winner Suzan-Lori Parks and a score that includes many of Charles' hits.

Tony nominee Brandon Victor Dixon, who starred in the Pasadena production and recently gained acclaim  in off-Broadway's "The Scottsboro Boys," will play Charles. Others in the cast include Nikki Renee Daniels, Harrison White and Tasha Taylor.

"Unchain My Heart" uses the singer's last live recording session to tell his story through his music.

-- Karen Wada

Photo: Brandon Victor Dixon and Nikki Renee Daniels in the 2007 Pasadena Playhouse production of "Ray Charles Live! A New Musical." Credit: Gary Friedman / Los Angeles Times


Ray Charles musical heading to Broadway after run at Pasadena Playhouse

Charles McNulty's review of "Ray Charles Live!" from 2007