Producers Nelle Nugent and Kenneth Teaton welcome Stephen Byrd and Alia Jones as producing partners on the Broadway production of The Trip to Bountiful, starring Academy Award nominee and three-time Emmy Award winner Cicely Tyson, Academy Award winner CUBA GOODING, JR, (Jerry Maguire, Red Tails), Emmy Award nominee and recording star Vanessa Williams (Ugly Betty, Desperate Housewives), and Tony Award nominee Condola Rashad (Lifetime's Steel Magnolias, Broadway's Stick Fly). Directed by Michael Wilson, this 14-week limited engagement will begin previews on Easter Sunday, March 31st at the Stephen Sondheim Theatre (124 W 43rd St). Opening night is scheduled for Tuesday, April 23rd.
Stephen Byrd and Alia Jones of Front Row Productions are the producers of the first African American Broadway production of Tennessee Williams' Cat On A Hot Tin Roof (2008) - the highest grossing Broadway play that season - and the successful transfer of Cat On A Hot Tin Roof to London's West End (2009-2010) starring James Earl Jones and Phylicia Rashad, with Terrence Howard & Anika Noni Rose on Broadway and Adrian Lester & Sanaa Lathan on the West End. Both productions were directed by Debbie Allen. The West End transfer garnered the 2010 Laurence Olivier Award for Best Revival of a Play, a first for African-American producers. Byrd and Jones followed-up with a true depiction of New Orleans' diversity in their production of Tennessee Williams' A Streetcar Named Desire (2012) on Broadway featuring Blair Underwood, Nicole Ari Parker, Daphne Rubin-Vega and Wood Harris. This production, directed by Emily Mann with original music by Terence Blanchard was honored with the Eastern Region Actors' Equity Association Extraordinary Excellence in Diversity on Broadway Award for the 2011-2012 season. They were each presented with the 2012 Beverly Hills/ Hollywood NAACP Theatre Trailblazer Award. Front Row Productions is preparing to take A Streetcar Named Desire on tour and have secured the rights to the Brazilian classic Black Orpheus, one of Brazil's most popular plays, and the first to feature black actors on stage in Rio de Janeiro. The play was written by the famous Brazilian, poet, writer, diplomat and musician, Vincius de Moraes, with music by Antonio Carlos Jobim of Bossa Nova fame, and the "Girl from Ipanema".
The touching American classic, The Trip to Bountiful, tells the story of Carrie Watts (Tyson), an elderly woman who dreams of returning to her small hometown of Bountiful, TX one last time, against the wishes of her overprotective son (Gooding) and domineering daughter-in-law (Williams). Her journey becomes a heartbreaking but ultimately life-affirming and inspiring tale that examines the fragility of memory and celebrates the enduring power of hope and faith.