Kenny Leon headed back to Broadway with ‘Children of a Lesser God’

Kenny Leon accepts the award for Best Direction of a Play for “A Raisin In The Sun” during the 2014 Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall. (Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Tony Awards Productions)

BY MELISSA RUGGIERI/AJC Music Scene

Kenny Leon is headed back to Broadway.

After a successful run at Massachusetts’ Fitzpatrick Main Stage at the Berkshire Theatre Group, the Leon-helmed revival of “Children of a Lesser God” will open April 11 at Studio 54 theater in New York City; previews begin March 22.

As with the Berkshires production, the play will star Joshua Jackson (known for his TV roles including “Dawson’s Creek” and “The Affair”) as James Leeds and Lauren Ridloff, a former Miss Deaf America, as Sarah Norman. Both are making their Broadway debut. The lead producer is Broadway mainstay Hal Luftig,

The original 1979 play was turned into a 1986 movie that earned Marlee Matlin an Oscar for her portrayal of Norman, a young deaf woman who leans on Leeds, a speech therapist and her teacher, as he tries to persuade her to speak aloud.

The Atlanta-based Leon, who won a Best Direction Tony in 2014 for his revival of “A Raisin in the Sun,” will see one of his previous Broadway projects, the 2014 Tupac Shakur-inspired musical “Holler if Ya Hear Me,” revived this fall through his True Colors Theatre Company.

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