Thoughts of a Colored Man

‘Thoughts of a Colored Man’ closes on Broadway, citing Covid-19

The new play was running at the Golden Theatre.

Gillian Russo
Gillian Russo

Only hours after Waitress announced its early closing on Broadway, Thoughts of a Colored Man also announced the end of its Broadway run on December 23. The show played its final performance December 22 and became the third Broadway show to close due to the pandemic this week, along with Jagged Little Pill.

"We have tried our hardest to safely navigate the current, unfortunate health crisis, but ultimately we are unable to continue under the unfortunate conditions of Covid exposure in the city and country," an Instagram post on the show's account announcing the closure read in part.

The announcement comes just days after Thoughts of a Colored Man playwright Keenan Scott II made headlines for preventing the December 21 performance from being canceled, stepping into the show last-minute in place of an actor who tested positive for Covid-19. The show later canceled its evening performance on December 23 shortly before it was set to begin. However, the impact of the pandemic on the company has now forced the show to end its engagement.

"While this is not the outcome we had hoped for, being part of this historic season on Broadway has been the greatest privilege of our lives. The theatre industry's great return is about so much more than the success or failure of any single production. As a community, we remain undeterred, unflinching and unstoppable. We have never been prouder to be theater makers than at this very moment," producers Brian Moreland, Ron Simons, Diana DiMenna, Kandi Burruss, Sheryl Lee Ralph, and Samira Wiley said in a joint statement, posted to Instagram.

Thoughts of a Colored Man was playing a limited engagement at the Golden Theatre, having played its first performance on October 1 and booking through March 20. The play, directed by Steve H. Broadnax III, followed seven Black men through one day in Brooklyn as they shared their inner lives through poetry, movement, and music. The show was the the first in Broadway history to be written, directed, lead produced, and performed all by Black men.

The four-star New York Theatre Guide review reads, "The dialogue crackles and swerves, personalities and conflicts, and probing questions about gentrification and poverty are brought up. The production is also buoyed by the chemistry of the cast, and the different energies they each bring to their characters. One thing is made perfectly clear: the Black community, and Black men especially, are not a monolith."

At the time of closing, the cast included Dyllón Burnside, Bryan Terrell Clark, Da'Vinchi, Luke James, Forrest McClendon, Tristan "Mack" Wilds, and Esau Pritchett.

Multiple Broadway shows have temporarily paused performances during Christmas week and in the days afterward, citing the spread of Covid-19 among their companies. Find out which shows have canceled performances and which shows are still playing.

Photo credit: Tristan Mack Wilds, Dyllón Burnside, Forrest McClendon and Da'Vinchi in Thoughts of a Colored Man. (Photo by Julieta Cervantes)

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