Jonathan Burke & Ryan Jamaal Swain

Cast changes for final 2 weeks of Choir Boy on Broadway

Jonathan Burke assumes the role of Pharus and Ryan Jamaal Swain joins the cast of Choir Boy at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre.

Tom Millward
Tom Millward

As previously announced, company member Jonathan Burke steps up and assumes the leading role of Pharus Jonathan Young in Manhattan Theatre Club's current Broadway premiere of Choir Boy at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre tonight. Jeremy Pope has now departed the production in order to begin rehearsals for the Broadway premiere of Ain't Too Proud - The Life and Times of The Temptations.

Mr. Burke, who will play Pharus for the final two weeks of the Broadway run, is currently making his Broadway debut. He has previously appeared in the National Tours of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor DreamcoatA Christmas Story The Musical, and Mary Poppins.

In addition, Ryan Jamaal Swain joins the cast's ensemble and makes his Broadway debut tonight. He is best known for his TV role as Damon Richards on the hit FX series "Pose".

Academy Award winner Tarell Alvin McCraney's Choir Boy began previews at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre on December 12, 2018, and officially opened on January 8, 2019. The limited engagement was originally scheduled to conclude on February 17, 2019, before an initial extension through to February 24, 2019 and a second extension through to March 10, 2019.

Synopsis: "For half a century, the Charles R. Drew Prep School for Boys has been dedicated to the education of strong, ethical black men. One talented student has been waiting for years to take his rightful place as the leader of the legendary gospel choir. But can he make his way through the hallowed halls of this institution if he sings in his own key?"

Directed by Drama Desk Award nominee Trip Cullman, the current cast of Choir Boy includes Jonathan Burke (as Pharus Jonathan Young), Tony Award winner Chuck Cooper (as Headmaster Marrow), Tony Award nominee Austin Pendleton (as Mr. Pendleton), Nicholas L. Ashe (as Junior Blake), John Clay III (as Anthony Justin "AJ" James), Caleb Eberhardt (as David Heard), and J. Quinton Johnson (as Bobby Marrow), with ensemble members Daniel BellomyGerald CaesarMarcus Gladney, and Ryan Jamaal Swain.

The creative team behind Choir Boy features scenic & costume design by David Zinn, lighting design by Peter Kaczorowski, sound design by Fitz Patton, music direction & vocal arrangements by Jason Michael Webb, make-up design by Cookie Jordan, fight direction by Thomas Schall and movement by Camille A. Brown.

The play originally premiered in New York with MTC's sold-out, twice-extended, critically acclaimed run at New York City Center's Studio at Stage II in the summer of 2013. This production marks the Broadway debut for Tarell Alvin McCraney, who is perhaps best known as the 2017 Oscar-winning writer of "Moonlight".

Choir Boy Tickets are available now for performances through to March 10, 2019.

(Ryan Jamaal Swain photo by Amanda Ramón)

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