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Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, all African-American production to star James Earl Jones, Terrence Howard, Phylicia Rashad, Anika Noni Rose

James Earl Jones, Terrence Howard, Phylicia Rashad and Anika Noni Rose are to star in an all African-American production of Tennessee Williams' Pulitzer Prize winning play, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, to be helmed by Debbie Allen, who is to making her Broadway directional debut.

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof will open at the Broadhurst Theatre on 6 Mar 2008, following previews from 12 Feb and run for a limited engagement through to 13 Apr 2008.

Hypocrisy, greed and secret passions threaten to tear apart a wealthy but dysfunctional Mississippi family in Tennessee Williams' stunning American masterpiece. Cat on a Hot Tin Roof portrays the larger-than-life characters of Maggie "the Cat" (Anika Noni Rose), her alcoholic husband, Brick (Terrence Howard), and the dominating family patriarch, Big Daddy (James Earl Jones).

The creative team features: Ray Klausen (sets), Jane Greenwood (costumes), William Grant III (lighting) and John H. Shivers (sound).

Further casting to be announced in the coming weeks.

In a statement Producer Stephen C. Byrd said, "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof has been revived on Broadway four times before; this production marks the first African-American production approved by Williams estate for the Broadway stage. This revival of Cat is not only making Broadway history, it is making American theatre and black theatre history too!"

James Earl Jones last appeared on Brooadway playing Norman Thayer in "In Golden Pond" (2005) for which he was nominated for a Tony Award. Jones has a long and distinguished career on stage, and has won two Tony Awards: 'The Great White Hope' (1968) and 'Fences' (1987).

Terrence Howard is making his Broadway debut in the production. Howard was nominated for an Oscar Award for his portrayal of 'Djay' in the film "Hustle & Flow." His many films include 'The Perfect Holiday,' 'Pride,' 'Crash' and 'Mr. Holland's Opus.' He is to appear as 'Jim Rhodes' in the superhero film 'Iron Man' due for release in May 2008.

Anika Noni Rose made Broadway debut in 'Footloose' (1998). Rose won the 2004 Tony Award Best Featured Actress in a Musical for her role as Emmie Thibodeaux in the musical The Color Purple.

Phylicia Rashad is currently appearing on Broadway in Cymbeline. Rashed won the Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play for her performance as 'Lena Younger' in 'A Raisin in the Sun' (2004), and was nominated for the 2005 Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play for her portrayal of 'Aunt Ester' in 'Gem of the Ocean' (2004).

Debbie Allen is an internationally recognized director/choreographer known for working with The Royal Shakespeare at Stratford, and The Rahbani Family in Lebanon. A Culture Connect Ambassador Ms. Allen represented the U.S. in visits to Brazil, China, Italy, and India. A member of the President�s Committee on the Arts and Humanities, a board member of the American Film Institute, and an Executive Committee member of UCLA�s School of Theatre, Film, and Television.

Though this production marks Allen's Broadway directional debut, she is no stranger to the Great White Way. Her Broadway credits include choreography for Carrie (1988), she has twice been nominated for Tony Awards, the first was when she played 'Anita' in West Side Story (1980) and the second for when she played the leading role in the 1986 revival of Sweet Charity.

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