Corey Hawkins and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II

Suzan Lori-Parks's Topdog/Underdog to be revived on Broadway this fall

The play won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 2002.

Gillian Russo
Gillian Russo

Corey Hawkins and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II will star in the first Broadway revival of Suzan-Lori Parks's Pulitzer Prize-winning play Topdog/Underdog this fall. The 16-week limited engagement will begin at the Golden Theatre on September 27 ahead of an October 20 opening.

Tony Award-winning director Kenny Leon will direct the play, which follows the adult lives of two brothers named Lincoln and Booth. The two Black men clash with each other as they weather their individual struggles with poverty, racism, their childhoods, and more that keep them together even when they'd rather be apart.

The show initially premiered off Broadway at The Public Theater in 2001, transferring to Broadway's Ambassador Theatre the next year. In addition to winning the 2002 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, Topdog/Underdog won the Outer Critics Circle's John Glassner Award for Playwriting (for Parks) and the Outer Critics Circle Award for Direction (for George C. Wolfe, who helmed the Public and original Broadway runs). The show was also a Tony and Drama Desk Award nominee for Best Play.

Don Cheadle and Jeffrey Wright (who won multiple accolades for his performance) led the previous productions. Its 2022 stars are also acclaimed stage and screen actors. Hawkins is a Tony nominee for 2017's Six Degrees of Separation, and he's appeared as Benny in the 2021 In the Heights film, as Dr. Dre in Straight Outta Compton, and as Heath in the TV series The Walking Dead.

Abdul-Mateen is an Emmy Award winner for playing Cal Abar in HBO's Watchmen, and he's also best known for playing Black Manta in the Aquaman films and Bobby Seale in The Trial of the Chicago 7.

Parks's most recent and only other Broadway production was her 2012 adaptation of The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess, starring Norm Lewis and Audra McDonald. Her other plays include Fucking A, The America Play, and the Obie Award-winning White Noise. Her play Plays for the Plague Year will also have its world premiere off Broadway at the Public this season.

Check back for information on Topdog/Underdog tickets on New York Theatre Guide.

Photo credit: Corey Hawkins (left) photo by Mike Marsland; Yahya Abdul-Mateen II photo by Seye Isikalu

Originally published on

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