A Free Man Of Color Broadway Information

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Vivian Beaumont Theater

150 West 65th Street

2 hours and 40 minutes including one 15-minute intermission

November 18, 2010 (Closing: January 9, 2011)

Broadway Play (Drama)

History :: Now Playing :: Schedule :: Reviews


Thu & Sat 2pm

Mon through Sat 7:30pm

A Free Man Of Color Broadway play follows the story of Jacques Cornet during a historical period of the 17th century. The play is written by respected American playwright John Guare. Mr. Guare was born and raised in New York City and author of such works as The House of Blue Leaves, Six Degrees of Separation, and Landscape of the Body. His renowned style, which mixes comic invention with an acute sense of the failure of human relations and aspirations is at work in "A Free Man Of Color." It's interesting blend of being at once cruel and yet deeply compassionate. The epic story opened on November 18, 2010 at the Vivian Beaumont Theatre.

The stage is set in New Orleans in 1801 before the Louisiana Purchase. The story also does a wonderful job as it travels to Haiti and France, including Napoleon's court. Jacques Cornet is at the center of the tale, a new world Don Juan and the wealthy man of color in the city. Through unstoppable historical events his world drastically changes as Jacques's paradise is upturned through increasing racism.


A Free Man Of Color Broadway play has received some mixed reviews. While most agree the lavish sets, direction, costumes, acting and dazzling writing is amazing. The majority of criticisms come from its attempt to inject sexually charged humor, which undermined the plays historical relevance. Still the work is bringing these historically relevant points into the 21 century at a time when New Orleans and Haiti represent heavy significance in modern society. The Lincoln Center's epic Beaumont's stage was built for producing high end stage shows and director George C. Wolfe takes for advantage alongside David Rockwell's broad set design. The top notch stage easily handles the demanding arrangements such as a full Mardi Gras ball, the immense unexplored wilderness of the Louisiana territory, and flying trips to France, Spain, and the West Indies. The play and all the production around it are fully competent in providing a realistic view into rich historical moments within every scene. The viewer watches as a young nation emerging from its 18th-century birth and groping for political purchase in modern times through Guare's witty impudent fresh perspective.

Historically relevant Broadway productions seem to be the theme this fall. Other new works which have gained a lot of attention include "Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson" and " "Colin Quinn: Long Story Short" and now A Free Man Of Color Broadway joins the growing trend.

Additional production credits include costume design by Ann Hould-Ward, lighting design by Jules Fisher and Peggy Eisenhauer, and instrumental music by Jeanine Tesori. The original cast stars Jeffrey Wrightplaying the title role, with a background cast, including Veanne Cox as Mme. Mandragola, Arnie Burton as James Monroe, John McMartin as Thomas Jefferson, Robert Stanton as Georges Feydeau, Reg Rogers as Tallyrand, Mos Def as Cupidon Murmur, Paul Dano as Meriwether Lewis, and Triney Sandoval as Napoleon Bonaparte. Many Performers have been cast in multiple roles and do a delightful job. A Free Man Of Color Broadway tickets is on sale now at the box office for the limited run production.

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