Broadway’s return gets closer every day – but this week it was bumped up by nearly a month. The producers of Pass Over announced that the play would begin performances on August 4, 30 days ahead of Hadestown, which announced its plans to reopen on Labor Day weekend last week.
Pass Over is described by the New York Times as “a bracing play about two black men trapped on a street corner,” and features a cast of three actors, running for 85 minutes with no intermission.
“Every single day it feels like New York specifically, and Times Square in a focused way, is coming back to life, and I want our show to be part of that,” playwright Antoinette Chinonye Nwandu told The Times. “I want our show to be a very visible and very instrumental part of leading that charge, and so afterwe had done our due diligence and I knew that it was a safe thing to do, I said yes.”
Producers plan to perform to the full capacity of the August Wilson Theater, which holds 1,190. August 4 marks the beginning of previews, with the official opening taking place on September 12. It is scheduled to run until October 10.
Pass Over was initially staged at Chicago’s Steppenwolf Theater Company, then saw a 2018 run at Lincoln Center Theater. The cast from that production – which includes Jon Michael Hill, Namir Smallwood and Gabriel Elbert, is making the move to Broadway. Nwandu has plans to write a new ending to the production, intending to bring a more “healing tone” than the initial ending, which saw one of the main characters – who spend much of the production in fear of death at the hands of the police – die.
“This is not about opening early, opening first, or anything like that,” says producer Matt Ross. “It was about, ‘How soon can we bring this story, which I feel is really vital, to audiences?’ and ‘How soon can we employ people in a way that is safe and responsible”‘ We feel that this is the right time for us.”
Photo by Jeremy Daniel/New York Times