Brind School Faculty Member Forrest McClendon Named to Broadway Cast of 'The Scottsboro Boys'

August 5, 2010

Barrymore Award winner Forrest McClendon (center), adjunct assistant professor in the University of the Arts' Ira Brind School of Theater Arts, will move to Broadway as a cast member of the acclaimed musical "The Scottsboro Boys."

McClendon primarily plays "Mr. Tambo," a role he originated in the Off-Broadway production that is now on its way to Broadway's Lyceum Theatre, and he moves in and out of other characters as well during the production.
Directed by Tony Award-winning director and choreographer Susan Stroman, the musical was created by the legendary songwriting team of John Kander and Fred Ebb ("Cabaret," "Chicago") and is based on the notorious "Scottsboro" case from the 1930s, in which nine African-American men were unjustly accused of raping two white women on a train in Alabama. The young men were convicted by an all-white jury and spent years in jail while the case was tried and retried.
Variety described the show as "A musical about racial injustice sardonically presented with all the crude stereotypes and vaudevillian humor of a minstrel show," and said that "'The Scottsboro Boys' dares you to be entertained – and you will be – while it makes you squirm."
The reviewer described McClendon as slipping "with chameleonic prowess and leering complicity into the oily skins of a series of characters toying with the boys' fates," and the New York Daily News called him "charismatic."

The musical opens its Broadway run on October 31.

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