Good news for theater fans in California. The Scottsboro Boys is currently engaged in its West Coast premiere. This is Kander & Ebb's musical that subverts the conventions of the minstrel show to tell the story of nine black teenagers who were falsely accused and convicted of raping two white teenagers in 1930s Alabama. The Old Globe Theater in San Diego has the production through June 10. From there, it transfers to San Francisco for a run at the American Conservatory Theater from June 21 to July 15. Though The Scottsboro Boys only ran for 49 performances on Broadway, the show has made a huge impact on the theater scene. It received an astounding 11 Tony award nominations last year despite being closed for over five months. Regional productions have been popping up all over the country since.
Playbill got their hands on a great highlight reel that shows off the style of the show. A big reason why The Scottsboro Boys did so poorly on Broadway was a very dry marketing campaign. This video is the direction they should have gone: a high energy showcase of the staging with just a hint of the horrors that will pop up throughout the night.
If you're in the area, I strongly encourage you to see this show in person. It's an event unlike any other in recent theater history.
Did you ever get a chance to see The Scottsboro Boys? I still think about the electric chair number from time to time. Sound off with your thoughts below.