It’s shocking that quality “Boys” is leaving Broadway By Kevin M. Thomas

Joshua Henry

Joshua Henry

Sometimes quality just isn’t enough.

After a successful run off-Broadway, “The Scottsboro Boys” made it to Broadway however, it never seemed to catch on – except with the critics. Alas, the wonderful gem of a show, which is I suppose the last one written by lyricist Fred Ebb before he died in 2004, is ending its short run Dec. 12.

Have no idea what vault this was kept in as supposedly Ebb’s last show, “Curtains,” was finished by Rupert Holmes, but nonetheless, “The Scottsboro Boys” made it to the Great White Way.  Perhaps it will enjoy a second coming like John Kander-Fred Ebb’s “Chicago” did. When “Chicago” first opened, it didn’t achieve the success its revival has been enjoying for about 15 years.

But don’t wait for “Scottsboro’s” return – see it now!

With simplistic sets carried over from the off-Broadway run, “Scottsboro Boys” will knock you out with great performances from every member of the cast, in particular Joshua Henry in a Tony-caliber performance as Haywood, who would never admit to a crime he did not commit, even if it  means a reduction in his sentence.

The ensemble is truly terrific but Colman Domingo and Forrest McClendon, both African-Americans, are also standouts as they both play many roles in the musical, including some bigoted white men (without the use of any special make-up – it’s all in their voice and their demeanor).

Based upon a true story, “Boys” is about nine teenage African American boys who were wrongfully accused of raping two white women. Since it never seemed that black boys would get a fair trial in 1930s Alabama, the case was kept in the headlines as they were in and out of court for about six years.

Told in song and monologues, with a strong leaning towards recreating a Minstrel show, “Boys” makes an impact. It makes you think. But not for long.

Final performances will be on Sunday, December 12 at 3pm and 8pm. Phone Telecharge at 212/239-6200 or order online at www.telecharge.com.
Check out the show at www.scottsboromusical.com