Dulé Hill to Play Nat King Cole in Lights Out: Nat ‘King’ Cole at New York Theatre Workshop | Playbill

Off-Broadway News Dulé Hill to Play Nat King Cole in Lights Out: Nat ‘King’ Cole at New York Theatre Workshop

The Off-Broadway theatre announced its 2024–25 season, which also includes a musical about the Arab Spring and a play set in Gaza.

Dulé Hill Jeff Lorch

Off-Broadway's New York Theatre Workshop has announced its 2024–25 season, which will include four shows. The biggest title is the play-with-music Lights Out: Nat “King” Cole about the legendary jazz artist. Dulé Hill (The West Wing) will play Cole. 

The show, co-written by Colman Domingo (Rustin) and NYTW Artistic Director Patricia McGregor, will run in spring 2025. It will be directed by McGregor. The play takes place on the final night of Nat King Cole's variety show, and features the crooner's signature songs, including “Nature Boy,” “It’s a Good Day” and “Smile." Daniel J. Watts (Hamilton) will also star in the show as Sammy Davis, Jr.  

Lights Out was originally produced at People’s Light, Malvern, Pennsylvania, and later played Los Angeles’ Geffen Playhouse. This upcoming New York engagement hints at bigger aspirations for the show. Domingo has already announced that he is adapting the play into a film, where he will star as Cole.

The other shows announced for NYTW's 2024–25 season are a new musical and a new play. 

The season will open in fall 2024 with We Live in Cairo, new musical from Daniel and Patrick Lazour, directed by Taibi Magar (The Half-God of Rainfall). The show follows six student activists protesting during the 2011 Arab Spring in Egypt. 

We Live in Cairo is produced by special arrangement with Madison Wells Live. The world premiere of We Live in Cairo was produced by the American Repertory Theater in Massachusetts.

Next, in winter 2025, will be A Knock on the Roof, written by and starring Khawla Ibraheem. It will be directed by Obie Award winner Oliver Butler (What the Constitution Means to Me). The play is set in Gaza and follows a mother preparing to flee.

A Knock on the Roof is a co-production with piece by piece productions and is presented in partnership with the 20th edition of the Under the Radar festival of experimental theatre.

A fourth entry in the upcoming season will be announced at a later date.

Said Artistic Director McGregor in a statement: “We look forward to sharing diverse and powerful storytelling through these productions and welcoming you to East 4th Street, where you may come for the show, but we hope you’ll stay for the conversation.”

NYTW is currently finishing up its 2023–2024 season with the Pulitzer Prize finalist play Here There Are Blueberries, which was just extended to June 30.

Visit NYTW.org for more information.

Production Photos: Lights Out: Nat "King" Cole in Los Angeles

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