Broadway's The Piano Lesson will say goodbye to Trai Byers January 15. Byers made his Broadway debut as Avery in the August Wilson Revival, currently playing at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre through January 29.
Stepping into the role for the final performances will be understudy Charles Browning. Also departing the cast will be understudy Shirine Babb. New understudy Rosalyn Coleman joins a company also featuring Samuel L. Jackson, John David Washington, Danielle Brooks, Ray Fisher, April Matthis, and Michael Potts, with Nadia Daniel and Jurnee Swan alternating in the role of Maretha.
Set in Pittsburgh's Hill District in 1936, The Piano Lesson follows a brother and sister who are embroiled in a battle over a family heirloom piano carved with the faces of their ancestors. Tony nominee LaTanya Richardson Jackson, the first woman to direct an August Wilson play on Broadway, helms the production.
The creative team also includes Tony-winning music director Jason Michael Webb, who composed new music for the revival, Tony-winning set designer Beowulf Boritt, Tony-nominated costume designer Toni-Leslie James, Tony-nominated lighting designer Japhy Weideman, Tony-winning sound designer Scott Lehrer, Drama Desk-nominated designer Cookie Jordan, Tony-winning projection designer Jeff Snug, and choreographer Otis Sallid. Casting is by Calleri, Jensen, Davis, and general management is by Foresight Theatrical.
Wilson's play originally made its world premiere at Yale Repertory Theatre in 1987 (with Samuel L. Jackson starring as Boy Willie). In 1990, the play was staged at Chicago's Goodman Theatre, and subsequently transferred to Broadway's Walter Kerr Theatre. The Pulitzer Prize-winning drama received Tony nominations for Best Play, Best Direction of a Play, Best Featured Actor in a Play, Best Actor in a Play, and Best Featured Actress in a Play.