Tony winner Nikki M. James and Tony nominees K. Todd Freeman and John Earl Jelks will lead the previously announced New York Theatre Workshop production of Fetch Clay, Make Man, Will Power’s drama about heavyweight boxing champion Cassius Clay. Directed by Tony winner Des McAnuff (Jersey Boys), Fetch Clay, Make Man is set to begin performances August 23, with an official opening night on September 12.
Based on a true story, Fetch Clay, Make Man examines the unlikely friendship between heavyweight boxing champion Cassius Clay (later known as Muhammad Ali), and controversial film star Stepin Fetchit. One a vibrant and audacious youth, the other a resentful and almost-forgotten relic, they fight together to form their public personas and shape their legacies amidst the struggle of the civil rights movement of the mid-1960s. In addition to James, Freeman and Jelks, Fetch Clay, Make Man stars Ray Fisher (Fetch Clay, Make Man at the McCarter Theatre), Anthony Gaskins (You Are Dead. You Are Here), Sekou Laidlow (Smash) and Richard Masur (Lucky Guy). McAnuff previously directed Fetch Clay at the McCarter Theatre in Princeton, New Jersey, in January 2009.
James won a Tony for her performance in The Book of Mormon. Her additional Broadway credits include All Shook Up and The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. Her film and TV credits include 30 Rock and Caesar and Cleopatra. Freeman garnered a Tony nomination for The Song of Jacob Zulu, and also appeared on Broadway in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. His film and TV credits include The Dark Knight and The Cider House Rules. Jelks earned a Tony nomination for Radio Golf, and has also appeared on Broadway in Gem of the Ocean. His film and TV credits include Blue Bloods, Miracle at St. Anna and Snap.