'Scottsboro' thesp will topline 'Unchain' on Broadway
Brandon Victor Dixon, fresh off his well-received perf in “The Scottsboro Boys,” will portray Ray Charles in “Unchain My Heart,” the Charles bio-tuner set to open on Broadway in the fall. Dixon (“The Color Purple”) — recently nommed for a Lortel, a Drama League and an Outer Critics Circle award for his work in the Off Broadway run of “Scottsboro” this spring — will appear alongside Nikki Renee Daniels (“Promises, Promises”) as Charles’ wife Della. Also in the cast are Harrison White (“The Lion King”), portraying manager Jeff Brown, and Tasha Taylor as Raelettes singer Margie Hendricks. “Scottsboro Boys” also is said to be gearing up for a Broadway run after it plays Minneapolis’ Guthrie Theater this summer; Dixon’s attachment to that project now looks uncertain. “Unchain My Heart” is produced on Broadway by Stuart Benjamin, who also produced the 2004 pic “Ray.” Sheldon Epps directs the show, which has a book by Suzan-Lori Parks that incorporates a selection of Charles tunes. An earlier incarnation of the show played the Pasadena Playhouse, of which Epps is a.d., in 2007. “Unchain My Heart” is set to begin Broadway previews Oct. 8 ahead of a Nov. 7 opening at a Shubert theater that remains to be determined.