Jeffrey Wright, Mos (formerly Mos Def) to play leads
John Guare’s long-gestating play “A Free Man of Color” has set Jeffrey Wright and Mos for lead roles.Wright will play title character Jacques Cornet alongside Mos (formerly Mos Def), whose role is still unclear. Paul Dano and Gotham legit mainstay Peter Bartlett round out the cast. Helmed by George C. Wolfe, “Free Man” is set in 1801 New Orleans and focuses on the effects of the Louisiana Purchase on the city. David Rockwell will design the set, “Shrek: The Musical” composer Jeanine Tesori will provide original music, and Ann Hould-Ward will design the costumes. “Free Man” has been described as a combination of sex farce and historical drama, with characters including Thomas Jefferson and Napoleon. The high-profile show was originally slated to preem at the Public Theater in 2008 (with Wright and Mos Def attached) until tension between the theater and backer Carole Shorenstein Hays caused Hays to back out, and left the theater unable to produce Guare’s large-scale drama. Now, “Free Man” will open at Lincoln Center’s Broadway house, the Vivian Beaumont Theater, on Nov. 19, with previews starting Oct. 21.