On October 31, 2010, The Scottsboro Boys opened at Broadway's Lyceum Theatre. The musical told the story of nine Black teenagers who were falsely accused of committing a crime against two white women while riding a train in 1931 and then spent over 10 years subsequently incarcerated and on trial. It was the final collaboration between Tony-winning songwriting duo John Kander and Fred Ebb, with a book by David Thompson, and direction-choreography by Susan Stroman.
In honor of the musical's 10th anniversary, cast members Julius Thomas III (Hamilton) and Josh Breckenridge (Come From Away) produced a video reunion with their fellow original company and creative team members to reflect on the experience, and to perform the show's "Commencing in Chattanooga." The show's signature song, it was the number chosen for the Broadway company's performance at the 2011 Tony Awards, for which it received 12 nominations including Best Musical.
Thomas III says, "This short documentary is a labor of love, and my love letter to both the incredible show and original Scottsboro Boys."
READ: The Oral History of The Scottsboro Boys
The original Broadway cast included Josh Breckenridge as Olen Montgomery, Derrick Cobey as Andy Wright, John Cullum as The Interlocuter, Colman Domingo as Mr. Bones, Jeremy Gumbs as Eugene Williams, Joshua Henry as Haywood Patterson, Rodney Hicks as Clarence Norris, Kendrick Jones as Willie Roberson, James T. Lane as Ozie Powell/Ruby Bates, Forrest McClendon as Mr. Tambo, Julius Thomas III as Roy Wright, Sharon Washington as The Lady, Christian Dante White as Charles Weems/Victoria Price, and E. Clayton Cornelious, J.C. Montgomery, Clinton Roane, and Robin S. Walker as swings.
In addition to Stroman, Kander, Ebb, and Thompson, the creative team included Toni-Leslie James as costume designer, Beowulf Boritt as scenic designer, Ken Billington as lighting designer, Wendy Pearson as hair, wig, and makeup design, and Larry Hochman as orchestrator. The stage management team was comprised of Joshua Halperin, Alex Lyu Volckhausen, and Robin S. Walker. Read more about the Broadway production here.