Video: Why Suffs, Set in the Early 20th Century, Is Relevant to Today | Playbill

Video Video: Why Suffs, Set in the Early 20th Century, Is Relevant to Today

The new musical about the Women's Suffrage movement began previews March 26.

Suffs began previews at Broadway's Music Box Theatre March 26 ahead of an April 18 opening night. Hear from the production's cast and creatives in the video above. 

Set in the years leading up to the 19th amendment, Suffs explores the Women's Suffrage movement's victories and failures with a book, music, and lyrics by Shaina Taub. The musical played a sold-out run at the Public Theater in 2022. Jill Furman and Rachel Sussman are producing the Broadway premiere, with Hillary Clinton and Malala Yousafzai as co-producers. 

Taub stars in her own musical, reprising her Off-Broadway performance as Alice Paul, alongside Tony winner Nikki M. James (The Book of Mormon) as Ida B. Wells, Tony nominee Jenn Colella (Come From Away) as Carrie Chapman Catt, Grace McLean (Natasha, Pierre and The Great Comet of 1812) as President Woodrow Wilson, Hannah Cruz as Inez Milholland, Kim Blanck as Ruza Wenclawska, Anastacia McCleskey (Waitress) as Mary Church Terrell, Ally Bonino as Lucy Burns, Tsilala Brock as Dudley Malone, Nadia Dandashi as Doris Stevens, and Tony nominee Emily Skinner (Side Show) as Alva Belmont/Phoebe Burn. All cast members—save for Skinner, McCleskey, and Blanck—were also part of the Off-Broadway production. Bonino and Dandashi make their Broadway debuts in the show.

"I’m excited for people to see themselves [in Suffs]," McLean says. "We’re talking about a moment of history that was a hundred years ago, but we could very well be talking about 2024. I think people are going to see that...There’s something so incredibly familiar.”

WATCH: Get a Sneak Peek at 4 Songs From the New Broadway Musical Suffs

The cast also includes Hawley Gould (Camelot) as the alternate for Alice Paul, Jaygee Macapugay (Here Lies Love) as Mollie Hay, and Laila Drew as Phyllis Terrell/Robin. The ensemble includes Dana Costello, Jenna Bainbridge, Monica Tulia Ramirez, Ada Westfall, Christine Heesun Hwang, Kirsten Scott, Housso Sémon, and D'Kaylah Unique Whitley. Chessa Metz serves as understudy.

Suffs' cast and creatives noted that the work of the suffragists is not over. "It kind of takes the weight off of you to understand that you’re not going to finish this fight," choreographer Mayte Natalio says. "You’re not going to be able to complete it all the time, but if you understand that your ancestors also did it, and that you’re still here in spite of that, the next generation will also be here in spite of."

Adds McCleskey, "When I think about organizing and when I think about activism work sometimes we think thing happen overnight. It takes generations for things to happen." 

READ: How Suffs on Broadway Built Its Team of Powerful Women

The Broadway run looks like it will be substantially different from the piece's Off-Broadway world premiere—read those reviews by clicking here. Taub previously told Playbill that she has revised the musical heavily, taking out old songs and writing new songs. But the composer/star isn't daunted by making changes.

"There's a quote that I've always had on the first page of the script," Taub says. "'You are not obligated to complete the work, but neither are you free to abandon it.'" 

Director Leigh Silverman again directs the Broadway production, which features a largely new creative team. Aside from returning music supervisor and music director Andrea Grody, the Broadway creative team includes Suffs newcomers choreographer Mayte Natalio, scenic designer Riccardo Hernández, costume designer Paul Tazewell, lighting designer Lap Chi Chu, sound designer Jason Crystal, and orchestrator Michael Starobin. 101 Productions is the general manager.


Photos: Suffs Sneak Peek

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