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Tony-winning "A Soldier's Play" is back in Philadelphia

CBS Philadelphia 1/24/2023 Janelle Burrell

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- A Tony Award-winning Broadway revival opened Tuesday in Philadelphia.

Tony- and Grammy-nominated actor and Broadway great Norm Lewis, and renowned stage and screen actor, Eugene Lee are in the city for the production of "A Soldier's Play," also a winner of the Pulitzer Prize.

The play was written by a Philadelphia native, the late Charles Fuller.

And it touches on themes still relevant today.

"It's a murder mystery. A whodunit. 1944. A segregated Army camp, a fictional segregated army camp in Louisiana and a sergeant is murdered. And it's about who killed him," said Lee.

Fuller, the playwright, died last October at age 83. "A Soldier's Play" was his most famous work, and the film adaptation "A Soldier's Story" was later nominated for Best Picture at the 1985 Academy Awards.

Fuller attended Villanova University and then joined the Army in 1959, serving in Japan and South Korea. He later studied at La Salle University.

The original, off-Broadway production of "A Soldier's Play" was in 1981.  

"I think it's the truth told with clarity. It's an honest, truthful insight into the African American experience. And the poetry of it makes it accessible," Lee said.

"It's exciting for us to be going to Philadelphia because Charles Fuller wrote the play, and so this is ground zero, if you will," Lewis said. "So we are excited to celebrate him, celebrate the piece, celebrate Philadelphia."

"A Soldier's Play" is showing at the Forrest Theatre as part of the Kimmel Cultural Campus's Broadway series, in partnership with The Shubert Organization.

It's showing in Philly until January 29.

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