Common set to make Broadway debut


Graphic by Josh Ilano

Sabrina Varuolo, Staff Writer

Highly acclaimed songwriter, actor, activist and rapper Common takes to the stage, making his Broadway debut in Stephen Adly Guirgis’ Pulitzer Prize-winning play “Between Riverside and Crazy.” Common is set to play Junior, a newly paroled son of an ex-police officer. This dark comedy tells the story of a father and son grappling to maintain one of the only rent-stabilized apartments on Riverside Drive. The show will begin previews on Nov. 30 and open on Dec. 19 at Second Stage’s Hayes Theater. 

Common has previous experience in acting, making film appearances in blockbusters like “Selma,” “Now You See Me” and “Suicide Squad,” but has yet to act live on stage. He took to Instagram to announce his casting saying, “this has been a dream of mine for a very long time to act in a play, to do theater, and to be a part of a theater company… I can’t wait to begin this process and to live this journey.”


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He goes on to say that he would never have believed that someone like him would be on Broadway and he is so grateful to join the cast and crew of this production.

Common is most known for his music career, predominantly in rap and R&B. The artist signed a record deal with Relativity Records in 1991 and has released many hit songs since then. Common has won three Grammy Awards, including best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group for his song “Southside” with Kanye West. His great success in the music industry gave him the opportunity to put forward his own record label, Think Common Entertainment.

Common then moved on to making music for the screen, earning him a Golden Globe Award in the Best Original Song with the song “Glory,” featuring John Legend for the film “Selma.” The artist went on to win an Emmy for co-writing the song “Letter To The Free” for the Netflix documentary “13th.”

University sophomore Sabrina Mugavero shared that she is excited for Common’s stage debut because she is a big fan of his music. Mugavero feels as though not enough people know who Common is and this will introduce him to a new audience and she hopes to see him earn a Tony nomination.

By making his Broadway debut, Common may be eligible for a Tony Award nomination, putting him one step away from becoming an EGOT: a recipient of an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony Award. If Common were to earn this honor, he would make history as the first rapper to do so.