Turn Me Loose

Name: Westside Theatre/ Downstairs
Address: 407 West 43rd Street, New York, NY 10036
Production Information
First performance date: May 3, 2016
Opening date: May 19, 2016
Closing date: July 17, 2016
External Links: Official Website

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Production Description
Turn Me Loose is a new comedic drama about the extraordinary and explosive life and career of Dick Gregory, the first Black comedian to expose white audiences to comedy confronting racial issues. The play tracks the course of Mr. Gregory's extraordinary personal and professional history, how he forced himself onto the stage at The Playboy Club to discover an audience of southern, white, frozen-food conventioneers, transformed racist heckling to howling laughter and initiated an unprecedented comedy career. Turn Me Loose then reveals Gregory’s struggle between his newfound celebrity and his burgeoning yearning to join the activism of the Civil Rights Movement; how his commitment to equality nearly forced him to reject the greatest television opportunity of his career and his inner struggles facing the demons of his philandering, never-present father and the haunting echos of his mentor, slain civil-rights activist Medgar Evers. The scenes alternate between his early career in the ‘60s and the present day, revealing a life-long, unwavering dedication to the struggle for human dignity and civil rights.
Opening Night Credits

Production Credits
Person/Company Credit
John Legend Producer
Gretchen Law Playwright
John Legend Original Music
John Gould Rubin Director

Actor Role
Joe Morton Dick Gregory
Award Person / Company Function
1 WON 2017 Lucille Lortel Award, Outstanding Lead Actor in a Play Joe Morton Actor
2 WON 2017 Off Broadway Alliance Award, Best Solo Performance    
3 WON 2016 AUDELCO Award, Lead Actor Joe Morton Actor