As a Lifelong Theater Lover, Common Is ‘Extremely Geeked’ For His Broadway Debut in Between Riverside & Crazy | Srtalent
(Photo: Brian Bowen Smith)
Common has three Grammy Awards, an Emmy Award and an Academy Award for creating the Selma song “Glory” with EGOT-er John Legend. Now he is making his Broadway debut in Stephen Adly Guirgis’ Pulitzer Prize-winning play Between Riverside and Crazy, and has a shot at a Tony nomination. On The Broadway Show, Common discussed what he loves about being a stage actor.
With nearly 4 million Instagram followers, a robust discography and a slew of screen credits, Common has fans spanning an array of artistic avenues. He says he has been a theater lover since childhood and has enjoyed seeing many plays before taking on the role of Junior. “I love what theater does for me as an audience member. Now, being able to participate, even in rehearsals—I love what it does,” he said. “So, I’m very grateful that Between Riverside and Crazy is my Broadway debut. My heart and soul is in it. I’m just extremely geeked.”
The Chicago native has used his platform for good. Through his Common Ground Foundation, he is dedicated to empowering high school students from underserved communities to become future leaders. He offered his Imagine Justice concert in 2017 and his Hope & Redemption Tour, performing at eight different prisons and ultimately establishing Imagine Justice as a nonprofit in 2018.
“One thing I’ve learned about life is we all have good and bad in us. I always want to create a human being when I take on a character,” he said. “Junior had a lot of conflict with his father. He had some friction, and you also find out he was formerly incarcerated. That’s not all of who they are. Those are some aspects of what they’ve experienced and what some choices they made, but that’s not all of who he is. I’ve been fortunate enough to meet people who are incarcerated because I’ve done work in prisons. I said, ‘What can I do for you?’ They said, ‘Man, just let people know we’re human beings.’ That always resonated with me. My acting teacher always told me, ‘Man, through the work, we can inspire. We can heal. We can change people through the work. That’s my goal.”
Watch the interview below, and head here to check your local listings for The Broadway Show. Hosted by Fadal, it is the only nationally syndicated weekly theater news program.