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Al Sharpton Gives Birthday Surprise to Samuel L. Jackson

Al Sharpton is one of a few famous people who have visited Ethel Barrymore’s theater. Recently, Brandee Evans, Condola Rashad, Deborah Joy Winans, Taraji P. Henson, Giancarlo Esposito, and Natasha Lyonne all visited the theater.

On his 74th birthday, Samuel L. Jackson celebrated by appearing in a Broadway production of August Wilson’s The Piano Lesson. At the end of the show, Reverend Al Sharpton surprised him with a cake.

The play will have a limited run on Broadway through January 29. LaTanya Richardson Jackson, Samuel’s wife, is directing it.

Before the show opened, LaTanya, 73, talked about how close she and her husband, Tom, had been before the opening night.

“Let me just say: Do you know that when I leave the theater—late after they leave—I go home and cook, and then do the dishes, so we’re all on that page,” she said.

After dinner, we talk about what happened during the day together. Sometimes it’s easier to offer suggestions this way, because that’s the time we usually spend together.

The play had its first performance at Yale Repertory Theatre in 1987, and it was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1990. The story is about a family conflict over the fate of a piano that is a family relic covered with artwork created by an ancestor who had been held as a slave.

The show says that The Piano Lesson is the highest-grossing revival play this season. It features actress Danielle Brooks (from The Color Purple) and actor John David Washington (from Denzel Washington’s son).

Ten years ago, Samuel made his Broadway debut on stage. He’s been busy since then and is finally coming back to the theater!

The Piano Lesson is a special moment for the actor who played Boy Willie when the piece made its debut at the Yale Repertory Theatre in 1987. When the show transferred to Broadway, he began performing as an understudy. LaTanya, the director, has been dreaming of directing Wilson’s play for many years.

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