Common to Make Broadway Debut in Between Riverside and Crazy — Inching Closer to EGOT Status

·3 min read

Craig Sjodin/Walt Disney Television/Getty Common

Chicago great Common is entering the world of theatre this winter.

The Oscar, Emmy, and Grammy Award-winning multi-hyphenate was announced by Second Stage Theater this week as a new addition to Stephen Adly Guirgis' play Between Riverside and Crazy. Common, who will take on the role of Junior in the show, is one Tony Award short of reaching the coveted EGOT status, and a stint like this one could be his first step to getting there.

"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 am supremely grateful and overwhelmingly inspired to be a part of Between Riverside and Crazy," Common wrote on Instagram Friday. "I can't wait to begin this process and to live this journey."

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The character of Junior is the recently paroled son of ex-cop Walter "Pops" Washington in the dark comedy that follows them through issues arising with a rent-stabilized apartment, new houseguests, and some life changes. The production, directed by Austin Pendleton, will feature original company members Victor Almanzar, Elizabeth Canavan, Rosal Colón, Liza Colón-Zayas, Stephen McKinley Henderson, and Michael Rispoli.

"You never could have told me that little south side boy that he would be on Broadway," Common wrote.

When he first got the role, Common called his mother like he had just been signed to a label for the first time, he wrote on Instagram. To him, it was a moment of joy.

"I have been told how hard the work is and that there's nothing like it," Common shared. "This is what I want as an artist and as a being that believes art can heal and inspire. I want to be a part of the theater community to express that light and love. I thank GOD for this opening of doors and this blessing. So pls come check out our play y'all. Thank you @2stnyc for the opportunity! Wooooooooo."

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Common earned his first Oscar in 2015 for his track "Glory" with John Legend, he has three Grammy Awards after winning his first in 2003 for the song "Love of My Life (An Ode to Hip-Hop)" and he has an Emmy for his work on the 2016 Ava DuVernay documentary 13th.

Earlier this month, Jennifer Hudson opened up to Gayle King on CBS Mornings about securing EGOT status, and explained that she gave herself the nickname of "17" after winning her first Tony in June. The nickname represents Hudson being the 17th person to ever earn the title of EGOT.

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"It came as a surprise," Hudson said. "I did not fully see it coming. I went there to celebrate the cast for getting 11 nominations, and I don't feel like I've been present. And then when they said, 'Strange Loop, best musical,' I was cheering for them. And once we get on the stage, everybody started chanting, 'EGOT, EGOT,' and I was like, 'Wait what?'"

Opening night for Common's performance in Between Riverside and Crazy will take place on Dec. 19, while previews begin on Nov. 30, at Second Stage's Hayes Theater.