Leslie Odom returning to Broadway for 'Purlie Victorious' in first role since 'Hamilton'

Peter Sblendorio, New York Daily News on

Published in Entertainment News

NEW YORK — Leslie Odom Jr. is headed back to Broadway.

The actor is set to star in this summer’s revival of the play “Purlie Victorious: A Non-Confederate Romp Through the Cotton Patch” in his first Broadway role since his Tony-winning turn in “Hamilton,” producers announced Wednesday.

Written by Ossie Davis, the satirical “Purlie Victorious” originally opened in 1961 and centers on a traveling preacher during the Jim Crow era in the American South.

“Ossie Davis gave the American theater an American hero in Purlie Judson,” Odom, 41, said in a statement. “I have loved this piece and its author, Mr. Davis, for well over half my life. His writing and acting, his integrity, the commitment he and his brilliant wife made to nurturing young talent, and the example of citizenship have meant so much to me! I am thrilled beyond measure to be part of this revival company.”

The play will be directed by Kenny Leon, who previously helmed productions of “Ohio State Murders” and “Topdog/Underdog.” Producers say the show will open during the late summer but haven’t given the exact date.

The Queens-born Odom won the 2016 Tony for best actor in a musical for his portrayal of Aaron Burr in “Hamilton.” The cast of the Lin Manuel Miranda musical also won best musical theater album at the 2016 Grammy Awards.


Odom has largely focused on movies since leaving “Hamilton” in July 2016, receiving an Oscar nomination for “One Night in Miami” and starring in “The Many Saints of Newark” and “Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery.”

He’s also released four albums, most recently “The Christmas Album” in 2020. Odom told the Daily News that year that receiving a karaoke machine for Christmas at age 10 was a formative experience.

“(Writer) Malcolm Gladwell talks about the 10,000 hours. That’s how long it takes to become an expert at anything,” Odom said. “I may not have put in all 10,000 on that karaoke machine, but it got me started. Definitely a good 2,000 or 3,000 of those hours were spent from that Christmas Day on, just working on my craft.”


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