A Broadway revival of Melvin Van Peebles’ musical Ain’t Supposed to Die a Natural Death is in the works. Tony winner Kenny Leon will direct the production, produced by Lia Vollack. Van Peebles’ son, Mario, is also attached as creative producer.
Ain’t Supposed to Die… originally opened on Broadway in 1971 at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre before moving to the Ambassador. It scored seven Tony Award nominations, including Best Musical, Best Book Of A Musical, and Best Original Score. Several stagings have been presented Off-Broadway since its Main Stem debut, including one at Classical Theatre of Harlem in 2004.
The show is presented as a series of spoken-word vignettes with musical accompaniment, set in a underserved and predominately Black neighborhood.
“Ever since I heard the name Melvin Van Peebles, I have equated it with excellence, beauty, and courage. I am grateful to have this opportunity along with my creative team to introduce to some, and re-introduce to others, the richness of this unique musical experience,” Leon said in a statement.
Additional production details, including casting and additional creative team members, will be announced at a later date.