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Jeannette Bayardelle and More Announced for World Premiere of The Harder They Come

The 1972 Jamaican film gets a musical adaptation by Suzan-Lori Parks and Jimmy Cliff.

Tony nominee Jeannette Bayardelle (Girl From the North Country) joins the world-premiere cast of The Harder They Come at the Public Theater.
(© Tricia Baron)

The Public Theater has announced initial casting for the world premiere of The Harder They Come, a musical adaptation of the 1972 Jamaican film produced and directed by Perry Henzell and co-written with Trevor Rhone. Performances will run from February 16-March 26, 2023 with an official March 15 press opening.

Directed by Tony Taccone, The Harder They Come features a book by Pulitzer Prize winner Suzan-Lori Parks, songs by legendary musician Jimmy Cliff, music supervision by Kenny Seymour, choreography by Edgar Godineaux, and co-direction by Tony Award winner Sergio Trujillo.

The cast will feature Tony nominee Jeannette Bayardelle (Daisy), Shawn Bowers (Ensemble), Andrew Clarke (Lyle), Jamal Christopher Douglas (Ensemble), Dana Marie Ingraham (Ensemble), Dominique Johnson (Jose), Chelsea-Ann Jones (Ensemble), Dudney Joseph Jr (Ray), Dwight Xaveir Leslie (Understudy), Morgan McGhee (Ensemble), Meecah (Elsa), Jacob Ming-Trent (Pedro), Alysha Morgan (Ensemble), Ken Robinson (Hilton), and Housso Semon (Ensemble). Complete casting will be announced at a later date.

The creative team includes scenic design by Clint Ramos, costume design by Emilio Sosa, sound design by Walter Trarbach, projection design by Hana S. Kim, prop management by Claire M. Kavanah, and music direction by John Bronston.

Celebrating its 50th anniversary, The Harder They Come tells the story of Ivan, a young singer who arrives in Kingston, Jamaica, eager to become a star. After falling in love and cutting a record deal with a powerful music mogul, Ivan soon learns that the game is rigged, and as he becomes increasingly defiant, he finds himself in a battle that threatens not only his life, but the very fabric of Jamaican society.