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Delve into the fascinating world of Charles R. Drew Prep School for Boys in this absorbing masterpiece by Oscar Award-winning playwright, Tarell Alvin McCraney. The story revolves around a young and energetic student who braves the bullies and aims to lead the gospel choir of his prep school.

Why Watch Choir Boy

The political tensions of the student groups in the reputed Charles R. Drew Prep School for African American boys is delightfully brought out by the talented cast of young actors, some of whom are just out of school themselves. The songs are sung brilliantly and come in at the perfect moments to create an extraordinarily moving experience.

Tarell Alvin McCraney is brilliantly directed by Trip Cullman and produce by the Manhattan Theatre Club. Chuck Cooper, Austin Pendleton, and Jeremy Pope play the lead characters in the play and bring them to life in their own unique fashions. The memorable dialogues and beautiful choir music lead the audience on a magical exploration of the life and dreams of an energetic Pharus Jonathan Young.

The Story

The Charles R. Drew Prep School is renowned for grooming confident, ethical African American boys. The school enforces a uniform and expects its students to sport neat, textbook haircuts. The opening song, ‘Trust and Obey’, clearly establishes the strong emphasis on rules and obedience that serve as the foundation of the school. Headmaster Marrow, played by Chuck Cooper, decides to pick Pharus Jonathan Young to head the school choir at the 50th anniversary graduation ceremony. The headmaster believes that Pharus alone can lead the school choir into uncharted territory that is far beyond the choir’s current limitations. Unfortunately, Pharus has no friends besides his calm and collected roommate, Anthony James. He is forced to take on the immature school bullies who shun him for his somewhat feminine mannerisms and exuberance. The story spirals into a heated debate on the spiritual meaning and power of gospel music elicited by the quirky Mr. Pendleton. The show does a wonderful job of portraying the shifts in the characters’ outlooks through the songs that punctuate the entire performance.

Critics Reviews

“Terrific young actor-singers, some barely out of school themselves, not only make angelic choristers, they also pitch themselves into a hot debate on the meaning and value of gospel music.”
– Variety

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Know Before You Go

Show Details

Show Timings

Sat, Sun, Wed 2:00 PM & 7:00 PM
Tue & Wed 7:00 PM
Thu & Fri 8:00 PM

TBA (no intermission).

Leading Roles
Jeremy Pope as Pharus
Chuck Cooper as Headmaster Marrow
Austin Pendleton as Mr. Pendleton

Directed by
Trip Cullman

Written by
Tarell Alvin McCraney

Additional Information

Recommended for ages 12 and above, children under 4 will not be permitted in the theatre.

Available Facilities
Wheelchair accessible
Assisted Listening System

The Samuel J. Friedman Theatre has a seating capacity of 622.

Outside Food
Strictly prohibited. If you'd like to grab a meal before or after the show, check out our guide to the 30 Best Restaurants in the Theater District.

Dress Code
Smart and casual wear is recommended. Keep in mind, the theatre is air-conditioned throughout the year and can get a bit chilly.

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Cancellation Policy

This experience cannot be canceled, amended or rescheduled.

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My Tickets

Your e-tickets can be exchanged for physical tickets with our uniformed Headout hosts outside the theater.

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