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Saving ‘Ain’t No Mo’ – Hollywood Power In Today’s Broadway


With news of the new Broadway show Ain’t No Mo’ closing on Broadway, Hollywood couple Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith bought out a performance of the show. This comes after the show’s playwright and star, Jordan E. Cooper, began a social media campaign called #saveAintNoMo.


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“Now they’ve posted an eviction notice, we “must close” December 18th. But thank God black people are immune to eviction notices,” Cooper details in in an Instagram post.

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With stars like the Smith’s buying out a full performance, does Hollywood have the power to determine the fate of Broadway shows?

Ain’t No Mo’ could follow the same fate as KPOP

Ain’t No Mo’ is not the first show this month to receive word of closing. At the beginning of December, KPOP announced their last show on December 11th due to lack of ticket sales. Currently, Ain’t No Mo is struggling in the same vein, with the week of December 9th only earning $120,901 at the box office, averaged at $21.36 per ticket.

The show presents a unique reflection on being Black in today’s America

Told in a series of comedy sketches, the play asks an important question. “What if the U.S. government offered Black Americans one-way plane tickets to Africa?” We follow several passengers on a flight to Africa. The show incorporates satire, sketchy comedy, avant-garde theater, and drag (Cooper himself plays the role of drag queen Peaches).

Fenda Jacquet, Marchánt DavisShannon MateskyEbony Marshall-OliverCrystal Lucas-Perry, also star. Nik AlexanderJasminn JohnsonMichael RishawnKendren SpencerBrenni Tellu, and Emma Van Lare round out the cast. Ain’t No Mo is produced by Lee Daniels and directed by Stevie Walker-Webb.

Many reviews of the play have been positive. They’ve highlighted the unique and refreshing take on something as deep and complex as the Black experience in America.

“There’s no denying that this new playwright has lots of important things to say and a fresh, original way of saying them,” writes Frank Scheck in his review in The Hollywood Reporter. “Stevie Walker-Webb’s energetic staging adds to the excitement, as do the absolutely terrific performances of the ensemble who handle their multiple roles with stupendous verve and inventiveness.”

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In a statement by playwright Lynn Nottage, the writer acknowledged that Broadway is slow to accept and support newer stories.

“The Broadway Marketing machine hasn’t yet accepted that it is urgent and necessary to reach multicultural and young audiences beyond the same small homogenous circle they’ve been cultivating for years.”

Can Hollywood save shows like Ain’t No Mo’ ?

Efforts from stars like Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith prove that Hollywood can, help when they make the choice to. “This is the kind of activism that is just so greatly appreciated,” Cooper said to The Hollywood Reporter. “That’s when you put your money where your mouth is.”

Other theatre artists and Hollywood actors have chimed in a well. Sistas actor Brian Jordan Jr. commented on Cooper’s Instagram post writing, “I’d love to sponsor some tickets!! If anyone in these comments that want to go, and don’t have it right now… let me know.” Journalist Charlie Cooper wrote, “Excuse meee? Nah. Def gonna spread the word!!❤️.” 

While this does not determine whether the show will avoid closure on December 18th, the fight for Ain’t No Mo’ is not over.


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