Dixon set to play Ray Charles in Broadway musical

In this theater publicity image released by Sam Rudy Media Relations, from left, Derrick Cobey, Julius Thomas III, Brandon Victor Dixon and Josh Breckenridge are shown in a scene from "The Scottsboro Boys," a musical featuring a score by John Kander and Fred Ebb, now playing at off-Broadway's Vineyard Theatre in New York. (AP Photo/Sam Rudy Media Relations, Carol Rosegg)

April 29, 2010 7:23:38 PM PDT
Broadway has chosen its Ray Charles.

Actor Brandon Victor Dixon will portray the legendary singer in "Unchain My Heart," a new musical opening Nov. 7. Preview performances begin Oct. 8 at a theater to be announced.

Producer Stuart Benjamin said Thursday the cast would include Nikki Renee Daniels, Harrison White and Tasha Taylor. The show features a script by Suzan-Lori Parks and direction by Sheldon Epps.

Benjamin worked with the late singer for 15 years and produced "Ray," the hit movie about his life starring Jamie Foxx. Parks won a Pulitzer Prize for her play "Topdog/Underdog."

Dixon won rave reviews earlier this season for his performance in "The Scottsboro Boys," the John Kander-Fred Ebb musical at off-Broadway's Vineyard Theatre. He also starred in the original Broadway production of "The Color Purple" as Harpo.