The life and legacy of the late, great Muhammed Ali will be getting the Broadway treatment in a forthcoming musical, aptly titled ALI.
Lonnie Ali, the boxer’s widow, blessed Teddy Abrams, who will serve as the show’s composer, clarinetist, pianist, and conductor, with permission to adapt. Deputy Artistic Director of London’s National Theatre, Clint Dyer. The announcement was made on Wednesday, per Deadline, and comes from the Music Director of the Louisville Orchestra, Teddy Abrams; Deputy Artistic Director of London’s National Theatre, Clint Dyer; and producer Richard Willis, who brings the show to life.
“Obviously, this is an important piece for all time, but especially now. It’s an important piece for any time; it’s important that the younger generations know about Muhammad Ali and what he stands for and his examples. He’s always going to be an important example.”
Dyer spoke to the complexities of Ali as a Black man, emphasizing his transformation from Cassius Clay to Muhammad Ali. They also have plans to bring on more voices as a part of the creative team to really hone in on the African-American lens of the story (Willis and Abrams are white, whereas Dyer is Black), such as a Black artist to serve as a co-lyricist to Dyer and a Black choreographer.
You’ve got to remember he was one of the most famous men in the world called Cassius Clay, and you decide to change your name. There’s a beauty in his defiance.”
ALI is slated to hit Broadway in 2024. Revisit his 1965 fight against Sonny Liston below.