The life and legacy of heavyweight boxing champion and Louisville native Muhammad Ali will take center stage in a new musical.
The show’s senior producer, Richard Willis, has announced the development of the new musical, titled “Ali“, earlier this month in a press release.
“In telling the story of Muhammad Ali, ‘ALI’ will use the medium of musical theater to explore the life of the man who overcame tremendous odds to become the GOAT and used his platform to become the one of the most influential and inclusive civil rights leaders you may ever know,” the statement read.
Lonnie Ali, the widow of The Greatest, gave her blessing.
“Muhammad was a muse and continues to be an inspiration to so many artists around the world,” Lonnie Ali said in the statement. “I’m so proud to support this project and thrilled to see its story come to life on the Broadway stage.”
Willis said he was honored to have the chance to “tell the complex and incredibly powerful story of Muhammad Ali on stage with two of the most gifted artists working today.”
These two artists include Clint Dyer, deputy artistic director of the National Theater in London, who was asked to direct the show and write the book. Music Director of the Louisville Orchestra Teddy Abram will compose the music; Abraham wrote a multimedia rap-oratorio about Ali in 2016 after his death.
Dyer called the opportunity a dream come true.
Abrams said his 2016 composition helped him understand how “Ali’s journey from fighter to humanitarian reflected the personal and global conflicts and contradictions of the human condition.”
“And through his lens, I came to understand better the persistent and fundamental issues, and the continuing need to fight for peace and equality,” Abrams said in the statement. “Ali deserves the epic and dramatic treatment of a full-scale musical, enshrining his legend and his teachings for his fans as well as new generations to come.”
The producers finally have their sights set on Broadway.
But the show will first play a pre-Broadway broadcast in the United States. Details on this have yet to be announced.
In the statement, producer Richard Willis said he hopes to share information about other members of the creative team, including the choreographer, soon.