Hugh Jackman. Billy Crystal. Elaine Stritch. Bernadette Peters. Megan Hilty. These are just some of Broadway’s brightest stars -- and now we can add another luminary to the list – Mike Tyson. Aaaand my brain just melted.
BroadwayDirect.com is reporting that starting July 31, Tyson, who became the youngest boxer to hold the three major heavyweight boxing titles simultaneously, will be bringing his unique brand of entertainment to the Longacre Theatre for six nights with his one-man show, Mike Tyson: Undisputed Truth. That’s right: Mike Tyson, the man who bit off Evander Holyfield’s ear; the man who was convicted of raping an 18-year-old; and who has the voice of a fourth grade girl is coming to the Great White Way. Mike Tyson’s been hit so many times, how can that dude even remember his own name, let alone lines?!
As my dear departed Grandma Jean would have said, hell has frozen over. BroadwayDirect.com is also reporting that the solo show offers a personal look inside the heavyweight champ's life and will be directed by Academy Award nominee Spike Lee. Yeah, I’m sure it’ll be really precious. Undisputed Truth first premiered in Las Vegas this April, and when veteran Broadway producer James L. Nederlander saw a recording of the show he agreed to bring it to Broadway on one condition – that Spike Lee direct it.
Nederlander told the site, "The point is for Spike to really lend his creativity to bring the Vegas show into sharper focus." The show will also be cut down to 90 minutes and will feature a four-piece band playing music to accompany Tyson’s recollections. Oh how lovely. I hope there is a choreographed dance medley somewhere in the show.
Look, I understand that while in prison Mike Tyson converted to Islam. And since then he’s been on a big comeback kick, that he was in those funny Hangover movies and that apparently the "Baddest Man on the Planet" is just a big ole teddy bear now or some B.S. like that, but I am not sure I need to celebrate his controversial past and road to redemption. I mean, the dude has done some pretty sh*tty stuff. Do I need to remind you about the whole rape conviction thing? And really, who wants to hear that man’s baby voice for 90 minutes? Not me. While I’m aware Mike Tyson has a unique and fascinating story -- you could not pay me to listen to him speak for 90 minutes. Tyson once took down opponents out with his fists of iron, and now he knocking out Broadway theater goers with his voice.
So while I love Broadway and solo shows, I think I’ll pass.
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- Mike Tyson
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