Norm Lewis Tackles Family Dynamics As ‘Steady,’ ‘Heartbeat Of The Family’ Reginald In ‘Chicken & Biscuits’

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Exclusive Interview

November 4, 2021 3:54PM EDT

Norm Lewis spoke to HL astir Broadway’s newest play, ‘Chicken & Biscuits’ & however the amusement brings airy to household values.

Chicken & Biscuits is 1 of Broadway’s newest archetypal plays, and 1 of 7 caller plays this play written by Black playwrights pursuing respective much-needed conversations astir inclusion, equality and practice wrong the industry. The play, which precocious welcomed connected committee producers Nick Jonas and Priyanka Chopra Jonas, stars Emmy, Tony, and SAG-nominated multi-hyphenate Norm Lewis, who antecedently made past successful 2014 arsenic The Phantom Of The Opera’s first African-American Phantom connected Broadway. “It’s ever large to commencement a caller amusement and I’m ever excited to make a caller character. It’s amusive to measurement into a role, similar when I did in Chicago or Phantom, but it’s ever large to make your own, particularly erstwhile it’s a caller show,” Norm told HollywoodLife successful an EXCLUSIVE interview. “I referenced my grandfather, who was a preacher, truthful I invoked his spirit. I besides americium invoking the spirits of the pastors that I grew up with, conscionable trying to benignant of clasp what a pastor does successful a church, trying to beryllium a large leader.”

Norm Lewis successful ‘Chicken & Biscuits’ (Kareem Black)

Norm stars arsenic Reginald Mabry, hubby to Baneatta Mabry (Cleo King), who is mourning the nonaccomplishment of her father, the pastor of their section congregation. After his death, Reginald indispensable measurement into the relation of pastor, eulogize his father-in-law and effort to negociate each of the familial chaos and play that comes with unexpected household reunions. “Reginald is the dependable one. I see him the heartbeat of the family.  Although helium is dealing with his ain nervousness stepping into the patriarchal relation of the family, helium tries to marque everyone other astir him consciousness unafraid successful a clip of grief and uncertainty,” Norm explained. “I deliberation that’s what pastors effort to bash for their congregations and for their families.”

The chaos continues arsenic the Mabry’s youngest son, Kenny, brings his white, Jewish fellow Logan to the funeral. While Reginald is accepting of his son’s sexuality, Baneatta and her daughter, Simone, crook their chemoreceptor up astatine Logan immoderate accidental they get. “Reginald was ever accepting of Kenny’s sexuality. He understands their points of presumption from a spiritual standpoint, but helium loves his lad nary substance what,” Norm said. “For Simone and Baneatta, they are some Black women who already person large challenges from a societal standpoint, and with Kenny a subordinate of their household being a Black man, who happens to beryllium cheery AND person a spouse extracurricular of their race, determination is fearfulness implicit the taste and societal response.”

The formed of ‘Chicken & Biscuits’ (Kareem Black)

He continued, “Blood is simply a precise important happening and you effort to support that passim each of your years, nary substance what struggles you spell through, you effort to enactment that out. Sometimes you can, sometimes you can’t. But successful Chicken & Biscuits, determination is redemption, determination is forgiveness, determination is understanding, and it’s shrouded successful drama that I deliberation everyone tin subordinate to.”

Chicken & Biscuits is presently playing astatine Circle In The Square Theatre connected Broadway! Get your tickets now.