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Will Spike Lee 'Do The Right Thing' on Broadway?

Lee considers taking his classic film to the stage

Bedford-Stuyvesant gained national recognition as the neighborhood backdrop for Spike Lee’s 1989 drama Do The Right Thing.

Now, it seems the neighborhood may be reimagined… but this time, on Broadway.

Lee, who is the film’s writer, producer and director, most recently has been working as the director of Mike Tyson's one-man show, Undisputed Truth, which is currently on Broadway. And now he is considering the stage for his classic movie as well.

Lee hinted at it his burgeoning Broadway aspirations for Do The Right Thing on Monday during an interview on the Today show, where he said, "I'm talking to Sir James Nederlander (the show’s producer) about it.”

Do The Right Thing is the tale of simmering racial tension in Bed-Stuy that comes to a head and culminates in tragedy on the hottest day of the summer. Lee starred in the film, along with Danny Aiello, Ossie Davis, Ruby Dee, Richard Edson, Giancarlo Esposito, Bill Nunn, and John Turturro, Martin Lawrence and Rosie Perez.

The film was a commercial success and received numerous accolades and awards, including an Academy Award nomination for Lee for Best Original Screenplay and one for Best Supporting Actor for Aiello's portrayal of Sal the pizzeria owner.

Similar to the Broadway show Rent which was set in New York’s Lower East Side, Do The Right Thing, will give theatre-goers an interesting and inspiring look into Brooklyn culture, circa early 80’s, in the heart of Bed-Stuy!

"That sounds good," said Lindsey Massac, who was waiting in line at a bodega on Bedford and Dekalb avenues. Massac said she was in 8th grade when the movie first was released. "From what I can remember, the writing in that movie was kind of like a stage script anyway. But it would be nice to see Bed-Stuy on Broadway, especially if Spike directs it."

"It has the drama, it has the music, it has the dance already written into the piece," said Bed-Stuy resident Eternal Polk. "So I definitely can see it. As an artist, you always want to try different canvasses for your art, so I think it will be interesting to put into another venue. I think it will be a cool thing."

However, not everyone can see the play translated from film to the stage.

"I can't see it," said Petra Wheeler, a 42-year-old Bed-Stuy resident, who says she saw the movie while in college. "Because what made it a good film was the way he told the story visually and I don't know if that can be replicated on stage. But really, I don't know... you never know."

Do you think Do The Right Thing would make a successful Broadway debut? Tell us in the comments.

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