Nine African American teenagers in 1931 were hoping for better times but they were falsely accused of raping two white girls. The Scottsboro Case became notorious. They were found guilty and sentenced to years of brutal imprisonment.
The show's creators include director Susan Stroman, who has won five Tonys, including one for "The Producers" and John Kander, who with the late Fred Ebb wrote "Cabaret," "Chicago," and the song "New York, New York." David Thompson also wrote the books for "Chicago. "
The story is not exactly material for a happy musical so they had to come up with a unique way to tell it. African American actors play all of the parts, including white judges, attorneys and prison guards.
The musical had a limited Broadway run. It was meant to shine off Broadway. It is thought provoking.