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Kandi Burruss and Brian Moreland on Producing The Piano Lesson

Kandi Burruss and EBONY Power 100 recipient Brian Anthony Moreland have something to smile about. The Real Housewives of Atlanta star, along with fellow producers Sonia Friedman, Tom Kirdahy and Burruss’ husband of nine years, Todd Tucker, have announced that their hit Broadway revival of August Wilson’s The Piano Lesson has officially become the highest-grossing Wilson play on Broadway in history and the highest grossing revival of a play on Broadway this season.

It’s a major win for Burruss and Moreland who are working with director LaTanya Richardson Jackson, the first woman to direct a Wilson play, and an all-star cast that includes her husband Samuel L. Jackson, John David Washington and Danielle Brooks. EBONY sat down with the duo to learn more about their harmonious union, and the recipe to bring more financially successful Black dramas to Broadway.   

EBONY: How did you get paired up to produce the revival of The Piano Lesson?

Brian Moreland: I love this question because pairing sounds like there was a huge master plan to make it all happen. I had the pleasure and honor of working with Kandi on a previous show called Thoughts of a Colored Man. She has this collaborative, roll up your sleeves, put your hands in the dirt and let's really make this garden grow-type of mentality. And I asked, do you want to do it again? As soon as The Piano Lesson was ready to go, I called her and she said, “OK, I'm in.”

Kandi, was your mind blown when you saw the cast of this production?

Kandi Buruss: Definitely. I’ve looked up to Samuel L. Jackson most of my life. He's one of the top African American actors that I grew up watching. And LaTanya being the director was a big part for me because I'm always about seeing women open doors and taking things to the next level. For her to be the first woman to ever direct an August Wilson production is big deal in my mind. Danielle and I were already cool before we ever became a part of this journey together. She sent me a picture the other day from back when she was doing The Color Purple on Broadway when I went to see and support her. She said to me, “Wow, look where we were then and how we're doing this together now.” It's amazing to be able to work with people you look up to and admire and people that you are friends with to make something major...READ MORE


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