Testimonials as 'One Night in Miami' closes today

'One Night in Miami' cast on opening night. Photo by John Moore.
‘One Night in Miami’ cast on opening night. Photo by John Moore.

As Kemp Powers’ One Night in Miami closes its remarkable run with today’s matinee performance by the DCPA Theatre Company, we thought we would compile and share some of the thoughts of cast, creatives and audience members have sent us or posted on social media. The play imagines what happened the night Cassius Clay won the heavyweight boxing championship in 1964 and immediately withdrew to a hotel room with Jim Brown, Sam Cooke and Malcolm X:

Actor Jason Delane (Malcolm X), center, meets with students from Denver's  Contemporary Learning Academy after a recent performance of 'One Night in Miami.' Ty Jones (Classical Theatre of Harlem): Why I love theatre. No. 1: People like Jason Delane, currently starring as Malcolm X in Kemp Powers’ One Night in Miami, taking the time to speak to these young men (pictured at right) who attend an alternative school in Denver for at-risk youth (Contemporary Learning Academy). These young men had never been to theatre before. No. 2: The Denver Center for the Performing Arts. Hope Grandon and Kent Thompson’s team made this happen. Keep up the good work. You may have just changed the trajectory of the lives of these young men. To the cast, Director Carl Cofield, and the team at Denver Center, thank you.

(Photo: Actor Jason Delane (Malcolm X), center, meets with students from Denver’s  Contemporary Learning Academy after a recent performance of ‘One Night in Miami.’ )

Miami QuoteTerri Valliere (Contemporary Learning Academy): I can’t thank everyone enough for making this happen for these kids. This is the first time any of them had ever been to a play, and they were completely mesmerized by the play, the people, and the experience. They were still talking about it today at school because the meaning behind the play touched them. Thanks for supporting the activity for kids who would have never been able to go if not for your generosity. Finally, thanks to actor Jason Delane for taking the time to talk to the children after to show them that there is so much more outside of the world they live in when they fight for change.

Kemp Powers (playwright): Sending good wishes to the One Night in Miami… crew on their final performance at the DCPA today. Congrats to Carl Cofield, Jason Delane Lee, Nik Walker, Colby Lewis, Rocc Omari, York Walker and William Oliver Watkins for your wonderful work. And thank you to Kent Thompson for bringing the show to Denver!

Colby Lewis QuoteColby Lewis (Cassius Clay): Feeling like Ali in this speech (above) on this truly bittersweet morning. I close one of the best shows I’ve ever been a part of. When Kemp Powers wrote a play about his heroes, I’m sure he didn’t think about writing a masterpiece. When Carl Cofield gave me a chance to step into the role of Cassius Marcellus Clay, I don’t know if he realized he’d just given me one of the biggest gifts of my life. When I met York Walker, Nik Walker, William Oliver Watkins, Jason Delane Lee, Rocc Omari, I’m sure they didn’t think they were about to change life as I viewed it. I could go on forever about the things they called Cassius Clay (soon to be Muhammad Ali). But through this amazing journey at DCPA, I found out what’s most important. And that is what you call YOURSELF. This process has changed me not only as an artist, but more as a man. Everyone has doubts, fears, and insecurities. But what makes you WHO you are, are your convictions, the ideals you stand behind, the words you speak, and the courage to defend those beliefs. I am not perfect; no one is but God. But I’ve learned from Cassius and the others I’ve worked with in Denver that I can and will be great, not just as an artist but as a human being. To truly be a STUDENT AND A SERVANT of the world. Maybe even the “Greatest of All Time.” I love you all, fellas BOMAYE!!!!!

Actors conduct a student talkback after a recent matinee performance of 'One Night in Miami.' Photo courtesy Kristen Adele. Jason Delane (Malcolm X) (excerpt): This has been a very special experience. Thank you, Kemp Powers, for crafting such a powerful piece of theatre and for providing six black male actors with these awesome characters to inhabit. There are way too many people to thank here on Facebook. I’ve already typed and deleted one post I was about to put up because I tagged over 100 people. I am humbled by the amazing men and women of the theatre that I have met through my participation in this play both here in Denver and in Los Angeles back in 2013. I thank all friends and family members who traveled near and very far to come here to Denver to see and support our work. Carl Cofield: Thanks for entrusting Brother Malcolm to me. Role of a lifetime. Kent Thompson: Thank you for bringing us to Denver. Your theatre is a gem. Kemp: THANK YOU. Rocc Omari, Nik Walker, Colby Lewis, William Oliver Watkins, York Walker: Y’all Family. Lets kill it one more time this afternoon and then go home.

Nik Walker (Sam Cooke): Theaters like this. Casts like this. Roles like this. Directors like this. Scripts like this. Crews like this. This is why I became an artist, in the hope that I would one day have an experience…like this. Happy closing, #‎DCPAMiami‬. Now let’s blow this thing and go home.

York Walker (Jamaal): Today we close One Night In Miami. This is a hard one to say goodbye to. Thank you to everyone at the DCPA for making this one of the best experiences I’ve ever had in the theatre. Kemp Powers has written an incredible play and it has been a blessing to be a part of it.

One Night in Miami montage of scenes:

Video: One Night in Miami
production photos by Jennifer M. Koskinen:

Our previous NewsCenter coverage of One Night in Miami:
Video: Jasone Deland and Colby Lewis talk Miami at the Tattered Cover
To Miami creator, ‘It feels a lot like 1964 right now’
How Miami playwright accidentally discovered The Black Justice League
Video: Bringing four icons to the stage in Miami
Watch a video montage of scenes from the play
Fourth-graders have tough questions for One Night in Miami cast
Photos: One Night in Miami is getting ready to rumble
Video: An inside look at the making of One Night in Miami
Video: DCPA cast gives shout-out to Baltimore Center Stage
Full casting announced
Video: Interview with One Night in Miami Director Carl Cofield
New Denver Center season includes One Night in Miami
Go to the official show page

One Night in Miami ‘meet the cast’ videos:
Meet Colby Lewis
Meet Morocco Omari
Meet Nik Walker
Meet Jason Delane
Meet York Walker
Meet William Oliver Watkins

Photos: Them making of One Night in Miami … in Denver: