Musical About Muhammad Ali’S Life Is Headed To Broadway, Will Premiere In Louisville First


The legendary life of Muhammad Ali will be featured on Broadway, but his hometown of Louisville will get the first look.

The musical, “Ali,” will tell the story of his upbringing and his journey to become “the greatest.”

The production crew has spent time studying Ali and Louisville to write the story. Clint Dyer, the writer and director of “Ali,” said that was a crucial part of understanding the champ.

“For me, it’s about authenticity,” said Dyer. “As a writer, being able to take from what’s around me [is important]. If I did it in L.A., I wouldn’t be taking the feel of Muhammad Ali.”

Dyer said the Ali Center has helped paint the best picture possible as to who Ali was.


“A lot of times with these museums, there’s a certain type of detachment because it’s [built] after someone’s passed away, but Ali was involved in the making of the Ali center to such a degree that you can really feel his wit, his message, his understanding of the story that he wanted to portray,” said Dyer. “That place shook me, to be honest with you.”

After studying Ali, Dyer decided a musical was the best way to portray his life.

“The films have been brilliant, and documentaries are brilliant, but there’s something about music that can take you to another place,” said Dyer.

It helps to have some of the best in the business working on the choreography. Rich and Tone Talauga, the choreographers for the show, have worked with talented artists like Michael Jackson, Madonna, Janet Jackson and Chris Brown.

“Movement is another part of language. It’s speaking without talking, if that makes sense. So we’re going to try to put all of our experience into that and make sure that the body language and the physical acting is coming off as much,” said Rich.



“Finding unique and inventive ways on how to tell a story that’s so highly documented is a big challenge, but collaborating with what I call it the ‘Dream Team,’ I think we’re very, very up for the challenge,” said Tone.

Louisville’s own Teddy Abrams, the director of the Louisville Orchestra, will be in charge of the music. Abrams has been working on music about Muhammad Ali since he arrived in Louisville in 2014, producing a rap opera called “The Greatest: Muhammad Ali.”

“After that, I was left with this feeling of, ‘Well, this work needs to continue,'” said Abrams.

He later connected with Dyer, and the show’s producer Richard Willis, which eventually led to the creation of “Ali,” the musical.

Abrams credits his connection to Louisville as his inspiration.

“You can see the arc of his life from when he was born here to ultimately the funeral when the entire world came to our city. I think we’ve all recognized what it’s meant to have a hero, a global icon from our community. It’s something for us to be proud of as a town,” said Abrams.

The crew is still working on finalizing the details of the production but plans to begin casting soon.

The show is expected to hit the stage at the Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts in the fall of 2024. It will then move to Broadway.


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