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John Legend just announced Scandal star Joe Morton is playing comedian and civil rights activist Dick Gregory in the forthcoming Broadway play, Turn Me Loose. 

For those who don’t know, Dick Gregory, 83, gave up a successful comedic career to advocate with Civil Rights leaders like Martin Luther King Jr. and Medgar Evers. President Obama said Gregory was one of two of his favorite comedians. The other was Richard Pryor, who also said, “Dick Gregory was the greatest and he was the first.”

When Morton was asked about his thoughts of the play he responded with the following statement:


“It’s a beautiful piece of work. The conflict, basically, is watching this man who broke the color line on television in terms of being a comedian morph into becoming the activist he eventually became.”

Written by Gretchen Law, the comedic drama begins with a preview on May 3 and opens May 19 at the Westside Theatre.