Producers of the Oscar-winning film "Ray" have tapped Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Suzan-Lori Parks for their Ray Charles stage project.
Parks, who won the Pulitzer for her 2002 Broadway play, "Topdog/Underdog," was first choice to pen the stage version of Charles' life and music, according to Stuart Benjamin of Benjamin Productions and Howard and Karen Baldwin of Baldwin Entertainment Group.
"She's a brilliant writer," Benjamin said Tuesday. "You read ['Topdog/Underdog'] and the way the words flow, the way the play flows, to be able to use somebody of that talent to write about Ray Charles was a no-brainer."
Benjamin and the Baldwins acquired dramatic-musical rights from the Ray Charles Estate and Ray Charles Enterprises; they will produce the play with Charles' longtime manager, Joe Adams.