A new musical about Muhammed Ali is opening in Chicago next year

'Ali' will explore Cassius Clay's life both inside and outside the ring.

Anna Rahmanan
Written by
Anna Rahmanan
Senior National News Editor
Muhammad Ali
Photograph: Ken Regan

Ali, a new musical celebrating the life and career of heavyweight boxing champion Muhammad Ali, will have its world premiere at the James M. Nederlander Theatre in Chicago on April 22, 2025. The production will run through May 18.

According to an official press release, the musical will also explore Ali's life outside the ring, touching upon his activism, family life and more.

"From his early days as Cassius Clay, growing up with dreams of greatness, to his transformation into Muhammad Ali, the legendary boxer and humanitarian, Ali follows the pivotal moments, the triumphs, and the struggles of the man who was not only ‘The Greatest’ inside the ring, but also a fighter for justice and a beacon of hope outside of it," reads the release, also mentioning that the show's original score by composer Teddy Abrams will blend jazz, soul, rock and roll, classical and hip hop music.

Although he was born in Louisville, Kentucky, Ali spent part of his life in Chicago, specifically calling the South Side home, making the city the ideal place for the Broadway-aimed show to debut in.

"It’s very exciting and fitting that Ali is premiering in Chicago," said lead producer Richard Willis in an official statement. "The city held a special place in his heart. We are thrilled to be working with everyone at Broadway in Chicago to bring this powerful new musical to such a passionate, theatre-loving audience that will help us shape the show’s future."

Casting has yet to be announced but, given that the bio-musical has been in development since 2022, we expect for writer and director Clint Dyer to have a fairly good idea regarding who he'd like to feature on the production.

Until the official premiere date, though, you might want to spend some time catching some other shows at the best Chicago theaters.

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