When New Jack City first hit theaters back in 1991, it instantly became a cult classic. And now, more than 30 years later, fans will get to see the action-laden epic about the rise and fall of an inner-city crack dealer come to the stage. 

Houston producer and filmmaker Je’Caryous Johnson resurrected the record-grossing crime thriller on stages across the country. Written, directed and produced by Johnson and presented by Je’Caryous Johnson Entertainment, the touring stage adaptation of the Warner Bros.’ film makes its stop in Houston January 13-15, 2023 at the Hobby Center. 

 Johnson’s adaptation of New Jack City Live stars actor Allen Payne, who will be reprising his role from the film, as “Gee Money,” rapper and lead singer of the iconic rap group Naughty By Nature, “Treach”as “Nino Brown,” rapper Big Daddy Kane as “Stone,” actor and star of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, Gary Dourdan as “Scotty Appleton,” and actor and star of One on One, Flex Alexander as “Pookie.”

One of the iconic scenes from “New Jack City.”

 New Jack City premiered at the Sundance Film Festival on January 17, 1991 and released nationally on March 8, 1991. Earning more than $47 million domestically, the film was the highest-grossing indie film of the year. The film chronicles the rise and fall of the infamous Nino Brown (Wesley Snipes) and the Cash Money Brothers and is based upon an original story and screenplay written by Thomas Lee Wright. With appearances by Ice T as New York City police detective “Scotty Appleton,” Allen Payne as “Gee Money” and Chris Rock as “Pookie,” the story not only created a cultural movement, but it also ignited our collective conscience, inspiring generations to come, and continuing to influence the culture that made it a success story.

“The stageplay will be a mirror image of the emotion and grit that immediately turned New Jack City into instant, movie magic,” Johnson said. “It takes place in the same metropolis-Harlem, NY where drug kingpin Nino Brown takes over a housing project and transforms it into a fortress-like crack house. Nino and his gang, the Cash Money Brothers, will ply their trade with total impunity– one crime family will still be bonded by blood and forged together through friendship.”

JeCaryous Johnson

Johnson, who last brought the hit movie, Set it Off, to the stage, says fans can expect to relive all their favorite, intense, heart-pounding moments from the blockbuster movie. The stage adaptation will continue to build on the cultural legacy, the musical impact and the social relevancy that the movie so boldly brought to life, fusing the captivating thrill-a-minute storyline, the memorable lines everyone knows and loves, and the iconic musical soundtrack.

 “In bringing New Jack City to the stage, I have the privilege of celebrating and paying homage to the Black actors that excelled at their craft and created an unforgettable movie and characters that became classics to Black culture. I am delighted and excited to reunite these unforgettable characters with the fans that they’ve left their indelible mark on, and I am grateful to Warner Bros. for entrusting me to breathe new life into this cultural centerpiece. I look forward to the challenge of updating this classic story with a modern twist,” he said. 

Visit www.jecaryous.com for more information. 


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