CHICAGO (WLS) -- "A Soldier's Play" has been captivating audiences for over four decades. And now, it's in Chicago at the CIBC Theater and getting great reviews.
Award-winning star of stage and screen Norm Lewis said this story of race and justice has a passionate message he wants to share.
It's 1944, and a Black sergeant is murdered on an Army base in the South. Lewis plays Captain Richard Davenport, a lawyer investigating what really happened.
"It's a story about these soldiers that are in World War II in Louisiana, ready and willing to fight for their country, and hopefully being accepted by society, maybe that will boost them up into respect, we know how that turned out," Lewis said. "It's such a great group of guys, the camaraderie we have off stage, we pray before we go onstage, wanting to be the best that we can... and also bring the truth to audiences who have come to see us, taking them through this journey."
Broadway star Norm Lewis on 'A Soldier's Play'
Lewis has been at the forefront of trying to make American theater, especially Broadway, more inclusive.
"I've been lucky, I've been one of those people who have been in doors that a lot of people who look like me have not been in, and I want to have that responsibility and show up at the table," he said.
Lewis has broken a lot of barriers in his roles as the first Black Phantom, and in "Les Miserables."
"That's the problem," Lewis said. "I was the first after so many years of a show being on Broadway, when there are so many talented people and qualified people for these roles."
As for bringing this show to Chicago right now, Lewis had this to say: "If you come here with an open heart and an open mind, hopefully you will bring something out of this that will be an understanding, whether you agree with it or not, but there is an understanding."
"A Soldier's Play" is at the CIBC Theatre through April 16.