NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — Douglas Lyons has hit the big time, set to make his playwrighting debut on Broadway. He got his start in New Haven.
“I was singing as early as three years old,” Lyons said.
That was at the Thomas Chapel Church of Christ on White Street.
It’s a long way from White Street to Broadway, but Lyons is living proof that it’s possible. He graduated from Career High School and the Hartt Music School located at the University of Hartford. He said he caught the theater bug when the national tours of “Cats” and “Rent” came through New Haven’s Shubert Theater.
“Seeing those shows at the Shubert made me go ‘what is this thing, it has a name. Oh, it’s called musical theatre.’ Because I’d been singing forever and I’d been teaching and taking dance in New Haven. Then, I saw this spectacle that had lights and makeup and they were singing and dancing just like me. My teacher was like, ‘it’s called musical theatre.’ OK, well let’s check out that because I might have the goods for that.”
Clearly, he has the goods. As a performer, Lyons appeared in two Broadway Shows. “The Book of Mormon” was first, followed by “Beautiful: The Carole King Musical.”
He developed a love for writing, which led Lyons to write a couple of new shows, including “Chicken and Biscuits,” which Lyons said is about black culture, joy, family and healing.
“I have placed the home church that they’re attending for the funeral of the event in New Haven,” Lyons said. “It’s fictional. St. Luke’s, there is a St. Luke’s in New Haven, but it’s not that St. Luke’s.”
“But, the backdrop of the entire play is in New Haven, Connecticut. That was my love letter to my city.”
His dream is to take the show to the Elm City.