Gabrielle Union to Lead All-Black ‘Friends’ Reading
The Emmys may have had a “Friends” reunion with Jennifer Aniston, Lisa Kudrow, and Courteney Cox, but Tuesday night the celebrated sitcom is getting revamped for a new generation.
Gabrielle Union is hosting an all-Black cast reading of “Friends.” The star-studded Salli Richardson-Whitfield-directed event, taking place Tuesday from 6 p.m.-7 p.m. ET at Zoom Where It Happens, will feature Sterling K. Brown, Ryan Michelle Bathe, Uzo Aduba, Aisha Hinds, Kendrick Sampson, and Jeremy Pope.
Bathe will play Rachel with Brown as Ross. Aduba, who won her second Emmy on Sunday for her work in “Mrs. America,” will take on Phoebe. Monica will be played by Hinds and Pope will be Chandler. The reading will spotlight When We All Vote, a non-partisan voter registration organization. The “Friends” evening comes on the heels of Zoom Where It Happens’ all-Black cast “Golden Girls” reading.
Jay-Z staged an all-Black “Friends” remake in his “Moonlight” music video in 2017 with Jerrod Carmichael, Issa Rae, Tiffany Haddish, Tessa Thompson, LaKeith Stanfield, and Lil Rel Howery. Instead of using the show’s iconic theme song, The Rembrandt’s “I’ll Be There For You,” Jay-Z replaced it with Whodini’s “Friends” from the 1980s. There is no word if Tuesday’s reading will include a different tune.
The “Golden Girls” reading’s cast included Tracee Ellis Ross as Rose, Regina King as Dorothy, Alfre Woodard taking on Sophia, and Sanaa Lathan portraying Blanche. Jesse Williams played a variety of men. It was directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood and narrated by Lena Waithe.