After a seven-year absence punctuated by health issues, acclaimed actor and School of Theater faculty Ron Cephas Jones returns to the Broadway stage in Clyde’s, a play by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Lynn Nottage now running at Second Stage Theater in New York City.
Jones is best known for his portrayal of William Hill on the NBC drama This is Us, for which he received two Primetime Emmy Awards, but boasts an expansive career as a theater artist in both on- and off-Broadway productions. Clyde’s follows the formerly incarcerated kitchen staff of a sandwich shop run by the titular character (played by Uzo Aduba). Jones plays Montrellous, the contemplative cook holding the kitchen together, written by Nottage with Jones in mind. On the show’s production team is fellow School of Theater faculty Christopher Akerlind as lighting designer.
Clyde’s was selected as a New York Times Critic’s Pick in November 2021. In the review, chief theater critic Jesse Green applauded Jones for combining Montrellous’ “Zen imperturbability” with the “subtle dashes of pain and sacrifice,” the latter reminiscent of This is Us’ Williams and other characters he had previously portrayed.
The New York Times also recently detailed Jones’ return to the stage after a lengthy battle with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, eventually culminating in a double lung transplant in May 2021.
“My whole life has been the stage,” Jones was quoted in the article. “The idea of not performing again seemed worse to me than death.”
Clyde’s is running now until Sunday, Jan. 16.