How Kandi Burruss Is Making History With Broadway's New Show Thoughts of a Colored Man

As part of E!'s Backstage Pass, Kandi Burruss took fans behind the scenes into the making of Broadway's first production written, directed and produced by Black artists.

By Mike Vulpo Nov 05, 2021 1:00 PMTags
Watch: Tony Awards Celebrate the Return of Broadway

Congratulations! You just scored a backstage pass to the hottest tickets in town.

After COVID-19 put a pause on live entertainment, your favorite artists are ready to hit the road and entertain audiences safely with brand-new tours and experiences. And regardless of where you are, we're offering an all-access ticket to every must-see concert of the year. Welcome to E!'s Backstage Pass.

Kandi Burruss is no stranger to the entertainment business.

Whether performing in front of sold-out crowds as a member of Xscape or delighting millions of viewers on the small screen in shows like Real Housewives of Atlanta and The Chi, the 2021 People's Choice Awards nominee isn't afraid to tell unique stories and entertain a wide audience.

So perhaps it shouldn't be a surprise that when the opportunity came to serve as a producer on Broadway's new show Thoughts of a Colored Man, Kandi jumped at the opportunity to take part in the historic project.

One Night Only: The Best of Broadway

"To be a part of the first production starring all Black men, a Black writer, a Black director, a Black lead producing team, it's an amazing feeling because throughout my life, I want to know that I've been able to make a difference and help people be seen," Kandi exclusively shared with E! News. "This is our opportunity to mix it up, make people smile and bring people to the theater who haven't always felt that they were represented."

Bruce Glikas/Getty Images

With a talented cast including Pose's Dyllón Burnside, The Chi's Luke James and Black Mafia Family star Da'Vinchi, Kandi can't say enough good things about the talented leads who have already delighted guests including Andy Cohen, Cynthia Bailey, Anna Wintour, Nick Cannon and Jessie J. 

"All the guys, they just bring something that I feel like people have not had a chance to see on any other show," Kandi teased. "I'm just excited to watch them do their thing."

Playing at the Golden Theatre in New York, Thoughts of a Colored Man blends spoken word, slam poetry, rhythm and humor into a new play for a new Broadway. As organizers tease guests online: Welcome to the vibrant inner life of being Black, proud and thriving in the 21st century.

Bruce Glikas/Getty Images

"When they see this show, I want people to realize that Black men feel the same way as any other race," Kandi shared. "When they see that Black man walking down the street, or in the grocery store or wherever you may see him, it may make you think differently about who he is, what his background may be and why he is the way he is."

Keep scrolling to go behind the scenes of Broadway's powerful new show.

Open the Doors

Thoughts of a Colored Man producer Kandi Burruss is celebrating the official opening of Broadway's new production at the Golden Theatre by giving E! News a look inside the making of a special show. 

BTS Magic

Playright Keenan Scott II and fellow producer Samira Wiley joined Kandi in celebrating the start of Broadway's show. "To be able to enjoy the theater again and see the creativity and all these stories being brought to life onstage, it's just been awesome," Kandi told E! News. "It's time! All of these creators needed to get back to work so I'm happy to be part of it." 

Taking Notes

"I know a lot of people may know me from the creative side or in front of cameras, but it's just important for me to learn the behind-the-scenes portion of whatever I do," Kandi said about her role as producer. "When I had the opportunity to come back to the show as a producer, I was so excited because I love theater and I love Broadway." 

Backstage Secrets

"As a producer, you're worried about everything," Kandi explained. "If there are problems happening, we have to figure out how to fix it…We could never get comfortable as producers." 

First Timers

"It's my first time being a producer on Broadway and a few of the cast members are making their Broadway debut as well," Kandi shared. "Luke James and I are both on Showtime's The Chi together, so it's cool. We went straight from filming and going straight into the processes of this together."

The True Stars

Luke James, Esau Pritchett, Da'Vinchi, Dyllón Burnside, Tristan Mack Wilds and Forrest McClendon star in Thoughts of a Colored Man. While Kandi is quick to sing the praises of every actor, there is one getting some extra love. "When people come to the show, everybody leaves talking about Forrest and his performance," she teased. 

Kandi's Mission

"I want people to walk away feeling like they saw a piece of themselves in some of the characters in the show," Kandi shared. "A lot of men have been shown in the light or in the news as one way, as aggressive and violent, all these negative things. But there are so many different thoughts, views, emotions of Black men and we do not need to be seen as one note." 

Want more inside access? Take a look inside Omarion's The Millennium tour and find out how Maluma brings his electrifying shows to life

Peacock is live now! Check out NBCU's new streaming service here.