When you're a Jet, you're a Jet all the way… to Broadway, it seems.
Twelve New York Jets, in fact, visit Broadway's MJ the Musical in the September 5 season finale of HBO's reality sports documentary series Hard Knocks, which streams on Max beginning at 10 PM ET.
In its 17th season, the Emmy-winning show has been following the Jets as they prepare for the 2023-2024 NFL season. Throughout earlier episodes, defensive lineman Solomon Thomas and tight end CJ Uzomah, who have seen MJ numerous times, champion that hit musical and other Broadway shows, including the new stage musical version of Back to the Future.
In the Hard Knocks finale, Thomas and Uzomah bring 10 of their teammates to the Neil Simon Theatre to watch MJ, meet the cast and creative team, and attempt their best moonwalk on stage. For many on the team, it was their first Broadway show.
Players and coaches in attendance included quarterbacks Aaron Rodgers, Zach Wilson, and Timothy Boyle; defensive linemen Thomas, Tanzel Smart, and John Franklin-Myers, tight ends Uzomah and Tyler Conklin; linebacker Quinton Jefferson; running back Michael Carter II; wide receiver Randall Cobb; offensive lineman Chris Glaser; and offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett.
“It was an amazing experience taking a bunch of my teammates to MJ with CJ Uzomah! We all had such a great time, and the performance was absolutely incredible,” says Thomas. “The guys loved it, and we had some first-time Broadway attendees with us. They are Broadway fans now. Thank you to MJ for the amazing experience!”
“Being able to take my teammates to MJ the Musical with Solly was truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Our love and affinity for theatre has now poured into those who attended, and we couldn’t be happier to have been able to shared our off-the-field passion. It truly was an unforgettable experience, and I can’t thank the MJ the Musical cast and crew for all of the love and hospitality,” adds Uzomah.
Watch Jets teammates discuss MJ the Musical below:
Back to the Future also received Jets approval. Listen below:
MJ, which began previews December 6, 2021, prior to an official opening February 1, 2022, features a book by two-time Pulitzer Prize winner Lynn Nottage and a score made up of some of the most popular songs in recording history. Tony Award winner Christopher Wheeldon directs and choreographs.
The musical also has sets by Derek McLane, lighting by Natasha Katz, costumes by Paul Tazewell, sound design by Gareth Owen, projection design by Peter Nigrini, hair and wig design by Charles LaPointe, music direction by Jason Michael Webb, musical supervision by David Holcenberg, and orchestrations by Holcenberg and Webb. Casting is by Rachel Hoffman of The Telsey Office.
The show took home four 2022 Tony Awards in total, including Best Choreography, Best Lighting Design in a Musical, and Best Sound Design in a Musical.
Read more about the hit musical in the Playbill Vault.