Nightly News | February 25, 2012
>>> finally tonight, there's something happening on the broadway stage here in new york that a lot of theater watchers say they have never seen before. the current crop of shows includes three written by african-american women. and that's just the beginning of some barrier-breaking changes. we get the story from nbc's ron allen .
>> can i fix you something?
>> that would be great. you know what i like.
>> black or white rice?
>> let's keep it black.
>> reporter: this is about summer vacation, comedy, drama and conflicts as the sons bring girl friends home to meet dad.
>> my friend, mm-hmm. she's italian.
>> you mean she's white.
>> she's italian.
>> reporter: what's unusual for broadway , this family is wealthy, dysfunctional and black.
>> how many times have we seen an affluent black family at martha's vineyard is never.
>> reporter: and alicia keys composed the music and gave it her superstar name.
>> one of the things that's a dream of mine is to able to help bring to life stories of diversity.
>> reporter: there's also been celebrity behind shows like "the mountaintop", about martin luther king , jr., featuring samuel l. jackson . and then " magic bird ." about the two nba legends. theater has changed during the career.
>> i was an actor. and i didn't get to play a character that even got to wear pretty clothes on stage.
>> reporter: broadway enjoyed a record box office last year. some analysts say a wider range of shows helped. for alicia keys who grew up in a tough neighborhood nearby, broadway has always been in her sights.
>> there was a lot of darkness that i had to pass through to get to the light of broadway , the big dreams .
>> reporter: i can't help but wonder that you want to be here on stage.
>> i would absolutely want to do that one day for the right thing.
>> i'm almost your sister.
>> no, no such thing. right now, you're just a gold digger engaged to my brother.
>> reporter: getting to broadway is one thing. staying there quite another. the curtain is coming down on stick fly after a three-month run. this season, more diverse actors and plot lines wait in the wings. ready to take the stage. ron allen , nbc news, new york.