Christopher Paul Curtis’ 1999 novel won the American Library Association’s prestigious Newbery Medal for excellence in American children's literature, as well as the Coretta Scott King Award, which recognizes outstanding African-American authors. Later, Reginald Andre Jackson adapted the book for the stage, and, following an acclaimed debut at Book-It Repertory Theatre in Seattle in 2007, the play has been successfully produced in Minneapolis, Houston, Chicago and elsewhere, both in professional and university venues. It’s a tough, Depression-era tale about a 10-year-old who bangs around from a Flint, Mich., orphanage to an abusive foster home, eventually launching into a journey to find the father he’s never met — his only clue a flyer advertising a jazz band. Nashville Children’s Theatre’s new production, under Scot Copeland’s direction, features a predominantly African-American cast, including performers new to NCT such as Shawn Whitsell, David Chattam and Alicia Haymer, each of whom has been toting up tons of solid experience in Music City’s community, university and semi-pro theaters. Other talented players include Aleta Myles, Jon Royal and Peter Vann. Yet another new face, N. Staggs, plays the leading role of Bud Caldwell.