Mike Tyson, who is almost as well known for his record of violence out of the ring as in it, is bringing his one-man-show “Truth” to Broadway.
The show has been a Vegas hit since its debut in April, perhaps because a Vegas audience is pitch-perfect for Tyson’s outlandish life story, which is what the show is (allegedly) based on. In it, he tells of his early life, his experiences in the ring, his stormy marriage to Robin Givens, and even of some brutal barfights that reportedly sound like something from a “Hangover” film. But Tyson may find that without the glitter and noise of Vegas behind him, the lurid tales of his life before and after boxing just don’t have the same ring to them. Broadway audiences will be after something different; that’s where director Spike Lee comes in.
After seeing a recording of Tyson’s Vegas performance, Lee knew immediately that he wanted to work with Tyson, and the pair will begin working on the Broadway script after July 4th. Lee admits it needs a few “tweaks” to get it stage-ready, but he is impressed with Tyson’s ability to put himself out there.
“It takes courage to get in the ring,” said Lee. “And it takes courage to get on the stage…It’s a great story and he tells it masterfully. He’s lifted himself off the canvas.”
Tyson is a great storyteller, which accounts for much of the show’s success; but sometimes, people just want to hear the juicy stuff, and his tale of seeing ex-wife Robin Givens with Brad Pitt is certainly that. The story made his show, as well as the time he was hospitalized in a psychiatric clinic over cocaine abuse.
As the youngest heavyweight champion to ever win the title–at 20 years old–Tyson had a path paved with gold ahead of him until it became marred by drugs, violence, and allegations of sexual and physical abuse by his ex-wife and by a woman who claimed he raped her, which earned him three years in prison. “Truth” is Tyson’s way of telling his side of the story and, perhaps, finding peace with it.