Yara Shahidi is hosting a digital table read of A Different World. The Grown-ish star is participating to raise awareness for Michelle Obama’s When We All Vote Initiative. The event is the final installment of Zoom Where It Happens, a series of virtual performances that have included reimagined versions of classic TV shows such as Friends, 227 and Golden Girls

It will take place on Tuesday, October 27 at 6:00 p.m. PST / 9:00 p.m. EST. 

Debbie Allen, who served as a producer and director on A Different World, will direct Tuesday’s table read. The Emmy, Tony and Golden Globe winner will also appear as Patti Labelle’s character Adele. 

Tessa Thompson, Storm Reid, Kelly McCreary (Grey’s Anatomy), Lil Yachty and Oswin Benjamin (The Forty-Year-Old Version) are starring in the reading. The cast will be re-enacting an episode from the later years of the beloved series. 

Photo: Getty

Access to the show is free and open to the public but attendees are required to register to receive ongoing messages regarding elections from a number of social justice organizations in lieu of payment.

Here’s who’s playing who in the episode: McCreary will go from the operating room to the HBCU classroom by portraying the bad and boujee Whitley Gilbert. Benjamin will play the perpetually lovelorn Dwayne Wayne. Thompson will play Gilbert’s nemesis Kinu. Reid will play both the free-spirited Freddie Brooks and the practical Jaleesa Vinson-Taylor. 

Lil Yachty will lend the comedy chops he used to impersonate Oprah to play the silly Ron Johnson.  

Zoom Where It Happens has been produced with the help of Thompson, Ryan Bathe, Aisha Hinds, Cynthia Erivo, Kerry Washington, Rashida Jones, Stefanie and Quentin James, Latanya Richardson-Jackson, Channing Dungey, Karen Richardson, Issa Rae and Ava DuVernay.

Debbie Allen

The series received financial support from ARRAY Alliance, a non-profit with a mission to amplify images created by people of color and women in the film industry. It also receives technical support from Zoom.

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