A decade ago this would have seemed like a absolute joke. Mike Tyson, the guy that bit part of Evander Holyfield's ear off in the ring, the champion boxer that went to jail for rape, the guy with the crazy looking tattoo on the side of his face, the former baddest man on the planet (who is still pretty bad), is going to act on Broadway.
Back in April he had a short run in Las Vegas at the MGM Grand with his one-man show, Mike Tyson: Undisputed Truth. Apparently the show was enough of a hit that it is now headed to the Big Apple.
The idea is not quite as ludicrous as it sounds. From some of his brief acting jobs we can see that Iron Mike is okay getting in front of a camera, although a live audience is something else altogether. From interviews he's done in recent years it appears that he has calmed down the demons inside, and that he's pretty comfortable in his own skin.
The good thing is that he doesn't need to actually act much at all--the show is all about him. He just has to be himself--at least the non-dangerous or threatening version that likes to bite ears off version of himself.
Spike Lee will add some credibility to the show, but he could also be the downfall of it. Lee is infamous for leaving his mark on his work. No one going to this show will care that Spike Lee is attached to it. The man is an awesome director, but fans are not going to see the show because they want to see how many social statements can be made during a two-hour one-man show.
They just want to see Mike Tyson be Mike Tyson.
(Here's a behind the scenes kind of thing that ESPN did on Tyson's show in Vegas.)