By Chezon Jackson
Continuing the trend of staging classic Broadway works with all-black casts, acclaimed director Emily Mann helms Tennessee Williams’ masterfully iconic play A Streetcar Named Desire at the Broadhurst Theatre in April, starring Blair Underwood, Nicole Ari Parker, Daphne Rubin-Vega, and Wood Harris.
Parker (Soul Food, Boogie Nights) portrays the conflicted upper-crust Southern belle Blanche DuBois, who clashes with Underwood’s working-class Stanley Kowalski.
In real life, the dedicated mother of two accepts the difficulties of juggling a family; advocating for her charitable spinabifida organization, Sophie’s Voice; creating and distributing her Save Your Do workout hair wrap; and rehearsing. Of course, she is excited about her newest venture. “You dream of it, but the idea of them casting an African-American in the role of Blanche on Broadway is overwhelmingly amazing. I waited 20 years for that phone call.”
Harris (Remember the Titans, The Wire) is eager to breathe new life into a familiar work. “It is a Pulitzer prize–winning piece of literature by arguably the greatest American playwright,” says Harris. “This play is Tony-worthy already. It just depends on how we step into these characters.” (streetcaronbroadway.com)